Bush Nominates Judge for Homeland Security

1-11-05 - WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush has nominated federal appeals court Judge Michael Chertoff to be director of the Department of Homeland Security.

The president says Chertoff has been a key leader in the war on terror. He says Chertoff has shown a "deep commitment" to the cause of justice and an "unwavering determination" to protect the American people.

The president also notes that Chertoff has won Senate confirmation three times for various jobs, the most recent being a federal appeals court position in New Jersey.

The president says he's confident Chertoff will be "a strong, effective leader" for the Department of Homeland Security. The president also praised outgoing Secretary Tom Ridge.

Chertoff says he's "deeply honored" to be nominated and that it would be a "privilege" to serve with the thousands of men and women who "stand watch" across the country and overseas, protecting security and promoting freedom.

Bush turned to Chertoff after his first choice, ex-New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, withdrew his name. Revelations about Kerik's history included the fact he'd employed a nanny who may have been an illegal immigrant.