When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, much of the focus -- from Senators and the media alike -- will likely be on the controversy surrounding the firings of the US Attorneys. However, we must not forget that the US Attorneys issue is only part of an extremely disturbing pattern from this administration -- a pattern of relentless political interference in the basic enforcement of our laws.

A recent report by the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights found that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has too often been guided by political considerations -- many times against the recommendations of career staff. This is an issue the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will continue to examine in the coming weeks, as the rule of law must have meaning. As lawmakers, we must be assured that the laws we pass will be enforced without fear or favor.

Editor's Note: Rep. Nadler is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.