links for 2007-03-08

Comments:

Regarding why the U.S. attorneys were fired, the answer is "because they could be". As political appointees, they can be asked to leave at any time.

You may recall, one of the first actions of President Bill Clinton was to fire every U.S. attorney except one, Michael Chertoff, now Homeland Security secretary, but then U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey. Chertoff was kept at the request of New Jersey Democrat Senator Bill Bradley.

Politicization of prosecutors in the U.S. is nothing new, but it is unfortunate. The founders had the good sense to make the U.S. federal judiciary lifetime appointments, to prevent politicization of the judiciary. However, that has drawbacks too, and the use of Senatorial filibusters to make judicial approvals require a supermajority has politicized the U.S. judiciary.

If only taxes required a supermajority, however the budget is the one thing the Senate cannot filibuster. Go figure.

Getting back to the original point, the real solution to the problem is to put law enforcement in the U.S. back in the states. More and more Federal laws require more and more Federal prosecutors, and ultimately a bigger and bigger Federal case backlog in the Federal courts. There used to be a joke in the U.S.: "Don't make a federal case out of this.", meaning don't make a big deal out of this. I am afraid in a few more years, it will have as much meaning as: "You sound like a broken record."

Posted by Mark on March 07, 2007 at 09:41 PM PST #

Mark: Fully agree (as much as the view of an alien matters). The thing that makes this incident even worse though is that they are Republican appointees being discarded so that a new and almost invisibly-created law allowing unreviewed appointments could be exploited.

As you say, the previous situation was bad; this incident is even worse than usual, though, to my untrained alien eyes.

Posted by Simon Phipps on March 07, 2007 at 10:09 PM PST #

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