US Attorneys Make Excellent Political Footballs


Why is it so difficult for us to tell both sides of the story? Because it's more entertaining in the long run when we have to spend countless hours ferreting out sometimes meaningless truths? Because congress and the White House are trying to steal the top spot in the ratings from CSI Tijauana, Lost, Deal or No Deal, and Survivor Las Vegas?

It has been a pain in the butt for me to find any facts surrounding the firing of 8 United States attorneys by the Bush Administration, but let me break down what either side seems not willing to admit.

What the Republicans Don't Want You to Know

Everyone admits that Bill Clinton fired all 93 US attorneys upon taking office. George Bush came nowhere near firing that many, right? Well, technically speaking, yes. If this link is not a phishing site created by CBS News, then we can rest assured that, "continuing the practice of new administrations", Bush only fired 91 of the attorneys when he arrived at the White House.

What the Democrats Don't Want You To Know

US Attorneys are political appointees and are expected to serve at the President's pleasure. Congress can not possibly know or be expected to know the details of the performance of those attorneys who are fired by the Executive. Congress can not require the Executive to retain an employee with which the Executive is no longer satisfied, as the Supreme Court case Myers v. United States makes clear.

What Probably Neither Side Wants You To Know

In last year's revisions of the Patriot Act, a rule was inserted that allows the President to hire new attorneys without senate confirmation to replace the ones he fires. I don't know for sure, but it seems pretty embarrassing to have let something like this become law. So at least one good thing happened out of the whole overly blown scandal--the size of irresponsible government was rolled back just a little bit.

Okay, now can we get on with much more important things, like pork projects?

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