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Thursday, Jan 25, 2007, 5:08 pm

Bush’s Purge of Federal Prosecutors/Replacement with Sycophants Is Challenged in Court

By Brian Zick
Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker reports:
An Arkansas lawyer has risen to challenge the law which allows the administration to circumvent Senate approval when installing new U.S. Attorneys.

On behalf of his client, an alleged crack cocaine dealer who's accused of killing a man he'd robbed to prevent him from talking to the police, Little Rock lawyer John Hall has challenged the appointment of Timothy Griffin, the recently-appointed U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas with close ties to the White House.
Paul quotes the filing:
An example [of how the Attorney General could use the new law to circumvent Senate confirmation], one that might be called extreme but is not the slightest bit implausible, is this: The President appoints a qualified “strawman” (or woman) as a United States Attorney that the President knows will be confirmed by the Senate at the beginning of the President’s term of office. The Senate advises and consents to the appointment, and the U.S. Attorney is sworn in. Shortly after that, the Attorney General removes the U.S. Attorney and appoints a replacement who never has to face the Senate, and it turns out that the replacement U.S. Attorney is inexperienced or unqualified for the job or a blatantly political appointment that no one can understand would qualify as “the principal federal law enforcement officers in their judicial districts.” Conceivably, under the Attorney General’s interpretation of his appointment power in § 546(c), an incompetent or a blatantly politically appointed* U.S. Attorney could hold office like this for seven and a half years, or even longer, assuming the President is re-elected, without ever facing Senate confirmation over his or her qualifications.
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