Arthur Branch, DA on the various "Law and Order" series

Played by mebbe-presidential candidate Fred Thompson, of course. I don’t watch any of those shows very often. Have they ever explained how someone with so obvious a Southern drawl would be elected Manhattan DA? It’s a cosmopolitan town and all, but that seems pretty unlikely to me.

He went to Yale(IIRC) and was a major corporate attorney in the city for something like 30 years. Plus he has plenty of friends in very high places, who were willing to spend money to get him elected. They didn’t really go into how much his Southern-ess hurt him in the election, but it has been brought up negatively during the course of his tenure as DA.

How so? Details welcomed.

Well his feelings on capital punishment have been widely questioned (though thats not necessarily because he’s Southern) and I seem to recall him making the statement in one of the episodes(I can’t recall which one at this moment) that he had spent 20 years in the city and people still saw him as a carpet-bagger. I’ll have to think what context that statement was made.

Mostly, his southerness comes out in his fairly extreme conservatism, which again as been questioned by McCoy and especially Serena Southerlyn. He kind of justifies his position on things by hearkening back to his Southern roots. However, I may have just been conflating his political views with his Southern background and thinking that was the reason for the negative reactions.

Going back to your original question, another one of the reasons he would have been elected is the time frame in which he took office. IIRC it was almost immediately after 9/11 and NY, like the rest of the country, was still in love with tough no-nonsense conservatives. His political views certainly would have gotten him quite a few votes.

NPR reported this morning that Thompson has asked to be released from his contract with the “Law and Order” production company for the fall season. He hasn’t definitely decided to run for President, apparently, but wants more time in his calendar to lay the groundwork. NPR said this would also be a cost-cutting measure for the L&O folks.

Who would make a good successor to Branch, and why? Should they write him off the show entirely, or have his chief assistant (Jack, or someone else?) serve as acting DA while Branch “attends to a family matter in Tennessee” or the like?

Now Jack McCoy wants the top spot:

As one episode I recently saw on Law and Order shows, however, McCoy has a serious problem which 'Ol Arthur Branch showed: he is jsut as fanatic as a wild-eyed street preacher, only his personal Holy Grail is the law itself. It makes for a poor deity, however, since he doesn’t ultimately respect, having been more than willing to tear it apart when it doesn’t suit him. Much like many fanatics, come to think of it.

For this reason, it would be very interesting to see what McCoy would do as D.A. Probably get into a lot of trouble.