I know every Congress and administration since Washington has loved packing bills with irrelevant crap but didn’t anybody notice that little addition to the renewal of the Patriot Act? And when will the American People realize how many things that affect them are snuck into bills in hopes nobody will notice? Has any GOOD ever come of these?
It lets the President move fast, without waiting for the Congressional cows to thoroughly masticate and possibly second-guess his moves. And when Jack Bauer is chasing a truck with a nuclear warhead up the interstate, every second counts, don’tcha know.
I guess you won’t understand the urgency of appointing new attorneys until there’s a mushroom cloud over Denver, or Louisville.
Why do you hate America?
For me it is not that I hate America, I love America. I just love mushroom clouds even more.
Nucular. It’s pronounced nu-cu-lar. You, obviously, hate America even more.
Forget that, when will Senators notice? Maybe it’s just something Michael Moore said, but I got the sense a lot of them didn’t read the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act before they voted on it.
I think the rationale behind the attorney provision had something to do with prosecuting or getting warrants quickly.
i thing Cervaise was practicing a little irony. The US Attorney isn’t the one to look to in order to stop someone driving anuclear bomb down the road.
The provision was put into the Patriot Act in case a US Attorney needed to be installed at a time when the Senat couldn’t meet for some reason. As I understand it it was for use in dire emergencies only.
The Senate just voted to rescind that part of the act by a large majority. Even the Republican Senators are pissed that the Administration attempted to use a provision put into the law for emergencies in a non-emergency case.
But…but…but, I thought EVERY DAY was an emergency!
Good point. This administration has managed to turn almost all of their acts into emergencies.
As was Andy, I think.
On reading his post again, I think you’re right.
That was the Party line.
Every second counts in times like these and that is precisely why our elected leaders should take care of the threats posed by gay marriage, medical marijuana, and flag burning NOW. Some of our US attorneys are just too lax on these critical matters. They waste their time investigating political corruption, voter fraud, and other stuff that doesn’t matter.
Don’t forget pulling feeding tubes from vegetative women. It’s not just anything that’ll get Gee Dubya onto a chopper.
I haven’t done a ton of research on the topic, but what I have found kinda surprises me.
Apparently, US Attorney’s have been considered by the courts to be “inferior officers”. As such, I believe, they are not Constitutionally required to be approved by Advice and Consent of the Senate. The relevant statute, 28 USC 541, states: “The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a United States attorney for each judicial district.” So, the advice and consent requirement is more statutory than Constitutional.
Which brings us to the appointment of interim US Attorneys, which is allowed under 546. Prior to the Patriot Act amendment, the statute allowed the AG to appoint an interim US attorney for up to 120 days, without getting advice and consent. After that, the district court appoints. The Patriot Act changed it so there was no longer any time limit on how long the interim US attorney can serve. Thus, with the change, the requirements of 541’s advice and consent, can be circumvented. (I really hope this isn’t as tedious and dry as I’m afraid it is).
But, what I find weird, is that the advice and consent of US attorney’s could have circumvented anyway under the old statute. The AG could have simply appointed the same guy every 120 days, as interim US Attorney. Bush has, in fact, done this before, appointing the same guy four consecutive times.
So, legally speaking there is no Constitutional requirement that the US attorneys be subject to advice and consent. In addition, both the new and the old statute, left ways for a zealous AG to circumvent the statutory requirements of advice and consent.
Maybe they’ll ask me to write them a new law.
To be fair, the Admin never actually attempted to use it. This vote was a pre-emptive measure, taken because the purge of U.S. Attorneys very strongly suggested using it was the next step.
Aren’t we still in a state of emergency?
Are you sure? Thse sites certainly don’t sound that way.
The constitution allows for the President to make recess apointments when the Senate isn’t in session.
Sure, but if these were normal recess appointments there wouldn’t be any need for a provision for them in the Patriot Act, would there?
That’s the thing–there were ways to get around the old law and a new law would likely be passed by the last Congress, so why do the end run via the Patriot Act? It’s as if Rove et al are so hung up on having wheels within wheels to cover their shenanigans that they were blind to the fact that here they didn’t NEED any shenanigans.