U.S. ATTORNEY GENERALS SHOULD BE ELECTED

U.S. ATTORNEY GENERALS SHOULD BE ELECTED

This Op-Ed by yours truly appears in Florida Today newspaper.  Title speaks for itself:

 

Marshall Frank: US attorney generals should be elected

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If President Bill Clinton had Eric Holder for attorney general in 1998, there would never have been an impeachment for committing perjury. Instead, America was treated to a fair investigation. Clinton had appointed a straight-laced attorney general named Janet Reno, probably the least political-minded AG in history.

I knew Reno as the state attorney in Dade County. She was so honest and self-dependent she wouldn’t even allow her employees to gas her car. She solicited no favors. It’s a mystery how she survived in a political world.

When the scandal broke about Clinton’s mendacity under oath, Reno knew being a member of Clinton’s cabinet would be a conflict because she would face expectations from her boss. Therefore, it was prudent to step aside and appoint a special prosecutor to handle the investigation.

Americans have not been privileged to that level of integrity today.

Eric Holder has spent a good part of his efforts in office dodging presidential scandals, some of which would absolutely justify appointing an independent prosecutor so that a neutral, nonpartisan investigation could be conducted. But Holder established his Department of Justice as the impenetrable wall around the president’s castle. Obama need not worry about scandals so long as Holder stood guard.

The nation’s president is not supposed to be above the law. In the past six years as president, Barack Obama has ostensibly violated numerous laws and procedures to further his agendas. Among them: Implementing the Dream Act by executive fiat; making recess appointments when the senate was in session; changing Obamacare laws on the fly without congressional action; authorizing military action in Libya without congressional approval; killing American citizens with drone strikes in other countries; disregarding illegal gun running by the Department of Justice in Fast & Furious; IRS selection of adversaries based on political leanings; negotiating releases of dangerous terrorists without consulting/informing Congress, and so on.

The magnitude of alleged violations are unprecedented for any president, including Richard Nixon, upon whose impeachable crimes were centered on a single case (Watergate). One only needs to Google “Impeachment Causes Obama” to find numerous pages of essays by journalists and political pundits, detailing reasons why Barack Obama should, at the least, be subject to a fair investigation by an independent authority. But that will not happen so long as his appointed attorney general acts as a partisan protector.

In November 2014, columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that Obama’s use of executive orders violating immigration laws was an impeachable offense by itself. Krauthammer also pointed out that, regardless of allegations, impeaching Obama would be political suicide for the Republican Party in 2016.

Does this mean America now has a president who considers himself the head of two branches of government, not one? Will we have 21 months of quasi-dictatorship, i.e. legislation by executive fiat trumping the constitution and the responsibilities of Congress?

This should be a lesson learned about the political structure of our federal government in need of change. U.S. attorney generals should be elected, not appointed. That would instill more independence for the nation’s top law enforcer without being politically beholden to a chief executive. If there is any office that necessitates neutrality, it is the attorney general.

Attorney generals are elected in 45 state systems across the country. Only five are appointed by governors. Those who are elected can conduct independent probes of political corruption without regard for allegiances. Those who are appointed in the states are beholden to the governor. On the federal level, the AG is a devotee to the president. That needs to change.

Will it happen? Don’t hold your breath.

Frank is an author and retired Miami police detective who lives in Melbourne. Visit his website at www.marshallfrank.com.

 Click here: Marshall Frank: US attorney generals should be elected

 

14 comments

Paul Webb

I’m not sure about your assertion that the Attorney General should be elected or not, that could present another whole set of issues. I do believe, however, that the President being able to appoint the nation’s chief law official poses some obvious conflict of interests. This system will only work if the participants are men and women of honor, honesty, and integrity, who put the best interests of their country ahead of their own quest for personal and party power. Currently we have people in power who have no honor, no integrity, are completely dishonest, and use their power to subvert the system for their own gains and to promote their political agenda. Eric Holder was easily the most corrupt AG in history, he was essentially the gate keeper that allowed Pres. Obama to violate laws and the Constitution with impunity, Loretta Lynch will be no different. Sad.

Roger L Cox

People in hell and CA need ice water. Same chance of happening. Just sayin. Homeland Security dept is rushing to document immigrants, (9 million)for the 2016 election. The dims get that one and elections will be a foregone conclusion for forty more years. The dims predict and want one hundred years of victory. They get a couple and there won’t be any more voting.
Some merit in electing the AG but the present system of political money and the media will bury the used to be average American.

John Parmenter

Marshall, your article brings up in it’s body, the real problem in all of our government today. The corruption and financial power of political parties which essentially run the elections at all levels of government. These so called parties, which are more like a mafia, control who runs and in spite of independant candidates,control all the money, which is what wins elections. Which is another problem. We now have a government which elects a President (Executive) who appoints all the federal positions, a Congress (Legislative) which is supposed to make the laws but is controlled by “the party” and the Judicial (Supreme Court) which is supposed to rule on the Constitutionality of laws made, but is comprised of Presidential appointees with political leanings, who are elected for life or whenever they believe it’s convenient to get a like minded replacement. The answer seems to be, outlaw political parties and the buying of government by big money.

chuck Pierce

Election of Cabinet officials is not a good idea. What I believe must happen is that the state and the citizens of the state must take control of the Federal Government, This can be accomplished by a Convention of the States to propose constitutional amendment to limit what the Federal Government can do by limiting the ability to spend and by limiting the service time and congresspersons and senators. To date 27 state have passed the call for the convention with 34 needed to require the call.

pete

Agree with the notion Holder was the gate keeper. It is therefore difficult to fathom he actually had a well rounded legal background going back to his first appointment by the Reagan Administration…..
See:

http://www.biography.com/people/eric-holder-391612.

…that said how do you rein in a person who has finally reached his pinnacle and knows to stay there he must be abiding. The relationship between Holder and Obama was such that you knew it could only become politically accommodating when Holder became the chief legal adviser in Obama’s first campaign. Any prudent person would think Holder knew exactly what he was doing knowing the prize could be AG.

Conversely, Obama knew exactly what he was doing when he nominated him. Political expediency and cover all around.

The notion of electing an AG as one comment advised could in fact take us in the same direction just at a different level.

My thought is to have an independent and bipartisan committee of representatives appointed by Congress every four years and for the limited time of November 12-December 31.: they could include retired federal judges, various reps from bar associations, a minimal number of reps from the House and Senate and a cross section of State Supreme Court Justices. (Or similar like independent temporary body). Should the incumbent President be elected for a second term, he would have the option to nominate the same or a new nominee for AG.

There should also be a prescription set out by Congress for special prosecutors being named in the event there is—or even perceived to be—a conflict of interest by either the AG or the President.

Just some thoughts.

Bahia Abrams

Great article. Wish you could open up the eyes of all Americans to our political problems with Obama and Holder.

reality

Eric Holder gave that adulter and FBI liar Republican General Petraous a pass for his TREASON.M Swerart went to prison for lot less. Bad enough we’ve had to live with other Republican traitor like SONGBIRD McCain or Iran Contra traitors Reagan and Bush or Cheney for outing a CIA agent. You right wing hate America are getting away with not only being bigots ,but traitors as well.

Dr. Ray

Yes, We will have “21 months of quasi-dictatorship, i.e. legislation by executive fiat trumping the constitution and the responsibilities of Congress?” Obama is like the rest of the criminal scum at the top, they never get caught and charged. To think that Nixon stepped down because of a burglary, and Kofi Anannan, the Clintons, Obama, get away with the things that they do is so incredulous. Of course, we know that the lamestream liberal media protect them. Most Americans are dullards or the 20% that are radicals/socialist/leftists, who don’t care about our country, and would be happy to pull it down. As some of your readers have suggested, the people who really need to see your posts, will not.

Keep up the good work and all you do for us patriots. As an NSA friend said to me, we may be standing back to back one day.

Snake Hunter

SOLUTION:

One Six Year Term for the Presidency… then go home and live with the results.

One Six Year Term for the Senate; the same goes for the House of Representatives.

Eliminate the Policy of Life Appointments for Supreme Court Judges.

Elect the Secretary of State; Elect The Attorney General; Elect the Head of Homeland Security… then Create A High Tech Military Security System For Our National Borders.

Post Script: Put a Muzzle on… Plus a Rubber Room for “Anonymous Reality”. – Then…

http://www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com < Click It
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Fran of 57

Yeah right, by the SAME people that elected Obama! Really?

JKR

Agree overall with your article.
However, regarding Janet Reno, she was all that you said she was,… honorable, honest, said what she believed, BUT she was a loyal Democrat to a fault. Case in point: A call from Claude Pepper to her resulted in charges being dropped against a young man whose father was close to the congressman..They then sued the police officer and department. . Her political expedience cost the county $500,000.

Ray Renfro

No matter how many hearing on Obama scandals Congress holds, no one is going to be arrested or prosecuted with a corrupt Attorney General in place. Many people criticize the Congress for have hearing that seem to go nowhere. Clinton’s big mistake was allowing Janet Reno to appoint a special prosecutor. Obama will not make that mistake. One answer would let Congress appoint the Attorney General or at least give them the power to appoint a special independent prosecutor as a fail safe against having a corrupt Administration like the one now.

I have noticed that several of the Obama scandals have been uncovered by Inspector Generals of various departments in the government. Inspector Generals are appointed positions by the Administration but apparently were overlooked by the Obama Administration. I’m sure that Obama is working overtime getting the Inspector Generals in line.

One of the biggest failures in America has been the “Fourth Estate”, more commonly refereed to as “the press”. Covering up for Obama has done a big disservice to the American people. The press was been given special privileges in the 1st Amendment to be the watchdog of the Government. This has not been done and has allowed Obama not to be accountable. There is a good sign though. Some of the liberal press is making an effort to hold Hillary Clinton Accountable for her actions. I hope this trend back to the center continues.

Snake Hunter

Fran of 57…

Your Reference To The SAME PEOPLE… I will agree that they emotionally voted with WILLFUL BLINDNESS for an Unknown candidate… with an Unknown Agenda… that only promised CHANGE…. AND…. CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN…. and this gave
PROGRESSIVE SOCIALISTS A MAJORITY VOTING BLOCK.

This insanity provided our citizenry with a select group of individuals that gave folks that cared more about self, than they ever did about our U.S. Constitutional Values.

Harry Reid, Senate Majority — Nancy Pelosi, House Majority — Hillary Clinton as our Secretary of State, and the despicable Eric Holder at Attorney General… all of these boobs being led by a slick, but largely unknown Chicago Attorney VALERIE JARRETT,
the “senior advisor” to the President, that beltway reporters recognize as the true boss,
that admits to “HAVING A MIND MELD WITH BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA”.

A Must Read Article… “Letting Obama Be Obama” by Dr. Paul Kengor.
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Snake Hunter

FYI – If you can’t find “LETTING OBAMA BE OBAMA” w/ Search Engine, simply go to

Snake Hunters Archives, (Left Column) Scroll Down past Recent Posts to Jan 01, 2012

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