The Sound of Silence and the Fury

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Is the Judicial Branch a Root of the Executive? or Hey! That Leaf of Lawyers is MINE!

Posted by Justin Johnson on Monday, August 27th, 2007

Disclaimers:
Let it be said…. I’m 16. I haven’t even began my first day of AP American Government yet. But I have seen every episode of The West Wing. So, while I might be wrong with my theorizing, you can blame Aaron Sorkin…

Or maybe it’s the fault of the No Child Left Behind Act which makes schools not care so much about Social Studies education. *shrug* Rant for another day.

Facts:
Lady Justice is typically portrayed blindfolded in this country.

In the United States of America we have the separation of powers and checks and balances and other political doctrines.

The Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the Executive Branch (i.e. The President) and confirmed by one half of the Legislative Branch (i.e. The Senate). The same goes for U.S. District Court judges and U.S. Attorneys.

The job of the President is to see to the execution of the laws of the United States. And to do that, within the Executive Branch, we have the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has oversight and command control over these U.S. Attorneys who are part of the Executive Branch.

Senator Hilary Clinton said the next attorney general should “care about the rule of law more than he cares about protecting the president.” – CNN.com, “Even some Republicans happy about Gonzales resignation”

Lady Justice is typically portrayed blindfolded in this country. (Yes, you have read this before.)

Opinions:
Why? Why don’t we have an attorney general who cares about the rule of law?

I’ll tell you why: The President is in direct control of the Judicial Branch.

And I’ll tell you something else: I see NO reason for it.

Why can’t the Judicial “Branch” (more like dying limb) choose their own lawyers? Yes, yes, stop screaming separation of powers in my ear. But really, the Executive Branch should not have the authority to choose this nation’s Federal lawyers AND judges. That’s how you end up with this political agenda mess we have now and exactly why Alberto Gonzales is resigning and on his merry way out.

Picture this: U.S. Attorneys who actually belong to the Judicial Branch. Non-politically oriented. Doesn’t that make sense? Why not give the Supreme Court of the United States some power and let THEM choose who sits in THEIR lower courts.

The Supreme Court has a weak link and no vested interest in politics once confirmed since they can’t be fired, so they are quite obviously the perfect choice. The American people being a somewhat distant choice, but the principle of collective stupidity comes to mind.

Ah, but what about the President’s responsibility to see that the laws are faithfully executed? Yes, well. It’s simple. While the attorneys would chosen by the judicial, they are still expected to act in the best interests of the United States and follow the Justice Department. It’s one of those honor things. Kind of like how the President can control the Legislative by veto and the Legislative can control the President by veto override. It would be a matter of cooperation and a gentleman’s agreement.

Final Words:
It’ll never happen. The Executive will forever control the Judicial. When you put it like that, doesn’t it even sound silly? Justice is totally blind… but in America, a one-eyed bandit shall lead her astray.

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