Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
While many Americans were preparing to eat barbecue and shoot fireworks for the Fourth of July, the U.S. Senate engaged in an extraordinary act of cowardice--not to mention neglect of duty.
The Senate approved by voice vote on June 30 the appointment of George Beck as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Beck replaces Leura Canary, the Bush appointee who helped turn the Don Siegelman case into perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in American history.
But here's the kicker: Beck also played a prominent and highly questionable role in the Siegelman case. Beck's nomination was an opportunity for senators to grill a key figure in the Siegelman prosecution, to help determine how the U.S. justice system went badly off track in the Bush years.
The Senate, however, elected to punt, giving Beck a free pass into his new position and throwing an extra load of dirt onto a coverup of Bush-era criminality. For progressives who once had hope for the Barack Obama administration on justice matters, consider this: Beck is an Obama nominee, and the Senate is controlled by Democrats.
Have Democrats come to "own" Bush/Rove scandals that made a mockery of the U.S. constitution? It sure looks that way from here.
Why does the Beck "confirmation hearing" emit such a foul odor? Andrew Kreig, director of the D.C.-based Justice Integrity Project, provides answers in a splendid overview piece out today: