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General News    H1'ed 5/9/11

Monica Goodling Ruling Shows That Legal Watchdogs Have No Teeth

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Author 13717
Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

Former U.S. Justice Department official Monica Goodling has received a public reprimand from the Virginia State Bar for her role in unlawfully mixing political considerations and hiring decisions in the George W. Bush administration.

What should the public take from this farcical outcome? We can think of at least two key points:

* President Barack Obama might have secured a sense of justice regarding Osama bin Laden, but Americans should be deeply concerned about the administration's efforts to provide cover for Bush-era bad actors.

* State bar associations, in too many cases, are incapable of policing rogue lawyers--and the public should have little, if any, confidence in these organizations. Can state bars be inconsistent? We are aware of a case in Alabama, which we soon will be covering in depth, where a lawyer received a one-year suspension for making statements in court documents that proved to be . . . absolutely true. In fact, the opposing party admitted the statements were true, but the lawyer still faces a one-year suspension. And Monica Goodling gets a public reprimand for helping to befoul our federal justice department? Do legal watchdogs expect to be taken seriously?

Why did a subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar even bother to slap Goodling on the wrist? Legal Times reports:

The subcommittee found that Goodling violated a bar rule against misconduct when she "improperly utilized political affiliation and other political considerations when making hiring decisions for career positions." Goodling admitted to doing so while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee under oath in May 2007, the order says.

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Roger Shuler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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