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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/18/09

Sessions says DOJ should be free from political pressures and ideological excess

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Message Marilyn Noyes

Yesterday at the Senate Judiciary Hearing attended by Eric Holder, Jeff Sessions called for de-politicizing the justice department. Great idea! There's no better place to start than his own back yard and with Governor Don Siegelman!

This is the beginning of Jeff Sessions' opening remarks to Eric Holder at today's senate judiciary committee hearing.  I transcribed as much as I could.  Here's the point.  Look at the highlighted statements.  If he means what he says, then Jeff Sessions should welcome and advocate for Don Siegelman to receive justice and freedom.  Surely Governor Siegelman was the victim of "political pressures and ideological excess".  Surely Sessions would ask that this administration's DOJ "elevate the department above the politics and bad policy" of the Bush administration.   

Shouldn't we ask Jeff Sessions to stand up for Don Siegelman?  He wants to take the politics out of the DOJ.  What better place to start than in his own state of Alabama with its own political targets?

 "Attorney General Holder, I’m glad you’re here today to address the committee as we fulfill our oversight responsibilities for the department of justice.  The department plays a critical role in protecting the rule of law and preserving national security, and it must be free from political pressures and ideological excess. 

 Mr. Holder, I supported your nomination to be Attorney General.  I think I was a minority in my party that did so.  But I did so because I believe that your previous experience within the department would serve to elevate the department in its mission above politics and bad policy. And I was assured by your promises during the confirmation process to that effect.   

So it is difficult for me to tell you this.  I am disappointed.  During your confirmation hearing you promised to adhere to the Constitution and put the rule of law over political or other considerations.  You said you had learned from the past and you had not returned to pre-9/11 criminal law concepts in protecting the American people from terrorist attacks.   

You told Senator Lindsay Graham that you agreed with him that “every person who commits to going to war against American or any other peaceful nation should be held off the battlefield as long as they’re dangerous.”  And I don’t think your actions we’ve seen so far are consistent with that commitment.  Since your confirmation you’ve done a number of things that I think you’ve pledged not to do.   Time and again I find myself reading about political appointees who have overruled career department attorneys to further some agenda or left-wing activity. 

 One such instance came when you rejected the office of legal council on its conclusions that Congress’s recent legislation on the District of Columbia voting was unconstitutional…as it appears plainly to be.  During your confirmation hearing you emphasized that your view of OLC opinions would not be a political process.  So when OLC, the Office of Legal Council, who’s assigned this responsibility, has prepared an opinion for you that said the Congress’s legislation WAS unconstitutional, I would expect you to listen to their opinions and follow them or explain precisely why you do not. Instead, you moved around them and sought a second opinion from the Solicitor General’s office, an office that’s really required to defend whatever it’s asked, and asked them for their legal advice.  You again, I think, followed pressure from the left to override common sense when you allowed the department of justice to release OLC opinions regarding interrogation, even though high profile members of the intelligence community warned you that it was unwise to do so."

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Marilyn Noyes is a native Los Angeleno with a background in market research and advertising. She's a political activist and member of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles. Marilyn is an artist who shoots abstract photography and an animal lover (more...)
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