Or, Do-it-yourself Ethics Filings to Take Away the Licenses of Bush Administration Attorneys to Practice Law
Distressed that the Democratic National leadership has chosen to take impeachment “off the table?” Don’t want to wait until January 2009 to finally show the door to some of the current Administration’s flunkies? You don’t have to wait.
For instance, you could consider filing an ethics complaint against, say, the chief torture researcher for the President - Attorney General Roberto Gonzales. In addition to Gonzales, you could consider filing against the White House Counsel and/or other licensed attorneys who drafted or assisted in drafting Bush’s various pro-torture, anti-Constitution legal opinions if you believe that they are illegal or unethical. Best of all, you can do it on your own. No law degree is required to file an ethics complaint.
If that is of interest, you should find out how to file a written complaint with whatever agency in your particular state licenses attorneys. It could be a committee or office within either the state bar association or state supreme court. Call the state bar association and ask or go to your state government's website to search. Check to see if there are particular forms to use or whether a simple letter will do.
By the way, if you do chose to file, perhaps consider sending a copy to the local newspapers while you’re at it. Perhaps neither the agencies nor the papers will be interested, but at least you will have done your part to help insure those in charge of our justice system are honest, legal and ethical.
(Sample wording relating to the current Attorney General Gonzales,
but feel free to use your own words or targets:)
I respectfully request that the State [insert here the title of the appropriate Grievance, Disciplinary and/or Professional Responsibility Committee or Board] initiate an investigation of US Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales [or insert whichever other attorney or attorneys is believed to be violating ethics] for the purpose of determining whether he [or perhaps she in this case of Harriet Myers if it is her you believe to be unethical and want investigated] is fit to practice law in this State.
From his public statements, his published writings, his testimony before Congress and other evidence, it strongly appears that Mr. Gonzales has (1) violated ethics, (2) committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct as well as (3) violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.
If it is determined that he has violated ethics, it is requested that he be banned from entering our State to conduct any acts which might be deemed the practice of law, banned from supervising, hiring or firing licensed attorneys who are employees of the Justice Department regardless of his own physical location at the time, banned from participating in any way in any cases that take place in this state, and disbarred if he happens to be licensed here.
If it is determined he has committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct, it is further requested that the information be forwarded to the appropriate legal authorities for criminal investigation and possible arrest.
If it is determined that he violated his oath of office, it is requested that the information be forwarded to the Congressional delegation for our state so that he may be impeached to determine whether he should be removed from office and/or censured.
Among the most serious charges, the currently available evidence strongly suggests that Mr. Gonzales has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and laws enacted by Congress such as PISA, not to mention our own State Constitution by having searches conducted without probable cause, without warrants, without court supervision of any sort and in defiance of the proposition that any court supervision or jurisdiction is required. Moreover, he seems to be indicating he plans to continue doing so in the future.
Mr. Gonzales has also apparently admitted to repeatedly counseling clients such as the President of the United States that it is permissible to ignore the separation of powers and other clauses of the Constitution, that it is permissible to ignore duly enacted US laws as well as international laws and treaties to which the US has agreed, all because it was unilaterally proclaimed by his client to be "war time." It should be noted that, even if armed conflict involving the US military was occurring, that does not make a difference to the wording of the Constitution. No declaration of war has been formally passed since the current President took power and the so-called “force resolution” did not amount to one. Legal opinions by attorneys can be wrong or even stupid, but in court, truly frivolous arguments are not a defense to misconduct by attorneys.
Of more immediate consequence, Mr. Gonzales, by his own admissions, has consistently sought to deny many individuals in US custody access to attorneys, the courts and other fundamental human rights under both US and international law. Far worse, although he has chosen to call it something else, he apparently has conspired to actually torture some of them, at least as that term is commonly understood, not to mention as defined in specific laws. Even if one or more those laws have now been amended to permit such repugnant practices, nevertheless, the violations seem to have knowingly taken place prior to any applicable amendment.