After thinking about this and reviewing news reports, or the lack thereof from various news agencies, I doubt very much that Hillman stepped down voluntarily. I don't believe he would have voluntarily accepted a judgeship from Bush, as was reported. I personally think he was given "an offer he couldn't refuse."
In a working Democracy, his leaving his post would have been front page news. If he were stepping down voluntarily it would not have been the Justice Department that made the announcement; it would have been Hillman himself. I don't even know if he is alive or dead.
In the absence of other evidence I will believe that Hillman is an honorable public servant who has succumbed to forces he could not control. His removal from office might very well be the smoking gun that marks the last nail in the coffin of our late Republic.
By Philip Shenon and Elisabeth Bumiller
The New York Times
Friday 27 January 2006
"Liberty lies in the hearts and minds of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it ... "
--Judge Learned Hand