Ashcroft vs. The Judiciary

Kudos to the Denver Post today for assailing Attorney General John Ashcroft for his recent dictate to prosecutors to keep tabs on federal judges who depart from sentencing guidelines against the Government's recommendations:

Sometimes, we wonder if U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft slept through some of his law school classes at the University of Chicago - you know, that stuff about checks and balances and an independent judiciary. Ashcroft's plan to have prosecutors across the country keep tabs on which federal district judges mete out sentences that are more lenient than those outlined in federal sentencing guidelines smacks of Big Brotherism and impermissible interference with the prerogatives of the judiciary.

After criticizing overly long sentences and the recent Feeney Amendment, the Post concludes with:

When Ashcroft became attorney general, he took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same."

By setting up a "blacklist" of judges who aren't Draconian enough, it sounds more like he's trying to demolish one of the basic pillars of American freedom, an independent judiciary.

The War on Our Freedoms
Richard C. Leone, Ed.

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