Senate Proposes Repeal of Law Allowing Attorney General to Bypass Senate Confirmation

Remember that obscure provision of the new Patriot Act that gives the Attorney General the right to name new U.S. Attorneys without Senate Confirmation?

Democrats want to repeal the law.

The Senate moved Monday to revoke authority it granted the Bush administration last year to name federal prosecutors, with Democrats accusing the administration of abusing the appointment power at the center of an escalating clash over the ouster of eight United States attorneys.

The move to overturn an obscure provision of the USA Patriot Act that allowed the attorney general to appoint federal prosecutors for an indefinite period without Senate confirmation came amid growing speculation that the controversy over the prosecutors would cost Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales his job.

The difference between former and current law:


“The president can pick anyone he wants to serve on his White House staff, and he does,” Mr. Leahy said. “But when it comes to the United States Department of Justice and our home states, U.S. senators have a say in ensuring fairness and independence to prevent the federal law enforcement function from untoward political influence.”

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    It came about (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 08:55:45 AM EST
    because of the absolute stampede by congress after 9/11 to look effective by passing (but not reading) the abomination that was the Patriot Act. Only now do they acknowledge they were blinded by the rabid patriotism that conceived this offense to freedom, and scramble to overturn the outright violations it committed against the Constitution and the BOR. The whole thing should be repealed.

    To be fair. . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 07:17:23 AM EST
    Democrats want to repeal the law.

    My impression is that this move has substantial bipartisan support -- it's not just Democrats.

    I had wondered how and if (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 08:08:33 AM EST
    this would come about.  God I'm so glad!

    prosecutor bypass (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 09:26:23 AM EST
    Sounds great-I wouldn't trust Hillary's attorney general (Janet Reno #2?) anyway.