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Put Independent Justice Back In The DOJ

gavel.jpgWith the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, there is an opportunity to put justice first and foremost at the DOJ, to restore the commitment to the rule of law and to remove the taint of politicized decision-making that the Bush Administration has tarnished the halls of justice with the last few years.

But that can only happen if an independent, ethical person is selected as the replacement for the Attorney General. 

Senators on both sides of the aisle should insist on an independent actor, someone who has a career based on justice and integrity, who is committed to the long history and tradition of the Department of Justice.  The very sort of person that George Bush traditionally shuns in favor of political cronies and yes men. 

This is no time for another crony.  And the Senate — across the board — should insist on integrity and independance in whomever is put forward.  And they should accept nothing less.

The nation’s justice system should not be a political football, nor can we afford to wait any longer for the difficult work to be done to restore the DOJ.  No more corrupted cronies who serve as personal attorneys for the President first, and put the nation as a whole well down on the list of priorities.  The next Attorney General is going to have a very difficult job — the DOJ has long had a tradition of independent evaluation of the merits of cases based on the law and the facts.  The next AG should not start with the heavy political thumb of the Bush White House on the scales of justice.

The Senators who will advise and consent on the next nominee should insist that an independent, ethical nominee who will act on the rule of law and the evidence — and not the Bush WH political marching orders — be the only acceptable option.  From this point forward, we must put independence and integrity back in the Department of Justice. 

Accept nothing less.

Press conference upcoming from Alberto Gonzales at 10:30 am ET.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com