Thursday, March 11, 2010

Erickson at RedState favors politicization of the Justice Department

Read about it here.

Sounding as if he's channeling Barry Goldwater, Erickson states, "Liz Cheney is right."

Erickson writes:
There will always be lawyers willing to defend the indefensible. And if you are a lawyer willing to defend the indefensible you can get really rich and/or really infamous. Some of them are there just because they like the challenge.

Typically, however, the lawyers willing to defend the indefensible are from the far left — particularly when defending those who are at war with America.

Good for them for being willing to have a niche in the legal field. But it says something not about them, but about the Obama administration that Barack Obama would put these same attorneys into the Department of Justice.
In the second paragraph, Erickson employs Cheney's McCarthyite strategy of questioning the loyalties and values of the Justice Department lawyers in question. At the same time, he reminds us who the real defenders of the Constitution are—not some cowardly risk-averse sociopathic right-wing intellectual lightweights, but rather those on the left who understand that no single person should have the power to decide who deserves due process and who doesn't.  Further, as I understand the law, the Obama administration is under no obligation to take advantage of the "legal" avenues opened to them by the Military Commissions Act.  

In the third paragraph, Erickson comes out in favor of the politicization of the Department of Justice. For those of us with the long-term memory of your average goldfish, you can read all about it here and here. And I say "politicization" because Erickson implies that Obama ought to have a litmus test for lawyers: he should hire only those lawyers that share Erickson's point of view regarding the treatment and legal status of Guantanamo detainees.  As I understand it, though, Eric Holder, not Obama, is responsible for running Justice.

We cannot infer anything about the political views of Justice Department lawyers from the work they do at the Justice Department; neither can we make their employment at Justice contingent on their personal political views.  Politicizing Justice in this manner undercuts the very foundation of the legal system in this country; it engenders the belief that we are not all equal before the law, that how one is treated by the legal system may depend on one's own political views.  Perhaps that's what Cheney and her supporters really want.

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