Saturday, March 24, 2007

Read the Constitution Senator Kyl

Kyle to Kyl via epluribusmedia.

I'm late on this, Senator Kyl has seen the light and voted to close the oversight loophole in US attorney appointment snuck into the Patriot Act Renewal legislation without the knowledge of any legislator.

Still I do have the sense that people who talk about constitutionality haven't read the document recently (it's not long you know).

An attempt was made February 16, 2007 to pass a bill in the Senate reversing the changes that were made to the U.S. Attorney appointment process in the Patriot Reauthorization Act in March 2006. Senator Kyl was there saying no, repeating the objection of Deputy Attorney Paul McNulty:


Kyl's chief concern is the bill's awarding of U.S. attorney appointment power to the courts if a permanent nominee is not named within 120 days, which the Arizonan believes may overstep the separation of powers.

The US Constitution Article II section 2

the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Senator Kyl is not alone. The Deputy Attorney General (who really should be familiar with the constitution) wrote to the Senate

" S. 214 would not merely reverse the 2006 amendment; it would exacerbate the problems experienced under the prior version of the statute by making judicial appointment the only means of temporarily filling a vacancy—a step inconsistent with sound separation-of-powers principles. We are aware of no other agency where federal judges—members of a separate branch of government—appoint the interim staff of an agency. "

Now Mr McNulty may consider his judgement as to what are and are not "sound separation-of-powers principles" to be superior to the judgement of the framers of the constitution. I assume that, being a Bush appointee, he has no respect for the constitution and much prefers to make one up as he goes along. I might add that giving sole power to the president (via the attorney general) does not seem to me to be consistent with sound separation- of-powers principles. As the 2006 amendment, which was slipped into the act on the request of the executive and without the knowledge of one single legislator who voted on it without knowing it was there, I can't really grasp the chutspa of an opponent of its repeal daring to write the phrase separation-of-powers.

Kyl and McNulty are not the only ones who might want to brush up on the constitution.
here are two other links.

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