The Champion

May 2007 , Page 4 

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Don't Put Politics Ahead of the Law

By Martin S. Pinales

Read more President's Column columns.

Critics are alleging that the Justice Department’s recent firing of certain U.S. attorneys was motivated by politics. One of the former federal prosecutors brought corruption charges against a Republican congressman. Another prosecutor did not file corruption charges against Democrats within a timeframe that pleased a Republican senator.

Should our U.S. attorneys — the chief law enforcement officers in their districts — consider political party affiliation when deciding which cases to prosecute? No. Certainly not. Perhaps someone should enlighten the White House and officials at the Justice Department, because I don’t think they received the memo.

The position of U.S. attorney is a political appointment. There is no other way to look at it. Any person taking the job knows he or she serves at the pleasure of the president. For example, when President Clinton moved into the White House, he dismissed all 93 U.S. attorneys. It was his right to replace them, an

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