American Judicature Society Cites Need for Justice Department “Rescue Plan”

From: News Release-March 3, 2009:

Des Moines, IA – March 3, 2009 – In an editorial in the January-February 2009 issue of its journal, Judicature, the American Judicature Society has called on the new administration to make the restoration and reinvigoration of the Department of Justice a major priority.

The editorial notes that the Department’s reputation for political impartiality and the morale of its personnel are at their lowest ebb since the Department’s nadir in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Recent events, the editorial says, have done serious damage to public confidence in the even-handed administration of justice.

Recommendations for a rescue plan include encouraging a culture of independence; enforcing strict limits on contacts between Department personnel and other executive branch officials; requiring that Department personnel report any attempts by politicians to influence decision making or obtain non-public information; nominating to leadership positions persons of unquestioned ability and, whenever possible, significant experience in the Department; demanding adherence to the principle that all prosecutive decisions be based solely on the merits; fostering an atmosphere where dissenting views are respected; and ensuring vigorous investigations into alleged misconduct to ensure a regime of transparency and accountability.

The full editorial is available at

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