Monday, August 27, 2007


Gonzales resigns!

This just in: according to the New York Times, Attorney General Gonzales has resigned:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

O frabjous day! Calloo, callay!

Update, 9:50 a.m.: It occurs to me that the Senate is in recess now. And AG Gonzales has resigned now. Which means that Spurious George could appoint anyone he wants in a recess appointment now, and that person would hold the AG office until the end of Bush's reign.



The Ridger, FCD said...

Oh, come on. He promised he wouldn't do that. That's why they went on recess.

Yeah, I know. I don't trust him either. But later stories say AGAG will be around till mid-September.

Still, I have to wonder about the utility of recess appointments. Made sense back in the day, but now? The whole Senate, not just a committee, could be back in town in a day.

It's just ripe for abuse.

Dr. Momentum said...

Looks like his first choice might be Michael Chertoff.


Barry Leiba said...

Ridger: Yes, they seem quite obsolete, and they've long been used for things they weren't intended for (non-emergency appointments). Thing is, the use of recess appointments is a largely unsung thing: every modern president has made many dozens of them (Reagan leads the pack with almost 250). Most of them don't make much news. GWB's have generated more controversy than usual.

Yes, very ripe for abuse.

James: Hey, c'mon, Mr Chertoff has done such a stellar job where he is — don't you think he deserves a promotion?

scouter573 said...

Let's take a look at this. First we had John Ashcroft, then replaced by Alberto Gonzales, so we should expect... Bozo the Clown?

The derivative on this curve is not inspiring.

Jim Fenton said...

Could he really appoint anyone? Wouldn't they at least need to be members of the Bar, unlike, say, Karl Rove?

Barry Leiba said...

Well, let's see....
The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the office of the Attorney General. This is from Section 35 of that Act:

«And there shall also be appointed a meet person, learned in the law, to act as attorney-general for the United States, who shall be sworn or affirmed to a faithful execution of his office; whose duty it shall be to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments, and shall receive such compensation for his services as shall by law be provided.»

Now, what does "a meet person, learned in the law," mean? The DOJ web site has a bit of an intro here, but doesn't answer that question. I looked back at the bios of the AGs, and at least through 1850 they all had law degrees and were members of the bar.

A Google search doesn't find any more information. My guess is that the Supremes would ultimately have to decide whether Bozo the Clown was sufficiently learned in the law.