Politics and U.S. attorneys


Re “E-mails detail goals in firing U.S. attorneys,” March 14

The U.S. attorney scandal is only the latest example of the administration’s view that there is no limit to the role of politics in governing. U.S. attorneys are supposed to be independent, not adhering to administration initiatives, as the leaked memo said.

Whether it be the Department of Justice, Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Public Broadcasting board, we have seen the Bush administration try to remake once independent agencies where the only thing that matters is the person’s ideology. That is just plain wrong for our politics and our country.


Ocean, N.J.



There’s all this talk of abuse and politicking when appointing and dismissing regional U.S. attorneys. Of course it’s rife with politics and intrigue; that’s the system -- U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president and serve at his pleasure.

Stop tinkering with the symptoms -- the political firing of eight U.S. attorneys. If politicians are serious, eliminate the appointment system.


Van Nuys


As you so eloquently stated: U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and presidents have the right to appoint and remove them. What’s the problem with eight of them being fired?

If President Bush appointed them, doesn’t he have the right to fire them? And for any reason? What is the difference between these firings and an owner of a baseball team firing the general manager?

The Times would be doing its readers a service if you just stuck to the really important issues of the day and did not look at this presidency under a microscope. If a Democrat is elected president next year, I’ll be watching you to see if you hold that person to this same scrutiny.


Hicksville, N.Y.


Your continuing partisan coverage of the U.S. attorney firings demonstrates that your newspaper has become a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.




Re “Legal beagle,” editorial, March 14

This editorial is correct. The fired U.S. attorneys, the nation and the federal justice system require clearer, fuller explanations for the forced resignations than Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales has offered to date. And lawmakers must continue to demand that the Bush administration furnish comprehensive reasons for the actions taken. Absent better explanations, respect for the even-handed administration of justice will erode and the rule of law will be undermined.


Richmond, Va.

The writer is a professor of law at the University of Richmond.