Pardons: Just Keeping Score

AG Mukasey is “of course disturbed” by the DOJ Inspector General’s findings that Monica Goodline, Kyle Sampson, former White House Liason Jan Williams, and EOUSA (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) Director John Nowacki (who is still at the White House), all “committed misconduct, by considering political and ideological affiliations in soliciting and selecting IJs [immigration judges], which are career positions protected by the civil service laws.”

My personal favorites are some of the questions that Goodling asked job applicants:

Tell us about your political philosophy. There are different groups of conservatives, by way of example: Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.

[W]hat is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?

Aside from the President, give us an example of someone currently or recently in public service who you admire.

Mukasey noted that “it is crucial that the American people have confidence in the propriety of what we do and how we do it, and I will continue my efforts to make certain they can have such confidence.” And he mentioned some reforms he is taking to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

But of course Mukasey is the Attorney General, and he could, “of course”, prosecute these people.

So now we three options:

1) Mukasey prosecutes them.

2) Nothing happens.

3) Bush pardons them on his way out.

Any guesses as to what happens?

UPDATE: One thing that stands out in all of this is not just the grotesque corruption here, but also its incompetence. Really good underminers of the rule of law are able to cover at least some of the their tracks. Asking questions like this just manufactures witnesses. Bryan Leiter also points to documents that Williams provided to Goodling detailing how to check applicants for political affiliations–including searching for their political contributions. Bad enough creating this paper trail. But then apparently Goodling proceeded to do this on her DOJ computer!

Goodling’s husband is Mike Krempasky, who runs (and from all accounts FWIW is supposed to be a very nice guy). It’s not like someone in the family isn’t net-savvy. Jeez.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.