The second article, “Mukasey: No prosecutions in hiring scandal,” published Tuesday, August 12 by the Associated Press discusses the on-going controversy over potentially illegal hiring practices that occurred last year in the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. At the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, current Attorney General Michael Mukasey spoke about the scandal stating that there are no criminal prosecutions planned for those involved. Department officials have been discovered using political motivations in decisions regarding the hiring and firing of judges and lawyers.
Gonzalez resigned as internal investigations revealed he and his staff had discriminated against some applicants, basing his choices on political affiliation. Mukasey explained that reports so far had revealed violations of civil service laws but not criminal activity. Some Democrats, including Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont, have been critical of Mukasey and the proceedings, saying his statements are “premature” and that the administration is being insulated from accountability. These, and other issues have created a riff with the Bar Association.
The Attorney General claims that steps have been taken to ensure that this type of scandal will not happen in the future. There is still a possibility of criminal prosecutions in the firing of nine US Attorneys and hiring practices in the civil rights division of the department. I strongly disagree with the current outcome of this issue. While it may be true that technically those involved committed only “violations,” the US Justice Department should adhere to a higher standard than the average citizen.
It is embarrassing and ironic that the Justice Department, designed to enforce law and to ensure fair and impartial administration of law for all Americans, could be involved in such a scandal. In order to restore the department’s moral integrity and renew a positive relationship with the ABA, the harshest possible justice should be applied. The article did not address the role of the justice department within the US system, and doing so would have given the issue more context.
While we know the Alberto Gonzalez has left the department, the reader is also left uninformed about whether or not the other employees involved are still working there. I would have added these topics to the article to allow the reader to develop a deeper understanding of the issue. I feel that this article was presented in a fair and unbiased manner. Objections to the outcome of the controversy are given but equal time is dedicated to Mukasey’s responses.
A reader with a previous opinion on the matter would be unlikely to change it as a result of this article but would leave feeling more informed. Articles Able, David. “One Accuser Recants, 2d Alters Story in Rape Case. ” The Boston Globe. 21 August, 2008. http://www. boston. com/news/local/articles/2008/08/21/1_accuser_recants_2d_alters_story_in_rape_case/? page=1. Sherman, Mark. “Mukasey: No Prosecutions in Justice Hiring Scandal. ” Associated Press. 12 August, 2008. Yahoo News. http://news. yahoo. com/s/ap/20080812/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/mukasey_lawyers.