Reid may be basing his ten-day cycle on a 1921 Attorney General opinion that a ten day gap was likely too short a recess, but a 1993 DoJ briefing argued for a gap of as small as 3 days. I noted these opinions here. James notes a number of recess appointments made during brief recesses (as short as 11 days).The New York Times has an editorial this morning, Why This Scandal Matters, talking about the US Attorney Purge and the Justice Department.
My guess is that President Bush would be willing, based on his track record, to make a recess appointment for a recess of 24 hours, and then seek to fight it out with the Senate. As such, James is right: this won’t work.
Justice Department headquarters has become deeply partisan. Young operatives like Ms. Goodling were apparently allowed to hire and promote based on party membership. Political appointees cleared the way for laws designed to disenfranchise minority voters, and brought litigation to remove Democratic-leaning voters from the rolls.That sounds really good but the reality is Bush will simply ignore the congress if they attempt to make DOJ the justice department for all Americans not just the Republican Party.
The department’s integrity lies in tatters. As a result of the purge, Tim Griffin, a Republican operative and Karl Rove protégé, was installed as the top federal prosecutor in eastern Arkansas. Rachel Paulose, a 33-year-old Republican activist with thin prosecutorial experience, was assigned to Minnesota. If either indicted a prominent Democrat tomorrow, everyone would believe it was a political hit.
Congress has to save the Justice Department, something President Bush shows no interest in doing. It should pass a resolution of “no confidence” in Mr. Gonzales, and push for his removal. But it also needs to insist on new leadership that will restore the department’s traditions of professionalism and impartiality, and re-establish that in the United States, the legal system does not work to advance the interests of a political party.
I have not been a supporter of the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney but it is becoming obvious that the only way to end the lawlessness in the White House is to remove them from office in the only way the constitution allows. And I'm not just talking about Alberto Gonzales.
A quick message to the Democrats who control both the House and the Senate: the only thing you can do that George W. Bush will pay any attention to is impeachment. Anything else you try to do is a waste of time so don't bother.