20 March 2007
If I heard the news at the break correctly the Senate passed a bill rescinding a provision in the Patriot Act which gave the Justice Department the authority to appoint U. S. Attorneys, bypassing the need for Senate confirmation.

According to Rush Limbaugh, this violates the separation of powers.

Let’s slow down and think about this. Prior to passage of the aforementioned provision of the Patriot Act, the Justice Department did not have the authority which the Senate now wants to take away. One would think that if the Senate wants simply to return a certain state of affairs to the state in which it existed previous, and if the Congress had the authority to alter that condition in the first place, then rescinding a provision of law passed by them would not violate the separation of powers. In other words: if Congress had the authority to delegate to the Justice Department the appointment power, then it certainly has the authority to take back what it has given. In
my previous posting on this, I noted that U. S. Attorneys are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate, in the Patriot Act, waived its ‘advise and consent’ authority. Now the Senate wants it back.

I’m having difficulty seeing the separation of powers violation.


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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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