//  8/3/17  //  Quick Reactions

Senators Lindsey Graham, Cory Booker, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Richard Blumenthal introduced a bill today that they seem to think would forbid the Attorney General to fire a Special Counsel unless the AG files an action in federal court and proves that good cause exists for the firing. Problem is the bill doesn’t do that.

Here’s the operative text of the bill:

A special counsel appointed by the Attorney General, or any other official appointed by the Attorney General who exercises a similar degree of independence from the normal Department of Justice chain of command, may only be removed if the Attorney General files an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and files a contemporaneous notice of the action with the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

If they mean to say what I think they mean to say, the drafters of this ball misplaced the word “only.” They should have written, “may be removed only if the Attorney General files an action . . .”  But instead they wrote, “may only be removed if the Attorney General files an action.”

As written, the bill seems to suggest that if the Attorney General files the action in D.C. District Court and the notices in Congress, the only thing that can happen to the Special Counsel is that she gets canned. What they mean to say, I think, is that the only way the Special Counsel can get canned is if the Attorney General files the action in D.C. District Court and the notices in Congress. 

Most likely, this bill will never become law. And probably no one interpreting it will be as persnickety and annoying as I am. But if you happen to work in the offices of Senators Graham, Booker, Whitehouse, or Blumenthal, maybe go ahead and move the word “only.” Just to be safe.

 


Legitimacy and the Supreme Court

6/19/19  //  Commentary

It is illegitimate to consider legitimacy. So say many conservatives who seem terrified that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. might care about public perception of the U.S. Supreme Court. But they are wrong.

Stephen Vladeck

University of Texas

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Versus Trump: Bet You Can't Untie This Knot

6/13/19  //  Uncategorized

This week on Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss a decision undoing the Trump Administration's new rules that would ban much online gambling. The opinion also leads them into a discussion of the powers of district judges, the Office of Legal Counsel, the Attorney General, and more. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

My Speech at Harvard Law School’s 2019 Class Day

6/12/19  //  Latest Developments

By Roberta Kaplan: Becoming a great lawyer requires that you be courageous, press boundaries wherever you are, and insist that things can always change for the better, especially now.

Take Care