Responding to McCarthy on Stimson
I appreciate your strong views on this subject, Andy, but I don’t think the bulk of your post is at all responsive to what I wrote. I never said that those who seek to represent detainees should be “lauded.” Nor have I said that they should be immune from criticism. Nor have I said that private companies and citizens should not choose which firms they wish to retain on whatever basis they deisre. If you wish to retain counsel based upon whether they conduct pro bono representation for detainees or anyone else, so be it. That’s your choice.
The issue, as I have argued, is that it is inappropriate for a government attorney to suggest or encourage the informal sanctioning of attorneys due to their decision to provide representation for detainees in proceedings against the government. Yet that is what Stimson did. To me, this is as inappropriate as it would be for a prosecutor to encourage the sanctioning of attorneys representing criminal defendants. Thus, it was correct for Justice Department officials to immediately disassociate themnselves from Stimson’s remarks (as they did), and it was correct for Stimson to apologize (although it was a meager apology).