The Corner

Re: Chertoff for AG

Kathryn — If the Administration could avoid a protracted confirmation bloodletting — a very big if — I think that replacing Alberto Gonzales with Michael Chertoff would be a very positive step.  Gonzales’ departure is long overdue.  Indeed, the only remotely defensible reason for his remaining as AG has been that Senate Democrats would conduct show trials during his successor’s confirmation hearings.  While the Department of Homeland Security has hardly been without problems of its own, there are no questions about Chertoff’s intellect and integrity.  Indeed, he would bring substantial experience to the job — more than Gonzales had — and would be more respected by those who fear Gonzales has unduly politicized the Justice Department.  Before coming to DHS, Chertoff was a federal judge, U.S. Attorney, and Assistant Attorney General.  That said, I find it hard to believe the administration will make this move, and so the Justice Department will have to hobble along for another 16 months with AGAG at the helm.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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