No Surprise from the Jefferson Judge

The Justice Department was appropriately subdued Monday afternoon after learning that a federal trial judge had ruled in its favor and against Rep. William Jefferson's (D-La.) in the fight over a search of the politician's Congressional offices. The feds said that they would wait for the inevitable appeal before pouring over the evidence again and that they would continue to work with Congress to come up with a procedure that avoids this sort of a mess in the future.

The reason that caution is smart is because the judge who issued the ruling was the same judge who initially approved the search warrant that permitted the feds to sweep into Rep. Jefferson's office in the first place. Chief District Judge Thomas F. Hogan would have turned himself into a legal laughingstock had he effectively overruled himself and declared the fruits of that search off-limits. The real battle in this case, as all sides understand, will take place on appeal. And that means we are still several chapters away from any sort of legal conclusion to this tale of the war between two of the three branches of government.

By Andrew Cohen |  July 10, 2006; 8:00 PM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

This guy needs to go down. He and his family have been enriching themselves at public expense for years!

Posted by: G. Evans | July 10, 2006 09:58 PM

Mr Evans, if that's the criteria for "going down" much of a government do you suppose we would have left?

Posted by: B Lansing | July 11, 2006 12:18 AM

Congressional immunity is limited under the Constitution. It is not the same as sanctuary in a house of worship. Why do elected officials challenge transparency for themselves? As for unelected judges, they may provide their own rules regarding certain aspects of transparency. Who wants to watch sausage made, whether in Congress or in the courts? I do; I want to know the ingredients before enjoying them with my eggs over lightly, English muffins and home fries. (The scrapings left over from a Montreal smoked meat, including the peppercorns, add much to scrambled eggs, but they have not the mystery of legislative and judicial sausage.) Now where's my Zocor?

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | July 11, 2006 06:03 AM

Finally, a ruling! I can't believe our President caved and required a cooling off period. The American people have a right to expect swift justice when their lawmakers are embroiled in scandalous corruption. I see no issue of separation of powers here. I see the executive branch attempting to do its job and a very corrupt legislator with something to hide, attempting to use the very law he SWORE TO UPHOLD, to further support his illegal behavior.

It's time to crack down.

Posted by: Jessica in Gainesville, FL | July 12, 2006 11:08 AM

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