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January 22nd, 2009

It’s Morning In America. No…For Real This Time…

Just ran across this on SLOG…

A Friend, Who’s a Lawyer, Stayed Up Last Night Reading Obama’s First Two Executive Orders

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on Thu, Jan 22 at 6:09 AM

Here’s what he discovered:

I was perusing and, as a nerd lawyer who enjoys reading written law (meaning statutes, regulations and the like), found myself reading Mr. O’President’s first two Executive Orders. One involves procedures for release by the Archivist of documents possibly subject to a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or a former President. Zzzzzzzzzzzz. The other is styled "Ethical Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel," setting forth rules about such things as acceptance of gifts and revolving door issues. What caught my eye, what would never have been ordered by W, is the following Ethical Commitment:

"6. Employment Qualification Commitment. I agree that any hiring or other employment decisions I make will be based on the candidate’s qualifications, competence, and experience."

This is huge. Understand that if an Executive Branch employee violates that rule, the Attorney General can go after the miscreant, including barring him or her from government service, barring him or her from lobbying the Federal government, enjoining him from the violation, and going after any cash or other things of value he or she got.

How different would today’s Justice Department, for example, look if such an Order had been in place in 2001? How many Federalist Society lawyers would have been hired ahead of Top Ten grads from major law schools?

Imagine! A requirement that public servants be selected based on their "qualifications, competence, and experience." We are entering a mysterious, brave, new world, one based on, um, common sense and the public interest.

One of my old and dear friends is a patent and copyright attorney.  I’m going to forward him this.  He might get a kick out of reading all the stuff on that’s going on in the public view now.

We are truly living in a new era…

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