Prosecutor Goes Underneath Her Robes: Verla Sue Holland and Attorney Tom O’Connell's Affair
Sergey Aleynikov Update

Federal Judges Taking Separation of Powers Seriously

Contrary to popular prosecutorial belief, a federal judge's duties include more than, "Do what DOJ tells you to do."  According to the Constitution, federal judges must serve as adversaries to prosecutors.  Power must check power in our system of separated powers.  In the Federalist No. 51, James Madison wrote:

In a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.

Federal judges - not prosecutors - were granted judicial power under Article III of the Constitution.  Nevertheless, many judges allowed prosecutors to execute de facto Article III power.  Deferring to and accepting all facts asserted by prosecutors as true, is an implicit surrender of the Judicial Branch's Article III power. 

After realizing that the United States Department of Justice is corrupt and untrustworthy, federal judges are taking their power back.  The Zhenli Ye Gon prosecution is a perfect example.

In United States v. Ye Gon, prosecutors hid evidence from a federal judge.  Once the judge uncovered the misconduct, prosecutors dismissed the case rather than face an evidentiary hearing.  The prosecutor may not escape that evidentiary hearing into their misconduct.

Mexico has moved to extradite Ye Gon.  The Department of Justice thus wants to make Ye Gon Mexico's problem.  Mike Scarcella, who has covered the Ye Gon case and deserves a journalism award for his attention to prosecutorial misconduct, is reporting that the Magistrate Judge has a gavel rather than a rubber stamp:

The Zhenli Ye Gon case just won't go away fast enough for the Justice Department.

A federal magistrate judge in Washington today ruled against the department in the extradition case against Ye Gon, who is wanted in Mexico on charges that include organized crime and drug violations. A judge in August dismissed the drug trafficking conspiracy charge against Ye Gon with prejudice.

You may read the rest of Scarcella's report here.

Comments