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Federal Judge Criticizes Eric Holder for ‘Unprecedented’ Action That Executive Branch Had ‘No Authority’ to Take

Posted by on Apr. 11, 2014 at 4:31 AM
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Federal Judge Criticizes Eric Holder for ‘Unprecedented’ Action That Executive Branch Had ‘No Authority’ to Take

A federal judge strongly criticized Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday for taking what he said was unilateral action on drug sentencing.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the National Action Network convention in New York, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The 16th annual convention will run through April 12. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor Jr., a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, expressed his unease with Holder directive to federal prosecutors on reducing prosecutions and sentencing for drug crimes, thus bypassing the regular commission process.

“The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment,” Pryor said.

The Sentencing Commission was already forming an amendment to the sentencing guidelines to submit to Congress for consideration.

“I regret that before we voted on the amendment, the attorney general instructed assistant United States attorneys across the Nation not to object to defense requests to apply the proposed amendment in sentencing proceedings going forward,” Pryor said. “That unprecedented instruction disrespected our statutory role.”

Pryor said that under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, the commission, acting “as an independent commission in the judicial branch,” to establish sentencing policies and practices. It’s the role of Congress to decide wither to revise or disapprove of the commission’s proposed amendments to sentencing guidelines.

“We do not discharge our statutory duty until we vote on a proposed amendment, and Congress, by law, has until Nov. 1 to decide whether our proposed amendment should become effective.,” Pryor said.

The Sentencing Commission met Thursday in Washington. It sent Congress amended sentencing guidelines involving drug-related convictions.

During the process of drafting the amended guidelines, Holder testified to the commissioner earlier this year. But then directed federal prosecutors to proceed as if the new guidelines were adopted, essentially superseding both the judiciary and Congress.

“I appreciate the attorney general’s personal appearance before the commission last month and his helpful comments in support of this amendment, but I hope that we can avoid, in the future, the kind of improper instruction that he sent federal prosecutors before we voted on the amendment,” he said.

by on Apr. 11, 2014 at 4:31 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

not shocked

grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

 OK.  I haven't had my third cup of coffee yet today.  Would someone please explain this to me?

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM
1 mom liked this

 

U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor Jr., a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, expressed his unease with Holder directive to federal prosecutors on reducing prosecutions and sentencing for drug crimes, thus bypassing the regular commission process.

“The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment,” Pryor said.

Quoting grandmab125:

 OK.  I haven't had my third cup of coffee yet today.  Would someone please explain this to me?

 Judge Pyror is explaining to Holder that the exectutive branch doesn't get to make law.

grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

 Thanks.  I think I'll go get that third cup of coffee now.  LOL.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor Jr., a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, expressed his unease with Holder directive to federal prosecutors on reducing prosecutions and sentencing for drug crimes, thus bypassing the regular commission process.

“The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment,” Pryor said.

Quoting grandmab125:

 OK.  I haven't had my third cup of coffee yet today.  Would someone please explain this to me?

 Judge Pyror is explaining to Holder that the exectutive branch doesn't get to make law.

 

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

 

Quoting grandmab125:

 Thanks.  I think I'll go get that third cup of coffee now.  LOL.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor Jr., a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, expressed his unease with Holder directive to federal prosecutors on reducing prosecutions and sentencing for drug crimes, thus bypassing the regular commission process.

“The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment,” Pryor said.

Quoting grandmab125:

 OK.  I haven't had my third cup of coffee yet today.  Would someone please explain this to me?

 Judge Pyror is explaining to Holder that the exectutive branch doesn't get to make law.

 

 No Problem

erika9009
by Silver Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM
4 moms liked this

Since when does King Obama and Prince Holder care what a judge thinks???

____________________________________________________

Erika..

Children are a blessing and are never inconvenient.............

jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Apr. 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I couldn't help it - I laughed out loud at this!  

Quoting erika9009:

Since when does King Obama and Prince Holder care what a judge thinks???



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