The Economist: Merrick Garland and his critics
This astute analysis from Lexington, The Economist‘s American politics columnist, details Attorney General Merrick Garland’s tenure in office thus far and actions he could take to shore up the Justice Department’s commitment to the rule of law. It includes proposals outlined by Presidential Reform Project co-chairs Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith:
The concern that Mr. Garland is not shoring up his department’s defences against a renewed authoritarian assault seems more solid. Mr. Goldsmith and his co-author Bob Bauer have proposed many ways to do so, some of which were included in a capacious reform bill passed by the Democratic House. It would compel the DOJ to police presidential pardons for corruption, for example, and it would also require the attorney-general to record all communications with the White House. Other suggestions, which typically involve codifying the unwritten norms that Mr. Barr flouted, would not require legislation. Yet there is little progress on any of them. The House bill has been sidelined. The Justice Department has made no discernible effort to make its norms harder to contravene. And it has actively resisted calls to beef up its watchdog, the inspector-general.