It only stands to reason that the Department of Justice was constitutionally designated by the Founding Fathers to be under the auspices of the Judicial Branch, would it not?
But, alas, there was no constitutionally designated "Department of Justice," nor did the Founders see any need for one, as Congress has purview over the punishment of only two crimes: Piracy and Counterfeiting. On the rare occasion that such crimes were committed, the Attorney General presided over their prosecution....until 1870, when the present-day Department of Justice was contrived and created by the Republican Congress under President Ulysses S. Grant, before allowing the Southern States to return to the Union.
Why? To give the Executive Branch the means to use federal prosecution as a blunt political tool against enemies, and concurrently, for the promotion of friends. No other purpose existed then, and no other (constitutional) purpose exists today.
No such department is authorized by the Constitution, nor does the Executive Branch have such power appropriated to it under Article II, yet 28 USC section 501 is without ambiguity: "The Department of Justice is an executive department of the United States at the seat of Government."
For those who doubt what I am saying about the purpose of this unconstitutional department, please note the recent hubbub over the Obama Administration's use of prosecutions and denial of tax-exempt status to political advocacy groups of a conservative bent at approximately nine-to-one over their Democratic counterparts. Before the Conservatives cry foul, however, please be reminded that Democrats were similarly prosecuted at the rate of nine-to-one Republicans under the Bush Administration's Department of Justice during its tenure in office.
The Department of Justice is a blunt political tool, used by both parties in an equally scurrilous fashion, for the advancement of their respective agendas, and it is high time for it to go away.
Since the advent of this unauthorized department of government, Congress has invented 314,000 federal laws with prison as a penalty (though only the two listed above are authorized as being under congressional authority to punish) and due process of law has been transmogrified from the most honored in the world to statistically, the least "just" on earth.
As a result, the United States now leads the world and human history with the highest rate of conviction (98.6%) and far more prisoners than any dictator, tyrant, or "evil empire" in mankind's days on the planet. Not much of a recommendation for its continuation.
The Department of Justice was not authorized by our Constitution, and is, therefore, precluded from being established as a power of Government under Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights. Putting the power of public prosecution and imprisonment under the direct control of the head of a political party destroys the balance of powers any appearance of propriety. Such a vulgar abuse of power must end or our nation must stop its charade of calling itself a constitutional republic.
Suggestion: Perhaps we could devolve back to the rule of law and the actual words of our Constitution. Yes. Back to rule of law. Devolve back to what all of these politicians still swear to uphold....the United States Constitution.
Viva la Devolución!
Author of "The Way Back to America: a 10-step plan to restore the United States to Constitutional government."
Born in North Carolina and educated at the University of Virginia, Wake Forest University and Caledonian University in Scotland, Howell now lives in Warsaw, Poland with his wife, Dr. Magdalena Iwaniec-Woltz. Howell is the European Correspondent for The Richardson Post and Chairman of The International Centre for Justice.