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David Vitter Is “Intimate” With Prosecutorial Discretion, but Wants to HALT Obama’s Use of it

by Mahwish Khan on 07/20/2011 at 1:22pm



Senator David VitterYou can’t make this stuff up.

The Senate sponsor of the legislation that would strip President Obama of prosecutorial discretion to stop unnecessary deportation (the HALT Act) is none other than the Senator with the most direct and personal knowledge of discretion: David Vitter.

Put simply, “Prosecutorial discretion” is the authority of an agency or officer charged with enforcing a law to decide whether to enforce the law in a particular case.

For example, you may recall that a few years ago, this Senator from Louisiana confessed to having committed certain “sins.” What he meant was that he’d engaged in the crime of procuring prostitutes via the DC Madam. Several of the women involved were prosecuted, but not Vitter.  Prosecutors opted not to pursue his case. That is discretion in action.

Vitter again benefited from prosecutorial discretion when the Senate Ethics Committee chose not to pursue the complaint against him brought to them by a group in DC called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

On the discretion front, Vitter is 2 for 2. Just imagine where Vitter would be without it.

Yes, Vitter knows from personal experience that someone accused of a crime can really get screwed unless there’s prosecutorial discretion (pun intended).  But he’s willing to take that power away from President Obama, as if the only person who should be allowed to benefit from it is himself.

And here we thought John Cornyn was the biggest hypocrite in the Senate. Vitter is most certainly giving him a run for his money.

If Vitter wants be the butt of jokes because he’s sponsoring a bill to halt discretion, that’s his prerogative. We’re happy to oblige.

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