In a little noticed action, the Virginia bar has reprimanded Monica Marie Goodling, the attorney at the center of the allegations of politicization of the Bush Justice Department. Many are complaining that the reprimand shows that the bar has little teeth in enforcing such ethical rules. On the other hand, the reprimand is still more punishment that John Yoo, Jay Bybee and others received for their support of alleged war crimes over the torture program. (Actually, Bybee was not just spared punishment by the Obama Justice Department but he was previously given a lifetime appointment as a federal judge).
Goodling was found to have committed “a criminal or deliberately wrongful act” that reflected adversely on her “honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law.” She agreed to the reprimand and previously admitted before Congress that she used political affiliation and other political considerations in hiring lawyers for career positions in the U.S. Department of Justice.
She was just one example of people with less than stellar resumes being given high positions by the Bush Administration based on their blind partisan loyalty.
What is striking about the lack of significant punishment from the bar and the lack of any criminal charge is that Goodling (who is described as deeply religious and a graduate of Regent University Law School) lied to her supervisor on her actions.
President Bush did unprecedented damage to the Justice Department by filling it with hacks and political operatives. In Goodling’s case, she had little experience that would warrant an entry level position at Justice — let alone one of the highest positions in the department. She only graduated from Regent University Law School in 1999. She was the face of the type of policies and personnel pushed by Alberto Gonzales — generally viewed as one of the worst Attorneys General in the history of the department. On April 6, 2007, Goodling resigned, writing to Gonzales, “May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America.”
She is reportedly working “market research in Arlington, Va.”
Source: VA Lawyers Weekly