Monday, June 12, 2017

Sessions Cleans House, Ends Diversion of Settlements to Left-Wing Activists

Hans Bader  June 9, 2017

On June 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions prohibited Justice Department lawyers from diverting legal settlement funds to special interest groups outside the government that were neither victims of any wrongdoing, nor parties to such lawsuits. As legal commentator Walter Olson notes, “This is terrific news and a major step forward in [respecting] the constitutional separation of powers.”
Sessions’ memo to U.S. Attorneys banned a practice frequently used by Obama administration officials to circumvent the constitutionally-mandated appropriations process and dole out money to their political allies. Beneficiaries have also included “advocacy groups,” “legal aid programs, law schools, and an assortment of other causes that legislatures and their appropriations committees have shown no interest in funding.” 

As Attorney General Sessions noted, “unfortunately, in recent years the Department of Justice has sometimes required or encouraged defendants to make these payments to third parties as a condition of settlement. With this directive, we are ending this practice and ensuring that settlement funds are only used to compensate victims, redress harm, and punish and deter unlawful conduct.”......To Read More.....

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