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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Using Prosecutorial Powers to Boost One's Career

There is an excellent column online by Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine (click here) on the proliferation of former federal prosecutors in the most powerful positions in the State of New Jersey.   The theme of the column is that New Jersey is not likely to get the systemic reform it needs when it is going to be run (from the Governor on down) by people who made their careers by using, and expanding, government power for professional advancement (while also being able to claim they were fighting crime, which always plays well politically).

Mulshine is a bit of a paleoconservative who is so enslaved to the notion of free markets (i.e., capitalism uber alles) that he supports getting rid of government involvement even in the few areas where it is necessary to sustain a modern, civilized society.   I do not endorse his views most of the time.  However, he is steadily on the side of those who see the dangers of government power, the potential for its abuse and the expansion of these powers in various ways from the growth of the regulatory state and nanny state functions to the growth in the danger of the vague laws which can be misused by the government to prosecute the innocent or undeserving (note the use of the connector "or").   He cites the constitutional lawyer and author Harry Silverglate (whose book, "Three Felonies a Day," is a worthwhile book to buy).

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and strategic analyst who engages in crisis management and other matters. Mr. Dixon cautions readers that this article is not legal advice. Mr. Dixon may be contacted for further comment through, or at 917-696-2442.

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