I was doing a web site on famous environmental quotes, and in the process thought the timing of an environmental issue fit nicely into the issue of the fired U.S. Attorneys.

As far as I know the particular environmental decision below was not brought up in the hearings on the attorney dismissals, but I thought the timing was interesting.

  • In 2004 the Bush administration eliminated the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule", which limited logging and development in nearly 60 million acres of national forests where there were no roads already built.
    See Bill Clinton's op-ed on the rule.
  • October 2005 - 20 conservation groups - represented by EarthJustice - filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco seeking to reinstate the original Roadless Rule.
  • On September 20, 2006, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte, in the San Francisco federal district court, reinstates the Clinton administration's roadless rule.
  • December 7, 2006 - Bush's justice department dismisses seven U.S. Attorneys (Laporte was not among them).
  • January 2007 - Congressional investigations focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage.
  • Several of the Attorneys said they thought they were dismissed because they refused to start investigations with political implications requested by Republicans.
  • March 2007 - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says the U.S. Attorneys "serve at the pleasure of the president".
  • Summer 2007 - A number of members of both houses of Congress publicly said Gonzales should resign, or be fired by Bush.
  • By mid-September 2007, nine senior staff of the Department of Justice associated with the dismissal controversy, including the Attorney General, had resigned.
  • May 2009 - Obama's Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, issued a temporary order governing development in "roadless" areas of national forests, requiring all new projects to be approved by him personally.
Was the roadless rule decision the straw that broke the camel's back regarding judges who were not loyal Bushie's? I guess we'll have to wait until Karl Rove writes his tell all book, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Timeline of the Roadless Rule | Earthjustice
Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy.

last updated 18 Dec 2010