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D.C. Delegate Asks the President for Courtesy of Consultation on Federal Law Enforcement Officials E-mail

https://norton.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/norton-asks-the-president-for-courtesy-of-consultation-on-federal-law

March 27, 2017

Norton Asks the President for Courtesy of Consultation on Federal Law Enforcement Officials in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released Norton’s letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he extend her the courtesy of consulting on the appointment of the U.S. Attorney, federal district court judges and other Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District of Columbia—the same courtesy extended to her by President George W. Bush.  Norton stressed that most of the federal law enforcement positions have unique roles in local D.C. affairs, including the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, U.S. Parole Commission Commissioners and the U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court.  The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia is responsible for the prosecution of both federal crimes and most local D.C. crimes committed by adults, and the office’s caseload is overwhelmingly local felonies.

“Both because these are important law enforcement positions and because they are profoundly local, consultation is in the best interest of both the President and D.C. residents,” Norton said.

Last week, Norton introduced her bill to create a local prosecutor’s office to prosecute all local crimes in the District, the third bill she has introduced as part of her “Free and Equal D.C.” series.

In her letter, Norton wrote, “Since the District has no senators, presidents of both parties have provided me a role in the nomination of federal district court judges and Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District.  As a member of the same political party, Presidents Clinton and Obama extended me the courtesy to recommend such officials in the same manner as Democratic senators…As a member of a different political party, President George W. Bush extended me the courtesy to consult on nominations.”

Norton’s full letter is below.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As you begin to consider appointments for federal district court judges and Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District of Columbia, I write to request that you extend me the courtesy to consult on such nominations.  Like the residents of states, District residents, who pay the highest per capita federal income taxes in the United States and have fought and died in all of this nation’s wars, would greatly appreciate a role in the nomination of such officials.

Since the District has no senators, presidents of both parties have provided me a role in the nomination of federal district court judges and Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District.  As a member of the same political party, Presidents Clinton and Obama extended me the courtesy to recommend such officials in the same manner as Democratic senators.  Pursuant to this authority, I formed a commission of distinguished lawyers and non-lawyers, chaired by a former president of the D.C. Bar, to screen and recommend candidates.  I then made my recommendations to the president from among those candidates.  As a member of a different political party, President George W. Bush extended me the courtesy to consult on nominations, whereby the White House Counsel’s office informed me of the candidate before a nomination and solicited my opinion.  I request that your administration provide me with at least a consultative role similar to that provided by the Bush administration.

While I request consultation on all such nominations, it is particularly important for those officials who have a unique role in local D.C. matters: the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA), U.S. Parole Commission Commissioners and the U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia is responsible for the prosecution of both federal crimes and local D.C. crimes committed by adults, but most of the office’s cases are local D.C. criminal cases.  D.C. is the only jurisdiction in the United States, including the U.S. territories, that does not have authority to prosecute all crimes committed under its laws.  There is no law enforcement issue of greater importance to D.C. residents on which they have less say than the prosecution of local crimes.

CSOSA is a federal agency whose sole responsibility is the supervision of offenders convicted under D.C. law.  In fiscal year 2015, CSOSA supervised on average 12,000 offenders per day and over 18,000 that year, and therefore has a critical role to play in public safety and rehabilitation in the District.

While the Parole Commission has responsibility for both federal and D.C. offenders, more than 80 percent of its population consists of D.C. offenders.  In fiscal year 2015, the D.C. offender population was more than 11,000.  Like CSOSA, the Parole Commission has a critical role to play in public safety and rehabilitation in the District.

The U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court not only protects the local D.C. judges and judicial buildings, he or she also enforces court orders on local D.C. matters, from warrants to evictions.  To a large extent, this federal law enforcement official serves the role of a local sheriff.

As you can see, most of these officials relate primarily to the District of Columbia.  I believe that both D.C. residents and the nomination process would be well-served by consultation with the only congressional representative in either chamber.  On behalf of the more than 670,000 American citizens who live in the District, I urge you to consider providing me a role in the nomination process.

Sincerely,

Eleanor Holmes Norton

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