Nearly two dozen of the 93 U.S. Attorney’s offices are filled with leaders who are not confirmed by the Senate, Legal Times reports. Next month, the terms of 11 interim U.S. Attorneys simultaneously expire; federal district courts have the authority to replace them. Some have served without Senate confirmation or court scrutiny for more than a year, inviting credibility questions. “As a presidential nominee, you’re treated differently. You’re afforded greater deference in terms of the perception of law enforcement agencies, the court, the community — they tend to treat nominated candidates with greater respect,” says former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who was among the nine U.S. Attorneys fired in 2006.
“Having 23 of 93 U.S. Attorneys not having a Senate confirmation strikes me as extraordinarily high,” says Edward Dowd, president-elect of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys and former U.S. Attorney in St. Louis during the Clinton administration. “Twenty-three is a very disturbing number,” says a staffer to a Democratic senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s not like [the Justice Department] has been floating names and getting shut down. They just haven’t been floating names.”