Sunday, April 12, 2009

Borderless Blumenthal: There Ought to Be a Law

In attempting to stop development of a golf course displeasing to some environmental groups, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has adopted what he has called “extraordinarily unusual” tactics.

According to a story in the Harford Courant, Blumenthal, “who disagrees with the project's tentative approval by the state Department of Environmental Protection” has threatened to sue if the project goes forward.

In order to sue the developers of the golf course, Blumenthal must abandon his statutory requirement to serve in his capacity as a lawyer whose chief obligation is to represent the state in civil litigatory matters. The golf course project has already received temporary approval from Department of Environmental Protection, and Blumenthal is by law required to represent the interests of that state agency.

The series of events that led Blumenthal to leap over his statutory responsibilities in an effort to satisfy environmental groups that fall outside his purview is much less interesting than the fact that Blumenthal, by taking such a course, has divested himself of all statutory authority and left the state without effective legal representation to defend itself from a suit threatened by the attorney general acting, presumably, in his capacity as a private citizen.

Such measures are more than “extraordinarily unusual.” They are perversely subversive, and probably should be illegal.

If Blumenthal wishes to surrender his legal obligations and enter the lists as a private attorney representing some pet interest, he should resign from office.
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