Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Morganelli: Kane Leading Us Into Black Hole
True, true, but it's been great fun watching the Kane trainwreck. And now, Kane promises to get those white men who are after her by scouring email servers to look for naughty emails.
Here's John's statement:
Attorney General Kathleen Kane's press conference in Philadelphia announcing the appointment of former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler as a Special Deputy Attorney General sinks Pennsylvania further into an unprecedented constitutional crisis that is shaking the foundation of our justice system.
From the the beginning of this whole ordeal, the actions and reactions of those involved have been suspect. First there was the questionable investigation of Ms. Kane herself which was started by a secret process in which a common pleas judge appointed a so called special prosecutor. Although that appointment was eventually upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the public confidence in that decision was questioned when it was learned that some of the justices who so ruled were involved in a related porn, email scandal allegedly uncovered by Ms. Kane. Thereafter, the Supreme Court's unprecedented suspension of Ms. Kane's law license even before she has been convicted of any crimes brought new questions as to whether due process has actually been suspended in these matters. Then, the action of the Pennsylvania Senate to invoke an obscure and essentially untested provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution to remove her short circuiting the established and recognized impeachment process for removal is now leading to a collision of constitutional provisions that may actually end up in the US Supreme Court. Mr. Gansler hinted at that likelihood in his comments during the announcement of his appointment. The prospect now that we have yet another layer of "special prosecutors" this time appointed by an embattled attorney general with a mission that seems unclear leads Pennsylvania further into a black hole that seems capable of spinning without direction for years to come.
In 2016, we will elect a new Attorney General. Before that, we may have a new, temporary attorney general appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate assuming that Ms. Kane is actually removed and assuming she does not defy such an order for removal and decides she can stay pending an appeal to the US Supreme Court. Whoever those persons are, they must possess strong, tested, criminal law and prosecution experience capable of understanding the aforesaid dynamics. Pennsylvania cannot afford "on the job training" with respect to the next attorney general.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved the appointment of the special prosecutor who investigated Kane last year and is also the body that suspended her law license last year. So I see no constitutional crisis there. Removal by the Governor upon address of 2/3 of the Pa. Senate can only occur after "after due notice and full hearing," so it presents no due process concerns. Though both impechment and senate removal are rare occurrences, so are Attorneys General who commit perjury.
What I find very troubling is Kane's appointment of a special prosecutor whose sole mission is to engage in a witch hunt of every state employee in a search for porn. The decision to launch this investigation is a legal one, so Kane is practicing law without a license. It's also a ridiculous waste of money. Although special prosecutor Doug Gansler stated he would only charge what the AG herself is paid, he indicated that the gaggle of mini-prosecutors he brought with him will be charging their firm rate. So Pennsylvanians will be paying millions to Maryland lawyers to look for naughty emails that Kane can then refuse to release in response to Right-to-Know requests.
She needs to go. The sooner, the better.