David R. Henderson  

A Small but Significant Step Away from Peronism

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Jeff Sessions's attack on corruption.

I posted last December about Trump's first picks for his cabinet and stated that one of his worst picks, in what was a surprisingly good domestic lineup, was his Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But when you are serious about policy, you should always give credit where credit is due.

And Jeff Sessions deserves credit. Here's how Walter Olson at Cato-at-Liberty puts it:

In a memo dated June 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ended the practice by which the Department of Justice earmarks legal settlement funds for non-governmental third-party groups that were neither victims nor parties to the lawsuit. This is terrific news and a major step forward in respecting both the constitutional separation of powers and the private rights that litigation is meant to vindicate.

The use of surplus or unclaimed settlement money for causes allegedly similar to those served by the litigation ("cy près," in the legal jargon) is not itself new. In recent years, however, law enforcers at both state and federal levels have developed it as a way to direct funds to a wide variety of causes, from private charities and advocacy groups to legal aid programs, law schools, and an assortment of other causes that legislatures and their appropriations committees have shown no interest in funding.

Wally titles his post "Freeze That Slush: DoJ Cuts Off Flow of Settlement Cash To Private Groups." The word "slush" is an understatement. Obama didn't start this practice but he certainly extended and perfected it, doing his best to imitate Juan and Eva Peron.

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CATEGORIES: Public Choice Theory

COMMENTS (2 to date)
Rich Berger writes:

You don't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.

AlanG writes:

I'll sit up and listen as soon as the government stops illegally seizing all the money that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac are earning above the bailout amount. Maybe this isn't Peronism but it's certainly illegal.


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