The Seattle Times
Judges appoint Sullivan as Seattle-based U.S. Attorney
September 26, 2007
By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter
Eleven U.S. District Court judges have formally appointed Jeffrey Sullivan as
the next U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington.
Sullivan was sworn in as interim U.S. attorney in January, shortly after the
Justice Department's controversial firing of John McKay in December.
Though his appointment was set to end Oct. 12, along with those of 11 other
interim U.S. attorneys across the country, Chief U.S. District Court Judge
Robert Lasnik said Sullivan was selected unanimously to stay on the job by the
local federal judiciary.
A controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act allowed the Bush
administration to name U.S. attorneys without confirmation from the Senate. That
provision was repealed early this year amid the uproar over the firings McKay
and at least seven other U.S. attorneys around the country.
Once the provision was repealed, the law regarding U.S. attorney appointments
returned to its former state: If someone isn't nominated and confirmed to the
position within 120 days, the federal court in the district gets to make the
appointment. The appointment lasts until someone is nominated by the president
and confirmed by the Senate.
Lasnik said last week that his law clerks had been reviewing federal law and
he had consulted with other chief district court judges in the Ninth Circuit to
see how they're handling the replacement of their U.S. attorneys.
"Our court has great regard for the United States Attorney's Office in this
district and we wanted to maintain the standard of excellence and
professionalism that John McKay set and that Jeff Sullivan has continued as
Interim U.S. Attorney," Lasnik wrote in an email this morning.