We all have a system of ethics that we live by. Regardless of how we see God or the universe, every person has an expectation of good and right. We can discover this for ourselves as we think of the times that others have angered us.
These times point to the multifaceted intricacies of our personal moral code. The expectation we place on ourselves typically is projected on others. When they fail to meet this standard, we get mad at them. This can lead to confusion as the other person may not see or hold to your ethic. But, when you have set rules to operate by, then this confusion should not exist.
This is the case when practicing law in America. We have set actions that are expected and actions that are forbidden. Recently the Department of Justice (DOJ) was caught violating these rules by a judge in Texas.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, of Texas, had issued the order earlier this month, after alleging DOJ attorneys misled him about the implementation of Obama’s executive orders on illegal immigrants.
Attorneys had told Hanen that a key component – an expansion of a 2012 program to protect illegal immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. as children – hadn’t been implemented. But officials later revealed they had given more than 108,000 people three-year reprieves from deportation under the expanded rules, as well as work permits.
Hanen’s scathing order filed on May 19 accused the DOJ of a “calculated plan of unethical conduct.” He ordered that all DOJ lawyers attend a yearly ethics course. He also ordered the department to turn over the names of those who received the reprieves.
The order appears to have a two-fold motivation. The first is, of course, to help the lawyers remember the rules they are expected to abide by. The second was to punish all the judges and warn them not to make this mistake.
But, like most of our society today, the DOJ is seeking to alleviate or remove the pain of its wrong actions.
In Tuesday’s filing, the DOJ estimated that the ethics training mandated would cost upwards of $7.8 million.
“The sanctions ordered by the Court far exceed the bounds of appropriate remedies for what this Court concluded were intentional misrepresentations, a conclusion that was reached without proper procedural protections and that lacks sufficient evidentiary support,” lawyers for the department said.
The question is whether or not the District Court will allow these lawyers to wiggle out of this or not.