OPR Report on Jay Bybee Finds Serious Lapses of Judgment

David Johnston and Scott Shane report:

An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings.

The report by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal ethics unit within the Justice Department, is also likely to ask state bar associations to consider possible disciplinary action, which could include reprimands or even disbarment, for some of the lawyers involved in writing the legal opinions, the officials said.

Before we disbar Jay Bybee, can’t we impeach him and get him off the appeals court? Under the circumstances, it would just be absurd to be a trial judge and have your decision-making overruled by Judge Bybee or to be a defendant and have yourself sent to jail by him. A lifetime appointment to the appeals court is a high honor and privilege. Anyone about whose legal conduct we’re debating whether or not it rising to the level of criminal culpability is not fit to serve.