Douglas Berman, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University:
"I suspect we will see stories in the days ahead about Ashcroft's legacy, and I suspect most of those stories will focus on the "war on terror." However, from my sentencing-centric perspective, I think the Ashcroft Justice Department's perceived "war on judges" â€” represented most tangibly by the Feeney Amendment and its aftermath (see coverage here and here) â€” should be a big part of the historical story of his tenure as head of DOJ.
A number of commentators have reasonably suggested that the Blakely decision may reflect an example of the judiciary striking back, and Judge Young's opinion in Green (discussed here) and Judge Panner's opinion in Detwiler (discussed here) clearly are reactions to the view that Ashcroft's DOJ violated separation of powers principles. Thus, we might even attribute the current turmoil with (and the expected demise of) the federal sentencing guidelines to the now out-going AG." [November 9, 2004; Sentencing Law & Policy has more]