AMAC Exclusive – By Neil Banerji
Earlier this month, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a new bill creating a state commission board to monitor – and potentially fire – district attorneys who refuse to enforce the law. The innovative approach to holding rogue left-wing prosecutors accountable could soon become a staple in other red states as well.
The bill, SB 92, provides for the establishment of an eight-member commission that can recall district attorneys or solicitors general for a number of reasons, including “willful misconduct,” “persistent failure to perform his or her duties,” and “conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.” SB 92 passed the Georgia Senate 32 to 24 and the Georgia House 97 to 77 in March before Governor Kemp signed it into law on May 5.
The commission, officially titled the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PAQC) has also been granted the authority to further investigate instances in which local prosecutors may have been unduly influenced by “bias,” “conflicts of interest,” and “financial interest,” as well as factors completely unrelated to the facts of the prosecution at hand.
In a press release, Kemp declared, “As hardworking law enforcement officers routinely put their lives on the line to investigate, confront, and arrest criminal offenders, I won’t stand idly by as they’re met with resistance from rogue or incompetent prosecutors who refuse to uphold the law.” Moreover, he stated, “The creation of the PACQ will help hold prosecutors driven by out-of-touch politics than commitment to their responsibilities accountable and make our communities safer.”
Kemp also channeled the frustration of many Americans – in Georgia and elsewhere – living under prosecutors who have embraced the far left’s “restorative justice” agenda that includes not prosecuting “minor” crimes like drug possession and robbery. As Kemp put it, “People are just fed up. People are fed up of local prosecutors who are not doing their job. They’re not fulfilling their duties and their oaths under the law and prosecuting crimes that are on our books.”
The PACQ will be composed of a five-member investigative panel and a three-member hearing panel. The first panel, composed of three former prosecutors and two attorneys, will have one member appointed by the governor, one by the lieutenant governor, one by the Georgia Senate Committee on Assignments, and two by the Speaker of the Georgia House. The latter panel will be composed of a “citizen member” appointed by the governor, a district attorney elected by the Georgia Senate, and a former judge elected by the Georgia House.
The PAQC will commence this October and will start accepting complaints about prosecutors next July.
SB 92 has unsurprisingly received significant pushback from Democrat prosecutors in Georgia and other far-left “restorative justice” advocates throughout the country. Fani Willis, the D.A. for Atlanta’s Fulton County, has called the bill “racist,” insisting that it is just a way for Georgia Republicans to target minority prosecutors. Notably, Willis is engaged in a dubious lawsuit against former President Donald Trump stemming from the 2020 election that could make her susceptible to scrutiny from the PAQC.
Deborah Gonzalez, another far-left D.A. in nearby Athens, Georgia, was similarly upset about the bill, calling it “an overstep on the part of the legislature to undermine the voice and vote of the people who elected us as D.A.s based on our approach and what they felt they wanted, in terms of the way that justice should be done in their community.” Like Willis, Gonzalez could become a prime target for the committee after she has openly refused to prosecute crimes like marijuana possession and unlawful abortion.
The clear concern from far-left prosecutors is a sign for Georgia Republicans that they’re on the right track. “That’s the whole point of this bill, is to restore public safety in places where you have rogue district attorneys who simply are not doing their job,” said Georgia Republican Rep. Houston Gaines of Athens.
The Georgia bill could become a blueprint for Republicans in other states as crime continues to be a major issue in many cities. In Missouri earlier this year, Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey successfully ousted embattled St. Louis D.A. Kim Gardner for refusing to enforce the law as crime skyrocketed, while Pennsylvania Republicans launched an ultimately unsuccessful effort to impeach Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner last year. The Georgia model could provide a more uniform and organized process for state-level Republicans throughout the country to hold failed D.A.’s accountable.
If Georgia’s new commission is successful, Republicans may finally have an opportunity to gain ground in the fight against woke prosecutors and their dereliction of duty.
Neil Banerji is a proud Las Vegas resident and former student at the University of Oxford. In his spare time, he enjoys reading Winston Chu.