Who has more power, Attorney General or Chief Justice?

I've been following the Alberto Gonzales thing, so I'm just curious about who has more "power". Wikipedia lists the Attorney General as "the chief lawyer of the US government"....but wikipeida has the Chief Justice as "the highest judicial officer in the country". So what exactly is the difference?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    It depends on what you mean by power.

    The justices of the United States Supreme Court are Constitutional officers with life time appointments (I believe it is Article III of the Constitution). The justices are the ultimate arbitors of what does and does not violate the Constitution. However, the Chief Justice is just one of those votes. As Chief Justice he gets to dictate some procedural issue, etc. But his vote does not count more than any of the other eight justices (You could make Scalia Chief Justice on a high court with eight young liberals and the Pro-Choice movement could shut its doors confidant that a woman's right to an abortion is ironclad).

    The Supreme Court is further limited in that it can only rule on issues brought before it. (If Roe never sued Wade, then the Supreme Court could never have touched the issue of abortion). Not much of a limitation admittedly, since if it is an important issue there will be a lawsuit.

    The Attorney General on the other hand is a Cabinent Officer appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. He can also be fired by the President. He does not make the laws of the United States, but he does enforce them. However, as a member of the Cabinet and the Chief Law Enforcement officer the Attorney General has a great deal of political power. The current Gonzalez mess is a good example.

    In the view of congressional Democrats the attorneys fired by the Justice Department lost their jobs because they refused to pursue cases against certain liberal politicians. Assuming that is true you can see the political power of the AG rests with deciding who to prosecute.

    An example would be the power distribution between a Traffic Cop and the Traffic Court Judge. The Traffic Cop has the power to decide whether or not to give you a ticket. If he does give you a ticket, then the power rests in the hands of the Traffic Court Judge to determine if you will pay the fine.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Attorney General is the United State's chief lawyer, but he cannot make any legal findings. Without a doubt, the person with more power of those two is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I once had a teacher who said, "Americans have no rights at all -- unless the supreme court says they do." And that's very true.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The chief justice of the supreme court of course. It is more difficult to fire them. Also we have a democracy and the power is suppose to be in the people. We vote for these roles or the people who choose them. So you vote for the pres and he chooses the attorney gen, so in reality, you have the power. Make sure you are using it, get out and vote.

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  • 4 years ago

    I am NOT ashamed of Bush . Again a bunch of double standard bs, by demos. compentecy...as compared to what..the clintons... - The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance - Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates* - Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation - Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify - Most number of witnesses to die suddenly - First president sued for sexual harassment. - First president accused of rape. - First first lady to come under criminal investigation - Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case - First president to establish a legal defense fund. - First president to be held in contempt of court - Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions - Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad - First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court The NYT is reporting that there are many on the Hill who view the Attorney General as having improper ties to the White House. Gonzales moved from White house Council to AG and there are those in DC who believe he has maintained improper ties to the President. This latest fiasco is part of the larger scheme to discredit and remove members of the Bush Administration in the remaining years of his second term. Yes folks, Democrats believe that the AG is too close to the President. I wonder where all these demos were when Bill Clinton, after firing ALL 93 prosecutors, hired one of his wife’s old law partners to be an associate AG? Does the name Webster Hubbell ring a bell? The Clintons had someone close to them so when the troubles began, they had an ally: Hubbell confirmed that his silence was bought in a recorded phone conversation with his wife when he was in prison. She told him the White House did not want him to go through with his plan to countersue his former law firm and that she might lose her job with the Interior Department if he did. Hubbell replied, “So I need to roll over one more time.” The New York Times revealed in May 1997 that the Clintons both lied when they claimed they knew nothing about Hubbell’s legal troubles when he resigned. They lied to give the president plausible deniability if it was charged that he helped arrange for the payment of hush money to Hubbell. It should be big news when two federal judges say the payments appear to have been made to obstruct justice. That was reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post, but both stopped short of implicating Clinton. No one asked why Starr did not refer this to the House as a possible impeachable offense.Media Monitor Here is an indication of what another Clinton White House will be. Regardless, I am still wondering where all these Democrats were back then. Why were they not vocal about improper ties when Hubbell was obviously taking bullets for the Clintons. It is that Democratic double standard rearing its ugly head one more time.

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  • 3 years ago

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    RE :Who has more power, Attorney General or Chief Justice?

    I've been following the Alberto Gonzales thing, so I'm just curious about who has more "power". Wikipedia lists the Attorney General as "the chief lawyer of the US government"....but wikipeida has the Chief Justice as "the highest judicial officer in the country". So what exactly is the difference?

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    Source(s): For Legal help I always recommend this website where you can find all the solutions. http://INSURANCEANDFINANCETIPS.INFO/index.html?src...
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