February 9th, 2010
05:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Feds keep wheels of justice from grinding to a halt


Washington braced Tuesday for a second major winter storm. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) – The wheels of justice have been slowed but not paralyzed by the one-two punch of wintry blasts forcing much of the federal government to shut down this week.

Justice officials said Tuesday that essential personnel - including Attorney General Eric Holder - have managed to keep critical counterterrorism and other priority missions up and running - even as the nation's capital is buried in snow and bracing for more.

"All of the necessary national security functions and public safety functions are fully operational," FBI Assistant Director Michael Kortan told CNN.

But the weather has forced the closing of various U.S. attorneys' offices, affecting more than a thousand federal prosecutors and support staff in the Washington metro area alone.

Of the 94 U.S. attorneys' offices nationwide, nine were forced to close Monday, according to Justice Department spokesman Melissa Schwartz. She told CNN those offices are the one for the District of Columbia, Maryland, Eastern Virginia, Eastern Arkansas, Western Arkansas, Northern Oklahoma, Western Tennessee and Kansas.

On Tuesday, closings were required in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Eastern Virginia and Eastern Arkansas.

In the Washington metropolitan area, 25,300 employees work for the Justice Department and its agencies. Most of those employees stayed home because of nearly impassable roads and side streets, but officials said a significant number telecommuted, using laptops and other devices, while some key personnel were able to make it to their offices in downtown Washington.

By late afternoon Eastern time Tuesday, no closings had been announced for Wednesday.

Filed under: Justice Department
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. B

    The Republicans have done more to slow down government than a dozen blizzards ..

    You can deal with a little snow, but there is NO dealing with the – Do nothing- GOP!

    Their only strategy is to make Obamba fail, period.

    February 9, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. harold

    Add the Republicans Filibuster 60 vote requirement to get anything passed in the USA Senate.. Is the USA really a Democracy?..Ask the Republicans....they are as good as a snow storm..... even in July...

    February 9, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. harold

    The Republicans need to check the Palm of their hand to get their facts straight.. Just like ole Sarah does.. It jogs her memory... Does Putin do that in Russia?..

    February 9, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. c spurgeon

    Isn't it amazing that the congress and most of govt is closed down due to snowstorm. Whatever happened to get up and go when the going got tough. The country seems to suffer from the same ailment. Too soft. Maybe everyone should go out and start shoveling. Many places manage through whole winters. Some schools show up an hour late not cancel the day before. Wow I hope the bad guys aren't watching...

    February 9, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. WrongKindofChange

    How's that global warming working out for all of you believers?

    February 9, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Jenny, MS

    I knew we could trust Holder. He's a stand up guy, and a great American.

    February 9, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Mark

    If Holder was stuck in a snowbank for the next three years that would be great, he has no clue on what he's doing.

    February 9, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    What sand hole has Al Gore been hiding in? And all this snow in Washington. There must be only one reason....We must all blame it on George Bush.!

    February 9, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Sunny Texas

    Put chains on the tires...you'll get around better...

    February 9, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Paul Ernest Show

    Bad weather slowing justice is not something am worried about. It just gives some hommies a couple of more days to enjoy public food and accommodation. You cannot bit that.

    February 9, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. terry,va.

    Global warming? Obummie and Al Bore should stay in until they see their shadow.

    February 9, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |