As a staffer in the Jimmy Carter White House, I invested much energy (and more hope) in designing the law now known as the Independent Counsel Act.

Unsurprisingly, I have often felt tempted to blame its Frankensteinian evolution on particular overzealous independent counsels. Who, after all, could have foreseen that seasoned federal judges would repeatedly select men and women who modeled their approach to the job after Inspector Javert of Les Miserables?