Talk:Janet Reno

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Terrorist cells[edit]

"Didn't she also roll up a lot of terrorist cells, put away the bad guys, prevent attacks?"

What's THIS doing in here?

People who followed Reno at the time, talked often of her canoeing and kayaking. She used at first a pokeboat. Surprised this is not listed as it felt like a part of her character at the time she was in office. Here is a Post article: One of several that discuss her past time. Can someone who knows more add it? 2601:645:201:BF71:8065:9700:BAB1:B560 (talk) 18:26, 17 August 2015 (UTC) Jan 24, 2005 2:43 UTC

Regarding Witch Hunt Information Page[edit]

Amcbride had deleted a link and stated the reason as being"one person's personal website isn't enough basis to include this criticism".

Everything stated in the Witch Hunt information page is based on fact. It is very relevent to the article regarding Reno's history as an attorney.

I would also point out to other incidents of Reno being involved in similar witch hunts: - Bobby Fijnje, a 14 year-old boy who was a victim of a wrongful prosecution at the hands of Ms Reno and her gang. PBS description of the same case. Free Republic article.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Piercetp (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your post. My understanding of wikipedia policy (WP:V) is that it does not matter if what's in that website is based on facts, because personal websites don't count as "published, reputable sources." Of the three new sources you've listed here:
  • The first is another personal website.
  • PBS is reputable, but while the article you cite documents jurors questioning Reno's decision, it does not document any accusations of her being involved in anything like a witch hunt.
  • Free Republic, as a moderated forum, comes closest to being a reputable, published source documenting the type of criticism you have included in the article. In my opinion it is not reputable enough to warrant inclusion in Reno's biography here, but I will not contest that point unless other Wikipedia editors speak up as well.
For these reasons, I will leave in the criticism, but attribute it to the author of the Free Republic post. --Allen 03:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Here we are, Allen, ten years on since your comment was posted, and the reputations of all those "published, reputable sources" that Wikipedia loves so much are in tatters: Only about 4% of Americans still trust the mainstream media, placing them a couple of points lower on the trust scale than the Congress of the United States. The only reputable Web sites in 2016 are those of the bloggers. — Quicksilver (Hydrargyrum)T @ 18:50, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Response to Allen[edit]

Thank you for your response.

I have been looking for more articles and came across this article.

I can find others but hopefully this is a good start.


Yes, that's much better. Thanks. I'll change the attribution again. On an unrelated note, you can sign your name to your talk page posts by typing "~~~~" after them. The software automatically converts it into a signature with your name and the time. --Allen 04:55, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
There's not a single word anymore on this topic in the current version of the article (or am I blind ?), while the source for these are still cited in the relevant section. It looks pretty weird, and it's also pretty unneutral in my humble opinion. An article about Janet Reno without a single word on the "witch hunt" and the Fijnje case is in my opinion absolutely unworthy of Wikipedia.


I'm removing a few of the points in the "controversies" section. In Biographies of living persons, it is especially important to have in-line citations for things that are perceived as negative. (Also, before adding these back with citations, please be sure that the citations show not simply that the point is true, but that they were actually controversial in a notable way.) --Allen 02:50, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Added some major cases[edit]

To read the original entry, you'd think that the only thing that had happened with the justice dept from 1992-2000 was waco, the brnach davidians, and elian gonzalez. Added other major justice dept cases under reno. I'm sure there are a bunch of others I've forgotten - in today's climate, I tend to think of all the terrorism cases, but that's hardly the only thing that was going on in the doj + fbi during this time - please add more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Surely there are better sources for criticisms of the branch davidian fiasco than the world socialist web site and alex jones? I pointed the criticism section's entry on the microsft case to wikipedia's own section criticising the case - if the article passes muster, it shoudl be linked from there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
What do you mean by "linked from there."? Articles are linked from their website, but they aren't all going to appear on the main page. Several are added almost every day. There would be thousands of articles on the main page. A more direct link Which is archived at --Kalmia 16:49, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
it just seems odd that most of the crticism on this page is from what people would consider more fringe sources. There must be a large supply of criticisms from more mainstream sources from the time. And it seemed odd that there is a one-off fringe source article linked attacking her on the microsfot prosecution when apparently that editorial doesn't pass muster to be on the actual wikipedia page discussing the case and criticisms of it.
--I agree "mainstream" groups such as the National Rifle Association and American Civil Liberties Union were highly critical.
'She had a solid case, giving some officers immunity to testify, but the officers who reached jury trial were acquitted by an all white male jury'
This line doesn't sound very neutral. It heavily implies that she should have won the case but lost because the jury was white. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Video game hate[edit]

Shouldn't there be some information on her well-known video-game hate? I don't know nearly enough about it to add anything, but I think it should be in the article, as it's a prominent fact about her. (In fact, it's why I came to the article!) aubrey 10:29, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Categories: Prosecutors, yes; District Attorneys, no[edit]

Reno does not belong in the category "District Attorneys" because she was never in a District Attorney's office. She was State's Attorney and Attorney General, not a District Attorney. Therefore she does belong in the category "Prosecutors".

In the state of Florida, there are no District Attorneys. The local prosecutors (AKA District Attorneys in other states & jurisdictions) are called State Attorneys. Specifically, Janet Reno was the State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida ---Miami-Dade County--then called Dade County. There are 20 elected State Attorneys in Florida. The 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida is the largest prosecutors office in the state. People often confuse the terminology because Florida also has the elected office of Florida Attorney General which handles legal matters at a different level of the legal system--criminal appeals for example. The newly elected governor of Florida, Charlie Crist was the former Attorney General.

So to correct the discussion error, Janet Reno WAS the District Attorney for Dade County but was never titled as the District Attorney.

Contempt of Congress[edit]

There is no mention of Reno's citing for contempt of congress in this article, which occurred sometime around August 1998. She refused to turn over two subpoenaed Justice department memos related to fund-raising abuses in the 1996 presidential campaign. Is this a significant enough event that it should be added to her article? To this date, there have been only 10 Cabinet-level or senior executive officials cited for contempt of the American congress (Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Commerce Secretary Rogers C. B. Morton in 1975; Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr. in 1978; Energy Secretary Charles Duncan in 1980; Energy Secretary James B. Edwards in 1981; Interior Secretary James Watt in 1982; Anne Gorsuch Burford and Attorney General William French Smith in 1983; White House Counsel John M. Quinn in 1996; and Attorney General Janet Reno in 1998.... Attorney General Alberto Gonzales might make the 11th this year). --RootsLINUX 07:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Waco4.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 05:40, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Semi protection[edit]

Why is this article semi protected? I see no evidence of persistent vandalism or edit warring. Also the last edit before mine was done on January 8th. I added semi protect icon for clarification. миражinred (speak, my child...) 16:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

well, that you don't see evidence of persistent vandalism means that the semi-protection is working, no? the article has a long history of vandalism, and being a BLP, it's good to have measures in place to reduce it. Anastrophe (talk) 17:58, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Most IP edits to this article over the past few years are just people insulting her appearance, and there was a big wave of vandalism on 1/4 when I semi-protected... anyway the semi-protection is scheduled to expire on 2/5/08. --W.marsh 18:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

"The Butcher of Waco"[edit]

I don't think the epithet can be ignored entirely: it's definitely out there, and used by some WP-notable commentators like Geoff Metcalf. However, the article needs to make it clear that it's by no means a mainstream or widely-held opinion. I've tried to strike a compromise between the two sides in the recent edit war. If subsequent consensus emerges here for removal of any mention the nickname, that's fine with me too. Hqb (talk) 20:01, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I removed it as poorly sourced WP:BLP. All the sources I saw appear to be oped only, no secondary/tertiary sources. Jons63 (talk) 20:08, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
there's no question the term is known, though i clearly not widely. i had heard the term before. but as above, per BLP, the question of notability to a living person comes up, 'do no harm' comes up, and the reliability of the sources comes up. Anastrophe (talk) 20:12, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
also, worldnet daily generally fails WP:RS as i recall. Anastrophe (talk) 20:13, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
It gets 11 total results on Google News archive, but when sources like The Boston Globe and Washington Post use it, they specifically attribute it to militia and other "fringe" people, or they appear as letters to the editor. If the term is to be mentioned in the article it should explain who uses it. --W.marsh 20:35, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, found a direct attribution in a scholarly source to militia activist and broadcaster Mark Koernke. Readded. Hqb (talk) 20:57, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Also linked to one of the Washington Post articles. Again, the article should make it clear that this is a fringe opinion, but still notable enough to have been mentioned (with a degree of revulsion) in mainstream media. Hqb (talk) 21:25, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I think that this is the relevant part of the policy:
In the case of significant public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable, third-party published sources to take material from, and Wikipedia biographies should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is notable, relevant, and well-documented by reliable published sources, it belongs in the article — even if it's negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If it is not documented by reliable third-party sources, leave it out.
To me this seems fairly clear that this belongs in the article in its current form. However the verifiability policy says@
Tiny-minority views and fringe theories need not be included, except in articles devoted to them
I would say that this represents the view of a tiny minority and need not be included, but it would not be wrong to included. I think that it basically comes down to whether or not we feel that it adds to the article to have this in it. I'm not sure as given the current short length of the article, I do not think that we give enough context. However, this is a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. --RicDod (talk) 21:51, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Here is another piece of policy that seems to apply from WP:Weight
From Jimbo Wales, paraphrased from this post from September 2003 on the mailing list:
  • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
  • If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.
Since this is held by an extremely small minority, it does not belong. Jons63 (talk) 22:22, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
It's clearly a minority view, but I think the sentiment extends beyond just the lunatic fringe. For example, the previously mentioned Geoff Metcalf [ column] at WorldNetDaily most likely has some resonance with a non-trivial fraction of US Conservatives. (After all, WND wouldn't want to alienate most of its regular audience.) So I think mentioning the "Butcher" tag in the Janet Reno article does help put her career in a larger context, illustrating her vilification by right-wing groups on any convenient pretext. Hqb (talk) 22:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Based on the sources provided and that I have found it appears to me to be a tiny minority. Based on Jimbo Wales opinion above, if it is a significant minority that holds this opinion, then it should be easy to name prominent people who agree with the name. One syndicated radio talk show host does not show that the name goes past a tiny minority of the population. Jons63 (talk) 14:04, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Even if the "Butcher of Waco" is a very fringe term, the article should still mention Waco, it had a profound impact on America at the time, especially with Timothy McVeigh giving Waco as his main reason. Even if it was a fringe criticism... Waco, and the Oklahoma City bombing McVeigh claimed Waco inspired, were two of the highest profile events of the 1990s in the US... it's a significant part of Reno's legacy. Therefore I think we should keep what we have now until someone writes something that better summarizes what I've mentioned here. --W.marsh 14:11, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I definitely agree that the information about the siege at Waco should stay. It was an important aspect of her career as AG. I do not believe the name belongs at all. No one has shown that anything but a tiny minority of the population uses that name to refer to her. As such the name does not have enough significance to stay. Jons63 (talk) 14:31, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Fringe "nick-names" should not be included. It should be removed. (talk) 15:33, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
the term is an epithet. this is a BLP. it doesn't belong. while i realize that comparison to other BLP's is fraught with pitfalls, consider Bill Clinton. a fairly widely employed epithet for him is "'Cigar' Bill". you don't find reference to that within the article, because, as a BLP, 'do no harm' trumps interest in the epithet. Anastrophe (talk) 18:42, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion, no one has given any reason to overrule WP:BLP, do no harm, as such, until someone has a good reason to place it back into the article, I am removing it from the article. Jons63 (talk) 21:16, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Janet Reno / Chelsea Clinton joke[edit]

Is this really necessary to the article? I would think not, but I didn't want to edit it without somebody else's opinion. Inks.LWC (talk) 06:53, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

no, there's no reason for it to be there. it's just another asshat with an axe to grind. it fails at WP:BLP. it's in the John McCain article, where it belongs. i've removed it. Anastrophe (talk) 07:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

At the Justice Department[edit]

Recent attorneys general seem to have a lot of controversy around them as far as how they interpret the constitution and their ability to uphold the law aside from their personal beliefs, from subjects as broad as abortion to civil liberties. Were there just no issues such as this surrounding Reno? I would like to see more in the article about her style, controversial or not, about how she shaped the justice department and what laws she chose to lean on or be lenient on, not just who was captured during her tenure. (talk) 20:57, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Sandy

Bill's "mistake" comment unfounded[edit]

Is is true that Bill Clinton said Reno was his biggest mistake?[1]

That's the only site that I can find it on and not a very reliable source, really. Moderate2008 (talk) 01:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Barack Obama[edit]

It says she was nominated in 1993 by president barack obama :|

Obviously incorrect, however i don't know enough about american politics to fix it so... heads up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Precise dates[edit]

Reno began her job as AG March 12 1993, I believe. Can anyone reputably cite exact date? Mydogtrouble (talk) 01:40, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Ally McBeal[edit]

She had a substantial "guest" role in season 1, played by Linda Gehringer in 2 episodes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely! I think that, for Wikipedians who live outside the United States, Janet Reno's other accomplishments have long been forgotten, and she is remembered solely as the US Attorney General who had her wattle fondled by Richard Fish in an early Ally McBeal episode. This should certainly be added to the pop culture section of this article.
Djwilms (talk) 07:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

She also appeared as guest (voice) in The Simpsons season 24 episode 16 "Dark Knight Court". Maybe this could be added to the pop culture section. (talk) 04:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


Why no mention of this? It's hardly a secret and if she's been cured or just survived a long time with it, either way noteworthy and certainly source-able. (talk) 15:18, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Parkinson's Disease is incurable and terminal. — Quicksilver (Hydrargyrum)T @ 19:04, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

She did not cure cancer or invent the Internet?[edit]

This article is a close to neutral as (fill in metaphor, there are too many for Janet Reno).  :- ) DCS 07:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

St. Petersburg Times editorial[edit]

I noticed that a comparatively large portion of this article is sourced to a single St. Petersburg Times editorial opposing Reno's run for governor (provocatively entitled "Reno owes the public answers".) Obviously, it would be better to replace that with a more neutral source wherever possible, and to avoid citing it except when it's being used to illustrate an opinion... wouldn't it? It's currently quoted at length in parts of the article that don't seem to be treating it as an opinion. --Aquillion (talk) 05:29, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if this is appropriate to keep[edit]

While Clinton could steer a middle ground between his Democratic supporters and the Republican Congress on monetary issues, Reno's job was at the center of a variety of intractable cultural conflicts. This made her a lightning rod for criticism of the Clinton Administration from activists, [who?] who often denounced the federal government as a threat to their fundamental freedoms. [citation needed]

  • This statement seems to be a personal point of view rather than an encyclopedic statement. Have removed to here for discussion and/or verification. MurielMary (talk) 10:49, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

How is this relevant?[edit]

In 1994, Reno signed the "Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending" that was entered into the Federal Register on April 15. The statement states: "The relief sought by DOJ in lending discrimination lawsuits may include: Changes in loan processing and underwriting procedures (including second reviews of denied applications) to ensure equal treatment without regard to prohibited factors."[1] MurielMary (talk) 11:36, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Expanding the article[edit]

Given the length of Reno's tenure as Attorney General, I think this article can use some expansion. If anyone would like to discuss ideas for how to improve this article, I'd be happy to collaborate. This article from CNN detailing some major events of Reno's career and this Time article could be useful sources moving forward. Knope7 (talk) 03:18, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

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The lede should cover her actions as AG[edit]

The lede should cover her actions as AG

An editor removed this paragraph from the lede:

"In 1998, Janet Reno was cited for contempt of Congress after not turning over internal memos related to a campaign finance controversy during Bill Clinton's impeachment."

The argument for removing it was "The article covers this later on. The documents were turned over and the full House did not cite her for contempt. It's significant enough for the article but unnecessary for the lead." However, this is the issue that's covered at too small of a length in the body of his Wikipedia article, and clearly is a topic that defines her life and career. The citations for this are included in my original edit. At the very least, it's absurd that the AG only ONE sentence in her entire page mentioning her contempt citation. Can I get someone with consensus to agree with me that my paragraph should be in the lead somewhere. Thanks! Kozak4512 (talk) 03:52, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

This should be the start of a discussion, not a soliciation only to those who agree with you. No other issues from her time as AG are currently covered in the lead. If this is truly as notable as you say, why not provide several reliable sourcs saying this is THE defining moment of her career? As I said in my edit summary, the contempt vote is notable enougb for the article, but not enough for the lead. (talk) 04:45, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I will definitely provide reliable sources saying this did happen to her. The sources don't have to claim they are "defining" since that is your opinion and not everyone agrees with what you think should be covered in the lead either. Kozak4512 (talk) 09:53, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
We use our best judgement regarding what is most important/distinct/notable about the person. The contempt citation is important, but calling it out alone among the many other things that took place during her tenure is definitely WP:UNDUE. It's notable, but not so notable that it's required in the lede. Anastrophe (talk) 17:57, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Then why are people including it in the lead of Eric Holder and William Barr. You're claims on what is "notable" vs what is not do not seem fair for different people. (talk) 17:58, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
What is notable depends on the context of the article. I would think considerations would include how the long the contempt citation was an issue, how much coverage the citation received, how the contempt citation was resolved, what other events happened over the course of a person's career, and what other events are covered in an article. This isn't the place to make an argument that a blanket rule should be adopted. If you would like to argue about its inclusion in other article, please go to those talk pages. This is about whether the contempt citation is appropriate for the lead of this article. I'll also point out that you made the argument about that this was a defining topic of her life and career. Providing an reference to a New York Times article saying the contempt citation was expected to happen does not support its inclusion in the lead as a defining topic. Knope7 (talk) 18:09, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
She was cited for contempt, that did happen, but a final vote for contempt by the house of reps failed. Still relevant nonetheless, but if you would like I could include in a sentence that states that the contempt citation failed in the House of Representatives. That would be fair. (talk) 07:39, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict w user Knope7) The notability of something is not determined by a metric of comparing this BLP's content to another person's BLP. It doesn't work that way. Let's turn it around. During her tenure she authorized the FBI assault on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. For a sizeable population, this is the single most notable thing about her tenure as AG - but it's not in the Lede, because as notable as it is, it's not a defining feature of _the person_. I could easily argue that Waco should be noted in the lede. But then it becomes a big pile-on of poking at the article for someone long-dead and a historical artifact at this point. She is not grossly notable on the level of presidents, etc.
So the question is, why do you believe this one fact among many requires mention in the lede, over Waco, for instance? Anastrophe (talk) 18:11, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Another point that I feels needs to be made: this article has been on wikipedia for well more than a decade. Suddenly, in May of 2019, we urgently need to point out in the lede that she was held in contempt by congress. Why? Well, that's pretty obvious, it's because the current AG has been cited for contempt in the last few days. But that has zero bearing on this article, which has been edited by hundreds of wikipedians over the years, who did not feel that this was notable enough for inclusion in the lede. We don't start revising history simply because of current events, when those events are not specifically and directly related to _this particular person's BLP_. So, I'm going to go with a strong oppose to this instance of 'recentism' being used as justification for making notable that which nobody felt was defining over the last decade plus. Anastrophe (talk)

Recentism? The only recentism is what is happening to the William Barr page. Since that is in-fact an article that has an inflated or imbalanced focus on a RECENT EVENT. This article is years old and you two seem to be the only ones wanting this important and defining fact to be removed from her page. And I have been speaking on the other talk pages regarding their own standards of "notability" plus how it's a complete double-standard when coming to this article. I don't see any clear reasoning why this shouldn't be on the article. I am not "revising" any history either. I am adding substantiated, credible facts like others asked. I strongly oppose your call of this being "recentism" when it clearly is the opposite. Kozak4512 (talk) 18:11, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
It's not notable for the lede. That's patently apparent by the fact that one of the most notable aspect of Reno was the Waco siege, and it is not mentioned in the lede. Why do you feel that the contempt citation eclipses that for which Reno is probably most notable, such that it alone should be noted in the lede? It reads like a non-sequitur currently, too. Informally, if you search google for 'janet reno "contempt of congress"' vs 'janet reno waco', restricting it to the interval of her tenure (broadly 1992 to 2000), the results clearly show that the latter is far more relevant and notable. Anastrophe (talk) 20:07, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Kozak4512, you are shifting the argument. No one is disputing the contempt citations inclusion in the article. Not all facts notable enough for the article are included in the lead nor should they be. If you are backing away from your prior statement that the contempt citation was career defining, then I don't know what else there is to say. The contempt citation is appropriate for the body of the article, not the lead. You no longer appear to be making your argument about what to include in the lead but rather what to include in the article. Are we in agreement that the contempt citation is covered in the article and not the lead? Knope7 (talk) 23:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)