Not surprisingly, this position was happily accepted by Republicans. Quoting the article:
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the idea of “criminalizing legal advice after one administration is out of the office is a very bad precedent. ... I think it would be disaster to go back and try to prosecute a lawyer for giving legal advice that you disagreed with to a former president.”
The problem with this is it creates a backdoor by which the administrative branch can claim unlimited power. Want to spy on any US citizen without a warrant? Simply have a friendly OLC lawyer devise some half-assed argument supporting it. Want to drop a nuke on Canada because you can't stand the way they keeping adding 'eh?' to the end of every sentence? Call in the OLC! Nothing is so far out there we can't find some flimsy justification for it.
So what if, after the fact, the legal reasoning is found to be childish, amateurish, completely lacking of any professional standard - you got done what you wanted to get done. It's time to focus on the future, not look backwards to the past.
Supposedly, lawyers have professional standards, and if those standards are not met, or it is, at best, questionable those standards are met, then it is entrely appropriate to prosecute the lawyers who give such poor advice. The fact we are talking about lawyers making legal decisions which impact policy decisions for our entire nation makes this more imperative, not less.
If no other Bush administration official is prosecuted for these atrocities, at an absolute minimum the lawyers who provided the flimsy cover of legality which Bush, Cheney et. al. used as justification for their heinous acts must be. Otherwise, we are can no longer claim to be a nation of laws, only a nation of legal justifications.