Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Justice Dept. and Political Hiring

Click on the title to this post to read a Washington Post article today on a report about Justice's recent political hiring practices: Another Blow To Justice, by Jamie Gorelick dated today, July 29, 2008. There are also links to related articles from this page. The report covers not just the favoritism to "good conservatives" in hiring prosecutors and other staff under Alberto Gonzales, but also looks at hiring of immigration judges during John Ashcroft's tenure. A key quote:

During the Bush administration, we have seen U.S. attorneys fired under circumstances that have led many to conclude they paid the price because they wouldn't prosecute Democrats; honors program applicants screened for their political leanings; and now the process of hiring line prosecutors and immigration judges similarly politicized. How do we reassure the American people that justice is being meted out fairly? Trust and respect lost are hard to win back.

Worse, the reports lay out evidence that the political appointees behind many of these missteps knew that what they were doing was wrong.

But responsibility does not end there. The department's senior leadership turned over hiring decisions to people with no history and no understanding of the institution, people who came from the Republican National Committee or White House political functions. The predictable result was that the department would have, in essence, political appointees in career positions. Thus was the department's fundamental promise to the American people -- which had been respected for decades -- broken.
The wonderful image of broken justice is courtesy of http://www.oregonjail4judges.org/, which from the group's name, you can tell is about a different legal/political mess.

Here is a link to the PDF file from DOJ itself. It appears to be commonly called the Goodling Report, dated 7/28/08. The title on the document itself is "An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General."

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