WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used “political or ideological” factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday.
The blistering report, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general, is the first in what will be a series of investigations growing out of last year’s scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys. It appeared to confirm for the first time in an official examination many of the allegations from critics who charged that the Justice Department had become overly politicized during the Bush administration.
“Many qualified candidates” were rejected for the department’s honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, “constituted misconduct and also violated the department’s policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations.”
The shift began in 2002, when advisers to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft restructured the honors program in response to what some officials saw as a liberal tilt in recruiting young lawyers from elite law schools like Harvard and Yale.
In th elong run, I think this might be one of the wrost thing that the Bush administration has done. I mean, when you think about going from Ashcroft, who was a horrid idealogue who set up these practices, to Gonzales, who ended up resigning from office because he got busted implementing these practices…what does that say about Bush’s concept of “justice”?
It’s more of a “political justice” kind of thing, and it becomes evident that everything these folks see if filtered through the lens of political leaning. And I mean filtered at a base level. Coulter and Rush are not, as it turns out, outliers. For a while there, they were pretty mainstream. No wonder we have gone so far off course.
More on this one later. This is actually an older story, but I’m trying to keep up with everything on my desktop and this was sitting for a while.