Calling the Kettle Black

Today the New York Times inadvertently confirmed that the Obama administration’s hiring in the DOJ’s scandal-ridden Civil Rights Division is significantly more partisan than was hiring under Bush. The piece starts out by criticizing the Bush Civil Rights Division for hiring “conservative lawyers with little experience in civil rights.” They suggest that the Bush administration was impermissibly hiring disproportionate numbers of conservatives for career positions that should be ideologically neutral. Yet the numbers show precisely the opposite. Under Bush nearly 25 percent of hires had conservative credentials, versus over 60 percent with liberal credentials now.

One former DOJ member explained that they simply went to hiring lawyers with “terrific civil rights experience,” including groups like the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — organizations not known for being politically neutral. It’s not ideological bias, the argument goes, but lawyers with civil rights experience just happen to all work for far-left organizations.

Let’s set aside the fact that the resulting ideological bias is easily enough to trigger the type of “disproportionate impact” that the Civil Rights Division frequently litigates in other contexts. The fact of the matter is, for every case these civil-rights groups bring, there are lawyers on the defense side with just as much experience in the laws. DOJ could claim that those defense lawyers are actually opposed to the civil rights they champion — but in a world where the Guantanamo Seven can go overnight from defending enemy combatants to enforcing our national defense laws, that argument rings hollow

Most Popular


My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More