The Corner

About that DOJ Lawyer Who Booed Paul Ryan

Eliana Johnson noted yesterday on the Corner that a lawyer in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice, Dan Freeman, proudly announced on his Facebook page that he “started the crowd booing when Paul Ryan came out” at the inauguration.

As I pointed out in my series of articles on hires at the Justice Department in 2011, co-authored with Christian Adams, Freeman is one of the very liberal lawyers hired by the Obama administration for a career civil-service position (not a political job).

Freeman was brought into the Voting Section “following a fellowship at the New York Civil Liberties Union. He previously interned at the ACLU, where he assisted the organization with its efforts to attack the Bush administration’s national security policies. He also helped to challenge the ‘state secrets privilege’ and to support the rights of terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay during an internship at Human Rights First. On his résumé, Freeman proudly notes his membership in the liberal American Constitution Society, as well as his service as co-chair of the Yale Law School Democrats.”

Career civil-service jobs are supposed to be filled on a non-partisan basis, a rule ignored by this administration as the analysis of the résumés (include Freeman’s) of more than 100 highly partisan hires in the Civil Rights Division reveals.

This is particularly important at the Justice Department, which is the chief law-enforcement agency of the government and one of the most powerful agencies in the executive branch. Nothing could possibly be worse for its reputation than the belief that its prosecutions are being pursued in the interests of partisan political advantage, not the interests of blind justice. Such abuses are particularly dangerous because of the enormous power wielded by department lawyers such as Freeman.

Freeman and his misbehavior at the inauguration (of which he is apparently proud) is just another example of how ideological the lawyers are these days at the Justice Department. There is also probably no doubt that he will be treated as a hero when he returns to the office today, instead of being referred to the Office of Professional Responsibility and disciplined for publicly embarrassing the department and publicly showing how left-wing ideology and pure partisanship drives too many of the career civil servants who work there.

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