Still, neither Nixon nor Reagan changed the division's procedures for hiring career staff
July 23, 2006 12:53 PM   Subscribe

"If anything, a civil rights background is considered a liability." Meet the politically-appointed career staffers of the Justice Dept.'s Civil Rights Division: ... the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. ... Thorough Boston Globe article on how the administration disbanded the hiring committee in 2002 to appoint lawyers with a very different vision of what civil rights are, and the ensuring and ongoing results.
posted by amberglow (24 comments total)

I wish the media would start calling people on the phrase "litmus test". The administration (and agents thereof) seem to wave it around like it actually means something.

"Yeah, we know you don't dip them in some chemicals and see if a paper turns blue. What specific criteria do you look at when you're making this decision?"
posted by blacklite at 1:03 PM on July 23, 2006

Anyway, that's totally irrelevant -- interesting post, although I'm not surprised by anything anymore.
posted by blacklite at 1:04 PM on July 23, 2006

Red. The paper needs to turn red.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on July 23, 2006

Dammit, you Americans need to get a clue about the separation of religion and state or you're going to end up with an extremist country as scary as any in the mid-East.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:08 PM on July 23, 2006

Artw: the pink ones turn blue, the blue ones turn pink. I guess they're supposed to be red, but they always looked pink to me.
posted by blacklite at 1:17 PM on July 23, 2006

the old hiring committees' prejudice in favor of highly ranked law schools had unfairly blocked many qualified applicants.

``They would have tossed someone who was first in their class at the University of Kentucky Law School, whereas we'd say, hey, he's number one in his class, let's interview him," Driscoll said.
Affirmative Action in action.
posted by mischief at 1:24 PM on July 23, 2006

The claims of reverse discrimination against whites are unfortunately true. I used to work in the aerospace industry, the profits are based on being award federal government contracts, and the abuses of affirmative action were appalling. It was almost impossible to fire any Blacks, even if they were obviously not doing their job. Whites could be fired relatively easily though.
posted by Michelle_hermosabeach at 1:29 PM on July 23, 2006

With new faces, new types of cases (a look at 3 recent cases and the staffers who worked on them)

Michelle, i don't think anyone thinks that valid cases concerning discrimination against whites or religious people shouldn't be handled--it's the real neglect of valid cases that concern the reason the civil rights division was founded--to protect minorities and voting rights--that's wrong. It's not an either/or thing.
posted by amberglow at 1:44 PM on July 23, 2006

all love is equal
posted by matteo at 1:53 PM on July 23, 2006

Dammit, you Americans need to get a clue about the separation of religion and state or you're going to end up with an extremist country as scary as any in the mid-East.
-five fresh fish

fff, this is exactly what many of us in the US are afraid is in the process of happening. Or worse, it has already, basically, happened. Maybe, wholesale we aren't as extremist as many other countries, but our reach is farther and the smallest ripples we cause roll larger and deeper. So, we may not be as extremist, but the results of our actions are. But then again, these are just my opinion, and I'm obviously insane and/or an evil-doer.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2006

Insanity and evil are not absolutes, and the marker is in motion.

(as it is for "terrorism", "self-defence", and a whole host of other notions. What the wingnuts will support today doesn't scare me as much as what the mainstream will support tomorrow)
posted by dreamsign at 3:12 PM on July 23, 2006

Really disheartening. Hopefully this trend can be reversed once this horrible administration is out.

(thanks for the post)
posted by pwedza at 3:22 PM on July 23, 2006

On a related note, Bush is firing half of the IRS lawyers that work on estate taxes. These are the most productive employees in the IRS, recovering $2,200 dollars in taxes for every hour they work.

If you can't change the law, just change the enforcement.
posted by JackFlash at 5:51 PM on July 23, 2006

It must really take a lot of courage to be a white Christian in the United States these days.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:39 PM on July 23, 2006

Well, you know..
posted by Unregistered User at 9:59 PM on July 23, 2006

Damn these shifting Internets...
posted by Unregistered User at 10:06 PM on July 23, 2006

God, this administration depresses me.
posted by Marla Singer at 1:06 AM on July 24, 2006

fff, this is exactly what many of us in the US are afraid is in the process of happening.

Yes, well: if so damn many of you are afraid of it, why aren't you doing something about it?

FFS, you have elections coming up soon. Why aren't you making big waves about how the religious extremists have been taking over government and how it is imperative that the control be given back to sensible people?

If you people don't start getting politically active you are going to be screwed: the religionists are politically active and they are fully intent on creating a Christian Dominion. You are fucked if you don't get your shit together.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 AM on July 24, 2006

I wonder how history will look upon this era is US history.
posted by raedyn at 9:49 AM on July 24, 2006

raedyn: that depends on who writes it.
posted by mischief at 12:18 PM on July 24, 2006

fff: I don't think anyone really believes that elections do anything anymore. Remember that more than half of eligible voters never bother to vote, thus ensuring that democracy will fail.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:56 PM on July 24, 2006

Which is why you have to rabble-rouse. Make damn sure your co-workers hear that you think it is really important to vote.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:49 PM on July 24, 2006

I think most people have a view of elections somewhere along the lines of a bumper sticker I'm seeing more and more frequently here in Pennsylvania, for our democrat candidate for U.S. Senate.

Bob Casey: At least he's not Santorum

We can't find a good candidate to save our ever-loving lives. Good people will not stand for the horror show which is a life in politics these days, and people who are making real progress for our communities know that they can do far more staying in their own little bailiwicks, even if it means that there's a limited scale to the good they do. So why should people bother to vote? People who can really do things aren't wasting their time by becoming politicians, and most of us know it.
posted by Dreama at 12:18 AM on July 25, 2006

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