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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Education Section

All 11 new hires to the Justice Department's Education Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the fifth in a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, and four.)

by
J. Christian Adams

Bio

August 17, 2011 - 12:00 am

Torey Cummings: Ms. Cummings joined the Education Section as a trial attorney from a large private practice law firm, where she performed significant pro bono work representing terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay and death row inmates. This is a trend among new Holder DOJ employees. Never mind the fact every detainee can obtain a highly qualified federal public defender, these attorneys rushed to represent America’s enemies for free. She previously worked as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and as a project assistant at the Wellesley College Centers for Women, where she was able to utilize her social work degree.

Tamica Daniel: Ms. Daniel comes to the Section only a year out of Georgetown’s law school, where she was the diversity committee chair of the law review, volunteered with the ACLU’s Innocence Project, and participated in the Institute for Public Representation Clinic. For those in the real world, diversity committees are groups set up to hector for race-based outcomes in hiring employees and student matters. It is an entity with close cousins in South Africa’s apartheid regime and other dark eras in history.

While working on her law degree, she also attended Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute and wrote her master’s thesis on how race and income desegregation are responsible for minorities’ low educational attainment in Seattle public schools. During one law school summer, she interned at the left-wing Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs under the direction of Joseph Rich, a partisan activist who formerly was the chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section. She spent another summer interning at the liberal Poverty and Race Research Action Council, where she devoted most of her time providing research support for a paper on the constitutionality of race-conscious housing policies. She found time as well to author a law review article arguing for greater use of disparate impact theories in fair housing litigation.

The Civil Rights Division’s FOIA shop curiously redacted all of Ms. Daniel’s “community service and involvement” on her resume. In light of her employment experience, one can only imagine what she was up to in her spare time.

Amanda Downs: Ms. Downs joined the Section from the Maryland Public Defender’s Office, where she worked since graduating law school. While a law student, she also interned at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Her other activities on her resume were redacted by DOJ.

We do know, however, that she was the Division attorney who commenced a ridiculous lawsuit last year against the Mohawk Central School District in New York on behalf of two transvestite students, one of whom liked to wear a pink wig and make-up and another who favored wigs and stiletto heels. When the male students were told to remove their distracting ensembles in light of the governing dress code, Ms. Downs and her colleagues stepped in, claiming that the school district had engaged in federal sex discrimination. Never mind that, as has been written before, the courts have flatly rejected the notion that laws banning discrimination based on gender also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. For Ms. Downs and her new colleagues, legal precedent is a mere inconvenience. And therein lies the central danger in hiring militants instead of attorneys who will respect legal precedent.

The militants who have been hired seek to move the law. This DOJ won’t hire people who simply seek to enforce the law.

Thomas Falkinburg: After spending ten years investigating purported civil rights violations at Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights — a notorious hotbed of liberal activism — Mr. Falkinburg transferred to the Justice Department’s Education Section once President Obama took office. This wasn’t the first time he sought to leave the Department of Education. He had earlier applied for an FBI Intelligence Analyst position but was upset because the salary he allegedly was offered didn’t match his inflated Department of Education compensation. So what did the aggrieved left-wing bureaucrat do? He sued, of course.

He commenced a federal action in the Northern District of Georgia, claiming that the FBI had improperly revoked a supposed job offer after he complained about the salary terms. Proceeding without an attorney, he frivolously sought a writ of mandamus asking the court to order FBI Director Robert Mueller to appoint him as an Intelligence Analyst at GS-13, Step 5. Not amused by the legally silly request, the court granted the government’s motion to dismiss. Mr. Falkinburg wasted more of the court’s resources with a motion for reconsideration, but it was promptly denied as well.

An attorney who considers a government job an entitlement? Perfect for the Civil Rights Division. But Eric Holder should be on alert if he dares withhold any of Mr. Falkinburg’s civil service raises.

Melissa Michaud: Ms. Michaud was hired into the Education Section as part of Attorney General Eric Holder’s Honors Program, which brings young attorneys straight to the Department of Justice from law school or judicial clerkships. And it is easy to see why. Ms. Michaud worked during law school for Legal Aid of North Carolina, was a member of the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization, served as the Projects Coordinator for the University of North Carolina Pro Bono Board, and interned at the EEOC. She also spent three years with Teach for America.

Nicholas Murphy: Mr. Murphy is another hire from Eric Holder’s Honors Program at DOJ, fresh out of a federal judicial clerkship with a liberal Clinton appointee in Philadelphia. While a law student, Mr. Murphy interned at the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, where he focused on the organization’s efforts to restore the voting rights of convicted felons. He also interned for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn and the Public Defender’s Service in Washington, served as a research assistant at the general counsel’s office at Teach for America, and volunteered with the Prisoner’s Legal Assistance Project. Meanwhile, his self-drafted personal statement at his law school’s alumni website highlighted his partisan political ambitions. Just what we need: another political activist bureaucrat biding his time in the federal civil service.

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