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

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

by
Hans A. von Spakovsky

Bio

September 19, 2011 - 12:00 am

Roscoe Jones: Mr. Jones arrived in the Section at the outset of the Obama administration after spending the previous two-and-a-half years as a senior counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked extensively on oversight of the Civil Rights Division. Thus, he is another perfect example of how the Holder Justice Department is burrowing former political appointees into career civil service positions. (As I previously wrote, the Division pulled a similar trick with Karen Stevens, the new head of its Policy and Strategy Section.) Prior to his political slot in Sen. Leahy’s office, Mr. Jones was a fellow at the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, focusing on “impact civil rights litigation” on behalf of organizations and individuals purportedly “denied justice due to discrimination or economic status.”

He also found time to serve as a voting rights commentator for NPR, no doubt providing the kind of fair and balanced presentation for which NPR is so well known (although Juan Williams might disagree).

Earlier in his career, he interned in a political slot at the White House Chief of Staff’s Office under President Clinton. Meanwhile, during law school, he co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Law, which helps foster a grievance society, and served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law.

Jennifer Levin Eichhorn: Ms. Eichhorn is another liberal attorney on her second tour of duty in the Section. In her earlier stint, she made little effort to hide her contempt at the policy positions being advanced by the Bush administration. In fact, she decided that she could not stomach such positions and left to join the Justice Department’s Ethics Office. But as soon as President Obama and Eric Holder took office, she decided to return to the Division. On her resume, she proudly highlights her work on a radical task force during the Clinton administration — the “Fairness in Law Enforcement Working Group” — that developed DOJ’s extreme (and since abandoned) policy banning almost any use of race in law enforcement activity.

She also notes that she helped engineer the Clinton administration’s racially discriminatory policies that sought to circumvent the Supreme Court’s Adarand ruling (which limited the ability of the federal government to award contracts on the basis of race) through her participation in the “Post-Adarand Task Force” from 1995-1998.

Sharon McGowan: Prior to joining the Section, Ms. McGowan spent six years as a staff attorney at the ACLU, working on its Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) & AIDS Project. Her claim to fame there was that she brought a lawsuit against the Library of Congress on behalf of a Special Forces veteran who was denied a job after announcing his/her intention to transition from male to female. The case resulted in a dubious ruling by a hard-core liberal Clinton appointee (James Robertson, who mercifully has since retired from the bench) that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination also protects individuals who are undergoing sex-change operations. Judge Robertson’s decision notwithstanding, I’m fairly confident that’s not what Congress had in mind when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

While working at the ACLU, Ms. McGowan co-authored “The Rights of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgender People: The Authoritative ACLU Guide.” She also was a contributing author to “Lesbian / Gay Law Notes,” which is published by the Lesbian & Gay Law Association of Greater New York. Earlier in her career, she interned for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. And she remains a frequent speaker on gender identity issues. Here’s a sample of her work.

Sasha Samberg-Champion: Mr. Samberg-Champion is another alumnus of the ACLU, having worked there during law school challenging alleged racial profiling by police, the legality of the federal no-fly-list, and the constitutionality of the Patriot Act. His resume also includes internships at the far left-wing Brennan Center for Justice and the Welfare Law Center in New York, where he worked on “impact litigation regarding entitlement policy.”

Just before joining the Section, he worked as a lawyer in the New York State Attorney General’s Office. There, he proudly notes on his resume, he authored a Supreme Court amicus brief in DC v. Hellerin which he opposed extending the Second Amendment to states. He also prepared a brief in New York state court, arguing that New York must recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states and countries. The extremely liberal Judge Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit — for whom Mr. Samberg-Champion once clerked — would be most proud.

Last term in the Supreme Court, he authored a brief on behalf of the Civil Rights Division in Sossamon v. Texas arguing that states that accept any federal funding necessarily waive their sovereign immunity from suits for money damages, a position the Supreme Court rejected 6-3 (with even Ruth Bader Ginsburg joining the majority). Given his extreme viewpoints, here’s hoping his lack of prior success at the Supreme Court continues.

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