So why the secrecy? Applicants were sufficiently proud of their affiliations and interests that they happily advertised them on their resumes that were submitted to the federal government for a public job. Such robust boasts undermine any plausible claim of chilled activity. In any event, in an era where virtually every non-privileged email is discoverable, there is no possible reasonable expectation of privacy in these redacted federal records, especially under the rigid requirements of FOIA.
Bear in mind that when in 2006 the Boston Globe requested the resumes of attorneys hired into the Bush administration, the only items deleted were individuals’ home addresses and telephone numbers. Nothing else. This allowed the media to blather on about the sheer audacity of a Republican administration to hire individuals associated with such groups as — horror of horrors! — the Federalist Society for career positions in the Civil Rights Division. The hypocrisy of this administration in undertaking trying to hide the same type of information is palpable.
One thing that is clear, however, is that PJ Media will not allow the Civil Rights Division to get away with its attempted deception without a fight. A FOIA lawsuit still is pending in federal court. Perhaps others, including the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, will join in this battle as well.
Expect to read much more about this subject in the near future.