Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said today he wants the U.S. Department of Justice inspector general to look into the hiring practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at a hearing that he believes the Civil Rights Division has been hiring only lawyers from liberal backgrounds, at the expense of conservatives. As The National Law Journalreported in May, hires made during the Obama administration have tended to come from traditional civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union or the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
This is great to see, but it’s worth pointing out that something that merits clarification.
The Civil Rights Division’s leadership has defended the process it uses for hiring — including a change that increased the involvement of career lawyers in interviews of applicants — while decrying the practices during the Bush era.
Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, told senators in written testimony today that the division has a “steadfast commitment to the fair, vigorous and evenhanded enforcement of all of the laws within our jurisdiction.” He called the division’s career staff “indispensible in our transformation and restoration [during] the last two years.”
PJM has already reported that Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King vetoed people who were not liberals, and that King was really the one making the hiring decisions.