Bush Hires Lawyers Opposed To Affirmative Action

Published: Tue 20 Nov 2007 09:49 AM
Bush Administration Hires Lawyers Opposed To Affirmative Action
The Bush administration has politicized hiring of attorneys for the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department to come up with a staff that opposed affirmative action and had little interest in filing suits where discrimination laws had been violated.
That’s the view of Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in the category of national reporting. Savage was interviewed about his new book by Dean Lawrence Velvel of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Mass, part of the “Books of Our Times” series, distributed by Comcast.
Prior to 2001, when a vacancy occurred, a committee of career attorneys would screen candidates and conduct interviews and decide who to hire, Savage said, but this was changed the following year under Attorney General Ashcroft. “Now the political appointees did all that processing themselves,” Savage said.
The result was Justice hired lawyers “that had been working for groups that were attacking affirmative action programs,” Savage said.
“Instead of filing big law suits alleging systematic discrimination against African-Americans that had been the bread-and-butter of that agency they were suddenly filing unprecedented law suits alleging reverse discrimination against white people or against Christian groups,” diverting the agency’s resources “into a way the White House found more politically palatable.”
Savage added, “It was a smart way they (Bush administration) had figured out to seize political control and impose their political control over the executive branch.”
The Massachusetts School of Law is dedicated to providing a quality, affordable legal education to underserved minorities, immigrants, and students from low- and middle-income homes who could not otherwise afford to attend law school and enter the legal profession.

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