The New York Times is reporting tonight online that a new Justice Department internal report indicates the Bush Department of Justice broke several laws intended to prevent the politicization of the Judicial system. DOJ supervisors did this ".. by using politics to guide their hiring decisions for a wide range of
important department positions, slowing the hiring process at critical
times and damaging the department’s credibility and independence, an internal report concluded Monday."
It wasn’t enough to be Republican, two Justice Department officials also made sure the Republicans were the "right type" of Republicans, meaning socially conservative. They "would look for key phrases like ‘abortion,’ ‘homosexual,’ ‘guns,’ or ‘Florida re-count’ to get information on a candidate’s political
leanings," according to the NYT. The article said,
Ms. Goodling, who testified before Congress in May 2007 at the height of the scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys, introduced politics into the hiring process in a systematic way that constituted illegal misconduct, the report found.
Last month, the inspector general, Glenn A. Fine,
released a separate report that found a similar pattern of politicized
hiring at the Justice Department in reviewing applications from young
lawyers for the honors and intern programs. The new report released
Monday goes much further, however, in documenting pervasive evidence of
political hiring for some of the department’s most senior career,
apolitical positions, including immigration judges and assistant United States attorneys.
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This is just the latest evidence of the Bush Administration steering the nation dramatically out of the mainstream and veering hard right, to a fringe ideology that has used social issues to rally their fundamentalist base and distract voters from larger issues. Most importantly, the Bush Administration is now clearly being seen as doing far more to damage Americans’ trust in the Justice Department and the Judiciary as a whole by making it just one more highly partisan, divisive and ideological extension of the Bush White House.
This may be one reason that many moderate Republicans and even conservatives close to Ronald Reagan are actively supporting Sen. Barack Obama for President even though they may disagree on some policy issues, but on larger constitutional issues see a real threat to our democracy posed by continuing on the wrong track Bush set for the nation.