NOTE: Ana and I seem to have a collision of posts on this topic. She beat me by five minutes. See below.
A new internal report by the Justice Department’s IG finds that senior aides there broke the law–and damaged the department–with their politically motivated hiring practices. AG Muskasey says he is “disturbed” by the findings, and promises to implement its recommendations for change.
The NYT story notes a curious kind of affirmative action was also at work:
In forwarding a résumé in 2006 from a lawyer who was working for the Federalist Society, Ms. Goodling sent an e-mail message to the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Bradbury, saying: “Am attaching a résumé for a young, conservative female lawyer.”
Ms. Goodling interviewed the woman herself for possible positions and wrote in her notes such phrases as “pro-God in public life,” and “pro-marriage, anti-civil union.” She was eventually hired as a career prosecutor.
Ms. Goodling also conducted extensive searches on the Internet to glean the political or ideological leanings of candidates for career positions, the report found. She and other Justice Department supervisors would look for key phrases like “abortion,” “homosexual,” “guns,” or “Florida re-count” to get information on a candidate’s political leanings.
UPDATE: And here’s how the report describes a job interview with Monica Goodling (noting that she used the same questions for non-political positions as she used for political appointments):
Tell us about your political philosophy. There are different
groups of conservatives, by way of example: Social
Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.
[W]hat is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to
Aside from the President, give us an example of someone
currently or recently in public service who you admire.