08.01.08

Attorney General Asked To Assess Damage Done To Justice Department By Illegal, Politicized Hiring Practices

WASHINGTON (Friday, August 1, 2008) – In the wake of reports that Justice Department officials used political and ideological screening tests to fill career positions, seven Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today asked Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to assess whether this illegal hiring practice has done long-term damage to the mission of the Department. 

The letter to Mukasey was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), all members of the panel.

“We are concerned that the people hired into important career positions throughout the Department using the unlawful, politicized process described in the reports remain in place.  This raises the troubling possibility that those positions are held by unqualified, partisan individuals,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to ensure that the people put in place via this illegal process meet the Department’s high standard of qualifications, and do not undermine the Department’s independence and ability to enforce the law without fear or favor.”

The full text of the letter follows; a PDF is available online.

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