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Thread: The craptastic Bush DOJ years: The gift that keeps on giving… headaches

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Default The craptastic Bush DOJ years: The gift that keeps on giving… headaches

    The Craptastic Bush DOJ Years: The Gift That Keeps On Giving…Headaches

    Christy Hardin Smith Wednesday August 19, 2009 5:11 am

    What do you get when you cross political hacks, rules and regs that aren't respected and a disregarded sense of ethics and the rule of law?

    A big fat continuing headache at the DOJ, that's what:
    The eight named plaintiffs, who purportedly represent a class of hundreds of similarly situated plaintiffs, maintain Justice based hiring decisions on the candidates’ liberal political and professional affiliations. Justice officials found and printed information from web sites about the candidates. Hundreds of applicants were turned down in 2002 and 2006 by political appointees. A motion for class certification is pending.

    The defendants, including former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, want the suit tossed. Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard argument today for more than two hours. He did not rule from the bench.
    This is a ginormous mess. Not least of which because the Obama folks at DOJ are trying to simultaneously sort out and clean up the detritus leftover from the Bush years, while also having to defend the DOJ's reputation. All the while not condoning the prior craptastic behavior.

    Which means current DOJ attorneys have to stand there in open court and apologize profusely, decrying actions taken not by them, but by their predecessors over whom they had no supervisory control.

    And, in this case, also having a highly detailed OIG report (PDF) on each and every inappropriate action in hand.

    Judge Bates, who presides over this mess, said outright in court that the political vetting by Bush DOJ appointees was "deplorable." Given that Judge Bates was a Deputy Independent Counsel with Ken Starr and a W appointee, that gives you a taste of how bad things really were at DOJ given the evidence presented thus far.

    According to the Blog at Legal Times, Judge Bates heard dismissal arguments for over two hours yesterday. That's a long time for a summary judgment or dismissal argument. These types of proceedings are usually fairly short and straight forward, because they are either preceded by or followed up with detailed written briefs and supporting evidence, exhibits and case law citations.

    There was no ruling from the bench, and the judge has taken the case under advisement.

    The most interesting bit was the back and forth on the role that various branches of government might play in any potential remediation and/or fact-finding with regard to misconduct or employment harm:
    Bates interrupted Metcalfe at one point, saying that as a judge it is not his job to “expose.” Bates said he is not a member of Congress. He said he is not a member of the press. “You’re trying to get me to allow a Bivens claim because of the smell of this case,” Bates said to Metcalfe.
    If this case goes forward once Judge Bates rules, we could see extensive depositions of a number of the named defendants, including former AG Alberto Gonzales and former DOJ employees in charge of hiring for these programs -- Esther Slater McDonald and Michael Elston -- as well as supporting DOJ and WH personnel who had roles in any of the inappropriate politicized hiring practices.

    This is certainly a ruling I'll be watching for in the days ahead.
    Christy Hardin Smith » The Craptastic Bush DOJ Years: The Gift That Keeps On Giving…Headaches

    And to think that Alberto himself is having a hard time finding a job...

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    The fallout from the Bush years is going to continue for years to come. That's what happens when a C-student/drunk/cokehead/wanna-be-cowboy is running the show for 8 years.

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