Probe Finds Bias in Justice Dept. Hiring

Perceived Democratic ties sank applicants for prestigious programs
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2008 3:25 PM CDT
In this photo provided by CBS, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., appears on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, Sunday, April 22, 2007.    (AP Photo/CBS Face the Nation, Karin Cooper)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department screened applicants to its internship and recruitment programs for conservative attitudes and credentials, rejecting applicants with liberal-sounding resumes, the Washington Post reports. Today's report by the department’s inspector general details a history of partisan hiring practices beginning in 2002 and concludes that the process "undermined confidence in the integrity of the department's hiring processes."

Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy said the report "confirms…that the same senior department officials involved with the firing of United States attorneys were injecting improper political motives into the process of hiring young attorneys." AG Michael Mukasey, meanwhile, reiterated that " the consideration of political affiliations in the hiring of career Department employees is impermissible and unacceptable."