Senator Wants Inquiry Into DOJ Civil Rights Hires

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said today he wants the U.S. Department of Justice inspector general to look into the hiring practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at a hearing that he believes the Civil Rights Division has been hiring only lawyers from liberal backgrounds, at the expense of conservatives. As The National Law Journal reported in May, hires made during the Obama administration have tended to come from traditional civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union or the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The recent hires do not reflect decisions based entirely on merit, Grassley said. “It would be more accurate to state that, to the division, civil rights experience is limited to experience with limited advocacy groups,” he said. He added, “I’ve asked the inspector general to investigate that.”

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