The Hits Keep Coming: New Screw Up at Dep’t of Justice

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Cameron can add another scandal to the already long list he provided in his last post about the Department of Justice. According to a study done by the Washington Post, the “Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations.”

Yup, just when you thought Alberto Gonzales’ fiefdom couldn’t get any more screwed up, they pull this out of a hat. Turns out half of the judges the Department of Justice appointed to the immigration bench lack any sort of qualifications, and one-third are clear GOP apparatchiks. One is the former treasurer of the Louisiana Republican Party, one was a participant in the “Brooks Brothers riot” that stalled the recount in Florida, and one is a former White House domestic policy adviser and anti-porn crusader. Hardly the qualities one hopes for in judges that have to interpret the nation’s voluminous and often incredibly detailed immigration laws.

The judges are appointed indefinitely, and combine to deport nearly a quarter million immigrants a year. Think of the damage these folks could do. Just another example of how the Bush Administration has turned the federal government into a bastion of conservatism, ignoring qualifications, expertise, and long-accepted hiring rules in the process.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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