R.I.P. (Run In Peace) Bradley Schlozman
By Lee Russ
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 08:21 PM
Bradley Schlozman, a one-man example of partisanship in action, has tendered his resignation in order to join a law firm in the Midwest. The DOJ and Congressional investigations of him probably have nothing to do with it. Really. R.I.P.Schlozman is yet another of those fine examples of competence, objectivity, and ethics that have populated the government, including the Justice Department, during the reign of the three-headed Bushrovecheney regime. You may remember him from the news about the voter fraud case involving the organization ACORN that the DOJ filed in Missouri just before a closely contested election there. Or you may remember him from any number of other similar events indicating that the DOJ was merely one of many enforcement arms for the Republican Party.
Currently, Schlozman is under investigation by the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility for allegations he was involved in politicizing hiring and firing decisions at the Justice Department and is a subject of the congressional probe into the U.S. attorneys firing scandal.
A summary of his career distilled from the McClathchey story on his resignation indicates that Schlozman:
- Was a central figure in the controversy over alleged partisan decision-making in the Bush Justice Department
- Allegedly drove liberal-leaning employees from the unit and hired partisans to replace them when serving as acting chief of the department's civil rights division in the latter half of 2005
- Allegedly brought the politically motivated vote-fraud indictments in Missouri days before the 2006 elections while serving as interim U.S. attorney for Kansas City
- Allegedly was a leading player in a Republican strategy to use the Justice Department and U.S. attorneys' offices to enhance the party's election prospects; the strategy allegedly included drumming up fears of voter fraud to build support for voter-identification restrictions that would suppress the turnout of Democratic-leaning minorities
- Told a Senate panel several that the decision to file the ACORN charges was made at the direction of someone else in the DOJ, only to "correct" his testimony a few days later by admitting that the decision was his
Schlozman was no stranger to controversy. He was reportedly one of the handful of Bush appointees at the Justice Department who signed off on a 2003 plan to redraw Texas congressional districts and create more Republican-controlled seats, designed by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Tex. The plan was opposed by career lawyers under him, who believed it disenfranchised minority voters. The Supreme Court later ruled parts of the plan were unconstitutional.And, according to The Boston Globe:
In 2003, Schlozman became a senior official at the department's Civil Rights division, which reviews and prosecutes cases of voter disenfranchisement. During his tenure, dozens of career lawyers left the office after sharply disagreeing with him and other political appointees over how to handle important cases.
Those departures, along with boasts by Schlozman that he increased the number of Republicans he had hired into the department, have driven concern that Schlozman brought an improper focus on political affiliation and activity at the Justice Department. Schlozman has denied those accusations, although he acknowledges he may have boasted about the number of Republicans he had hired.
Half of the 14 career lawyers hired under Schlozman were members of the conservative Federalist Society or the Republican National Lawyers Association, up from none among the eight career hires in the previous two years, according to a review of resumes. The average US News & World Report ranking of the law school attended by new career lawyers plunged from 15 to 65.And after all this, you need to understand that this man is right now all of 36 years old, and according to the Globe story, "A native of Kansas, Schlozman graduated from George Washington University law school in 1996, clerked for three years, and worked as a lawyer for two more. In November 2001 he became an aide in the office of the deputy attorney general." So two years of practice experience, combined with three years of clerking, is enough to make you a big honcho in Bush's DOJ--so big you can try to affect a state election, can scare out experienced attorneys and replace them with a bunch of minimally qualified hacks?
Critics said candidates were being hired more for their political views than legal credentials. David Becker , a former voting rights division trial attorney, said that Schlozman's hiring of politically driven conservatives to protect minority voting rights created a "wolf guarding the henhouse situation."
Don't know if Mr. Schlozman is married, but if not, maybe he can look up Monica Goodling. Together they can....