For the past couple of weeks, Pajamas Media (PJM) has been pushing what they believe to be is a profound disclosure of personal information about new employees at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. PJM contributors Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams have been struggling to make the case that the Obama administration is politicizing the DOJ the way the Bush administration was found to have done, and now that they've gone through the trouble of filing a lawsuit to obtain the resumes of everyone hired at DOJ's Civil Rights Division since 2009, they are desperate to make their investment worthwhile. As a result, PJM has decided to run with the theme that “every single one” of the new hires is a “far-left” liberal.
Their arguments have so far provided no evidence whatsoever that qualified, similarly-situated conservative applicants to the Civil Rights Division were turned away for a lack of liberal credentials. Instead, they rely on the assertion that because all of the new hires are liberal, it defies probability that conservatives weren't rejected for political reasons. Despite the logical inadequacy of this argument, it relies on a definition of “liberal” that is completely constructed by von Spakovsky and Adams. Their frantic attempts to make a case of politicization against Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration results in a broad, and at times ridiculous, characterization of what activities and affiliations constitute sufficient evidence of one's liberal worldview.
Here are just a few of the previous employers and affiliations that PJM believes are liberal (which by contrast reveals a lot about what von Spakovsky and Adams must believe conservative values do or do not encompass):
Public Defenders & Legal Aid
Adams and von Spakovsky leaned heavily on the idea that work experience at various Legal Aid branches and Public Defender offices contributes to a person's liberal credentials. They identified five individuals with Legal Aid experience and ten individuals with experience at Public Defender offices.
Legal Aid, which provides “civil legal aid to individuals, families and communities...who could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer,” has been targeted by Adams before. Public defenders provide legal representation to poor people accused of serious crimes, and their presence, in some form or other, has been ruled necessary to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants.
Defending the poor is not a left-wing or right-wing activity. It's an ethical duty. Per the ethical rules for District of Columbia attorneys: “A lawyer should participate in serving those persons, or groups of persons, who are unable to pay for all or a portion of reasonable attorney's fees or who are otherwise unable to obtain counsel.”
DOJ's Civil Rights Division
You read that correctly. According to PJM, prior experience working at the Civil Rights Division itself is evidence that a new Civil Rights Division hire is liberal. They note at least five different DOJ hires who already had previous experience there.
The Intersex Society of North America
Student Hurricane Network
Law students participating in the Student Hurricane Network activities spent their winter or spring breaks providing free legal assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina, which according to Adams and von Spakovsky is a left-wing use of their time.
Participation in law journals, even at institutions like Harvard Law, was often deemed liberal if they covered topics like gender equality or civil rights - the very topics a Civil Rights Division attorney would benefit from having expertise in. So-called liberal publications include:
Liberal journal articles:
"(De)Constructing Sex: Transgenderism, Intersexuality, Gender Identity and the Law," William and Mary Law Journal
“Who Decides: Genital Normalizing Surgery on Intersexed Infants,” Georgetown Law Review
Some information on the resumes was redacted. If they couldn't read it, von Spakovsky and Adams assumed there were radical far-left shenanigans taking place that the Obama administration was trying to cover up:
“One can only imagine what else he must be involved in."
"There was likely some type of politically embarrassing information on Ms. Austin that DOJ did not want made public."
“The Civil Rights Division's FOIA shop curiously redacted all of Ms. Daniel's “community service and involvement” on her resume. In light of her employment experience, one can only imagine what she was up to in her spare time."
Other Notable “Liberal” Institutions
One attorney, Emily Gunston, was categorized as liberal with this barebones description from von Spakovsky:
Emily Gunston: Ms. Gunston arrived at Justice after working for nearly 10 years as a public defender in Contra Costa County, California. While a law student at Berkeley, she also interned at the Homeless Action Center. One can almost hear the hiring committee: “Check, and check.”
Other unlikely bastions of liberalism, according to Pajamas Media:
Other Circumstances Warranting A “Liberal” Designation
Receiving a scholarship from the NAACP
Possessing a degree in social work
Receiving a California Bar Foundation scholarship and making the accompanying statement, “I have worked in the legal industry as long as I have worked -- most recently in prisons throughout the state -- and I fully intend to apply my law degree to policing abuses of public trust.”