Hans Von Spakovsky

The Dismantling of the Justice Department under George Bush

The Nation has a great piece, Justice, Bush Style, that the rest of the media reporting on ACORN should read. The article will read more like a review for many of us at ePluribus since we devoted a lot of attention to the politicization of the DOJ. But are we hearing anything about the near destruction of the Civil Rights Division from the press who is in a frenzy to cover the alleged voter fraud by ACORN?

A startling flurry of inspector general reports--including one released September 29 focusing on the US Attorney firing scandal--along with the testimony of former Justice staffers interviewed at length by The Nation, paint a detailed picture of how a once-proud government department came to teeter on the brink of a nervous breakdown. With the presidential election looming, the consequences of pervasive politicization could be profound, as the department's rules of engagement in the electoral process have been completely remade to allow a much greater degree of direct interference.

"They have destroyed the internal culture of the Justice Department as a restraint on the executive branch," said Bruce Fein, a prominent Washington constitutional lawyer who cut his teeth at Justice during the Watergate scandal and later served as a political appointee under Reagan. "There's no professional insistence on treating law and politics separately. It's all one."

The author covers the changes that took place from Ashcroft through the unraveling in 2007. So where does this leave the nation as we face the elections of 2008?