Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Next Attorney General

The New York Times editorial page today focuses on the next attorney general, pointing out the slew of problems the new A.G. will face.

Here's my advice: on the first day in office, the new A.G. should issue a memo to all employees in the Department that says, "All hiring for career positions is to be done strictly on the basis of merit, with no consideration given to ideology or politics. To those employees involved in hiring, this is a directive, to all others; it is a pledge."

As a former Justice Department employee, I was particularly offended by the politicization of career hiring at the Department. Of course hiring for political positions is political. But career hiring should be politically neutral. The Department should hire the best people it can find. There's no need to hire loyalists for career positions -- the career staff takes direction from the political staff.

A clear directive to this effect from the new A.G. would set the right tone for the new administration.

No comments: