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Tag: Justice Department

FBI, Justice Department to Finally Start Hiring Again Following Budget Deal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department have been losing employees and not replacing them because of budget cuts.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama’s budget deal in late December would end the hiring freeze and fill positions again.

The FBI plans to hire about 1,000 people. The Justice Department will begin to refill some of the 4,000 positions that have remained unfilled.

“After years of doing more with less, we will begin to fill critical vacancies. And we will resume the normal hiring process for federal agents, prosecutors, analysts and the other staff we need to fulfill our mission,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video message to employees.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

AG Holder Says Justice Department to Extend Benefits, Other Rights to Same-Sex Couples

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Married gay and lesbian couples should have the same rights in legal matters as other married couples, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this weekend.

The USA Today reports that Holder announced the new policy this weekend.

“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said to the Human Rights Campaign, a group advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.

The Justice Department plans to issue a memo today, instructing them that same-sex marriages carry the same full and equal recognition under the law.

Holder compared the struggle of gay rights to the civil rights in the 1960s. “Just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation’s struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher,” Holder said. “Then, as now, nothing less than our country’s commitment to the notion of equal protection under the law was on the line.”

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Civil Rights Division Nominee Deserves Better

 
 
By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Board

Debo Adegbile, President Obama‘s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is an experienced litigator and  specialist in civil rights law. In a rational world, he would receive unanimous confirmation. But as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on his nomination, Adegbile faces opposition from conservatives who don’t like his legal philosophy and a law enforcement group that won’t forgive him for participating in the appeal of a man convicted of killing a police officer.

Neither objection has merit. Like any president, Obama is entitled to Justice Department officials who share his views. As for the charge that Adegbile is hostile to law enforcement, it’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of a lawyer’s role.

The most sensational — and unfair — criticism of Adegbile involves the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. Adegbile and other attorneys at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a brief with the Supreme Court in 2009 asserting that Abu-Jamal’s conviction was invalid because of racial discrimination in jury selection. Two years later they represented Abu-Jamal directly when prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to reinstate his death sentence.

The Fraternal Order of Police complained to Obama that Abu-Jamal’s “just sentence — death — was undone by your nominee and others like him.” Actually, it was a federal appeals court that overturned Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, citing flawed jury instructions.

To read more click here.

Lawyer Nominated for Key Justice Department Post Faces Increased Pressure

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee of a key Justice Department position is coming under more attack.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and former Gov. Tom Ridge urged the U.S. Senate to reject Debo Adegbile because he helped overturn the death penalty for a convicted cop killer.

Still, the Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division, placing his fate in the hands of the full Senate.

In 2011, Adegbile helped get the death penalty tossed in the case of a Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of murdering a Philadelphia police officer.

Firm That Vetted Snowden, Navy Yard Shooter Accused of Bilking Taxpayers Out of Millions of Dollars

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The contractor that vetted NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the Navy Yard shooter has cheated taxpayers out of millions of dollars for unfinished background checks, the Washington Times reports, citing a Justice Department filing.

In fact, investigators allege USIS received $11.7 million in performance awards from 2008 to 2010.

But that work was never finished, the DOJ reported.

USIS engaged in the practice of dumping in order to meet budgeted goals and, therefore, increase its revenue and profits,” Justice Department attorneys James Dubois and Melissa Handrigan wrote in the complaint.

Justice Department Finds Alabama Failed to Protect Female Inmates from Sexual Abuse

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department leveled serious allegations against Alabama officials, saying the state failed to protect female prisoners from being sexually assaulted and harassed by correctional staff, Fox 6 WBRC reports.

“Tutwiler has a history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment,” the department wrote in a report to Gov. Robert Bentley. “The women at Tutwiler universally fear for their safety. They live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior, including: abusive sexual contact between staff and prisoners; sexualized activity, including a strip show condoned by staff; profane and unprofessional sexualized language and harassment; and deliberate cross-gender viewing of prisoners showering, urinating, and defecating.”

The governor’s office expressed support for the investigation.

“Governor Bentley has been supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ proactive measures to address the needs and issues in our prison system. The Department of Corrections has been putting recommendations from the NIC report in place since last January. It is important to ensure safety of inmates and staff inside our prisons, and the Governor is supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ efforts to do just that.”

Justice Department to Dramatically Expand Rules Aimed at Profiling by Federal Agents

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a move to address decades of concerns about the protection of civil rights, the Justice Department plans to expand its definition of racial profiling to alleviate discrimination by religion, nationality, gender and sexual orientation, the New York Times reports.

Although the Bush administration banned racial profiling in 2003, it provided exclusions for national security cases and Latinos for immigration probes.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants that to change, the Times wrote.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I.’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It’s unclear when the new rules will go into effect.

Obama’s Nominee for Civil Rights Post in Justice Department Faces Heated Criticism from Foes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has drawn strong criticism from opponents of the appointment of Debo Adegbile, Fox News reports.

They’ve described the former NAACP lawyer as “radical,” “dangerous” and “outside the mainstream.”

Now he’s being criticized for playing a role in overturning the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

Asked about the overturned sentence, Adegbile responded: “It’s important, I think, to understand that in no way does that legal representation, zealously as an advocate, cast any aspersion or look past the grievous loss of Sergeant Faulkner.”