Evisceration of the US Commission on Civil Rights. By law, no more than half of the commission’s 8 members can belong to any one party. A December 6, 2004 DOJ memo to then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales opined that party affiliation meant only the nominee’s party registration at the time of their appointment. The next day Bush selected two Republicans who re-registered as independents for places on the commission, giving Republicans an effective 6-2 majority. As a result, the commission’s practice of holding fact finding hearings 3 times a year was done away with. Projects looking at civil rights enforcement and undercounting of minorities by the Census Bureau were cancelled. In their place, the commission issued reports on how integration in primary and secondary schools did not improve education, questioning how minorities were selected for top law schools, and recommending doing away with set asides for minority contractors. (see also 232)
Via TPMmuckraker, on July 28, 2008, Hans van Spakovsky (item 101), the Administration’s fearless crusader against non-existent voter fraud, whose nomination to the Federal Elections Commission was tragically derailed, was hired as a temporary full time employee at the Commission on Civil Rights to monitor the 2008 elections, proving yet again that cronyism, like irony, is not dead.