Career Lawyers Leaving Justice Department

Tension has been growing between career lawyers and political appointees in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, according to some longtime career attorneys who have recently left the division. Now the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding confirmation hearings for a new leader of the politically sensitive group.

Some career professionals who have left the Civil Rights Division say they left because they were shut out of the decision making process in a way that did not occur under previous administrations.

A spokesman for Justice says that there is no split between political appointees and career lawyers. He points to the division's recent accomplishments in disability rights and human trafficking prosecutions as proof of it's effectiveness.

Civil Rights Division Letters

Critics say these two letters are evidence of the division's changing culture. A Justice spokesman says there is no fundamental difference between the two.

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