Report: White House Stacking Immigration Courts

Bush appointees chosen for GOP loyalty
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2007 5:20 AM CDT
Report: White House Stacking Immigration Courts
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gestures during a meeting with attorneys general from the United States, Mexico, Central America and Colombia, in Jiutepec, Mexico, Friday, June 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)   (Associated Press)

The White House is illegally packing the nation's immigration courts with GOP partisans, circumventing civil service rules to appoint administration insiders and cronies, according to a Washington Post analysis of relevant records. A third of judges appointed to the immigration bench since 2004 have been party loyalists, and half had no experience in immigration law, the Post reports today.

The paper reviewed 37 appointments made since the Justice Department switched to using political criteria in hiring, according to statements made by former officials, who testified that they thought the practice was legal. Of those judges appointed who did have immigration experience, all were on the prosecution side; earlier justice departments balanced former prosecutors with those who had represented immigrants. (More Alberto Gonzales stories.)

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