Civil Rights Division

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The Civil Rights Division, established in 1957, is the part of the U.S. Department of Justice "responsible for enforcing federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin." [1]

Focus Shift

"Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws," Dan Eggen wrote November 13, 2005, in the Washington Post. "Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas."

"At the same time, prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases," Eggen wrote.

"Justice spokesman Eric Holland noted that the overall attrition rate during the Bush administration, about 13 percent, is not significantly higher than the 11 percent average during the last five years under President Bill Clinton," Eggen wrote.


See Civil Rights Division Activities and Programs (2006 Edition).


Contact Information

Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20035

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