The previously nonpartisan Justice Department honors program became a partisan preserve under Bush administration operation.
This, of course, has happened in every single facet of the executive branch and has been ruthlessly enforced from the Cheney White House. It will take years to correct; decades if McCain is allowed to continue the Cheney-Bush era.
UPDATE: My first post on this I don't think conveyed sufficiently how slimy this deal is. More from the New York Times.
WASHINGTON -- Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used “political or ideological” factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday.
The blistering report, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general, is the first in what will be a series of investigations growing out of last year’s scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys. It appeared to confirm for the first time in an official examination many of the allegations from critics who charged that the Justice Department had become overly politicized during the Bush administration.
“Many qualified candidates” were rejected for the department’s honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, “constituted misconduct and also violated the department’s policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations.”