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Thread: Regent Law can get you a good gig in the Gov't

  1. #1

    Regent Law can get you a good gig in the Gov't

    Sad but true, it is more important to know the bible than constitution in the current administration.



    [QUOTE]
    Scandal puts spotlight on Christian law school
    Grads influential in Justice Dept.
    By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 8, 2007

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The title of the course was Constitutional Law, but the subject was sin. Before any casebooks were opened, a student led his classmates in a 10-minute devotional talk, completed with "amens," about the need to preserve their Christian values.

    "Sin is so appealing because it's easy and because it's fun," the law student warned.

    Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn't pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions.

    But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website.

    One of those graduates is Monica Goodling , the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who is at the center of the storm over the firing of US attorneys. Goodling, who resigned on Friday, has become the face of Regent overnight -- and drawn a harsh spotlight to the administration's hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations.

    Documents show that Goodling, who has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before Congress, was one of a handful of officials overseeing the firings. She helped install Timothy Griffin , the Karl Rove aide and her former boss at the Republican National Committee, as a replacement US attorney in Arkansas.

    Because Goodling graduated from Regent in 1999 and has scant prosecutorial experience, her qualifications to evaluate the performance of US attorneys have come under fire. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked at a hearing: "Should we be concerned with the experience level of the people who are making these highly significant decisions?"

    And across the political blogosphere, critics have held up Goodling, who declined to be interviewed, as a prime example of the Bush administration subordinating ability to politics in hiring decisions.

    "It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . ". . . That a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ."

    The Regent law school was founded in 1986, when Oral Roberts University shut down its ailing law school and sent its library to Robertson's Bible-based college in Virginia. It was initially called "CBN University School of Law" after the televangelist's Christian Broadcasting Network, whose studios share the campus and which provided much of the funding for the law school. (The Coors Foundation is also a donor to the university.) The American Bar Association accredited Regent 's law school in 1996.

    Not long ago, it was rare for Regent graduates to join the federal government. [B]But in 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni.[/B]

    "We've had great placement," said Jay Sekulow , who heads a non profit law firm based at Regent that files lawsuits aimed at lowering barriers between church and state. "We've had a lot of people in key positions."

    Many of those who have Regent law degrees, including Goodling, joined the Department of Justice. Their path to employment was further eased in late 2002, when John Ashcroft , then attorney general, changed longstanding rules for hiring lawyers to fill vacancies in the career ranks.

    Previously, veteran civil servants screened applicants and recommended whom to hire, usually picking top students from elite schools.

    In a recent Regent law school newsletter, a 2004 graduate described being interviewed for a job as a trial attorney at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in October 2003. Asked to name the Supreme Court decision from the past 20 years with which he most disagreed, he cited Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling striking down a law against sodomy because it violated gay people's civil rights.

    "When one of the interviewers agreed and said that decision in Lawrence was 'maddening,' I knew I correctly answered the question," wrote the Regent graduate . The administration hired him for the Civil Rights Division's housing section -- the only employment offer he received after graduation, he said.

    The graduate from Regent -- [B]credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposwhich is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place -- was not the only lawyer with modest ed greater political control over career hiring.[/B]
    The changes resulted in a sometimes dramatic alteration to the profile of new hires beginning in 2003, as the Globe reported last year after obtaining resumes from 2001-2006 to three sections in the civil rights division. Conservative credentials rose, while prior experience in civil rights law and the average ranking of the law school attended by the applicant dropped.

    As the dean of a lower-ranked law school that benefited from the Bush administration's hiring practices, Jeffrey Brauch of Regent made no apologies in a recent interview for training students to understand what the law is today, and also to understand how legal rules should be changed to better reflect "eternal principles of justice," from divorce laws to abortion rights.

    "We anticipate that many of our graduates are going to go and be change agents in society," Brauch said.

    Still, Brauch said, the recent criticism of the law school triggered by Goodling's involvement in the US attorney firings has missed the mark in one respect: the quality of the lawyers now being turned out by the school, he argued, is far better than its image.

    Seven years ago, 60 percent of the class of 1999 -- Goodling's class -- failed the bar exam on the first attempt. (Goodling's performance was not available, though she is admitted to the bar in Virginia.) The dismal numbers prompted the school to overhaul its curriculum and tighten admissions standards.

    It has also spent more heavily to recruit better-qualified law students. This year, it will spend $2.8 million on scholarships, a million more than what it was spending four years ago.

    The makeover is working. The bar exam passage rate of Regent alumni , according to the Princeton Review, rose to 67 percent last year. Brauch said it is now up to 71 percent, and that half of the students admitted in the late 1990s would not be accepted today. The school has also recently won moot-court and negotiation competitions, beating out teams from top-ranked law schools.

    [B]Adding to Regent's prominence, its course on "Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and National Security" is co taught by one of its newest professors: Ashcroft.[/B]

    Even a prominent critic of the school's mission of integrating the Bible with public policy vouches for Regent's improvements. Barry Lynn , the head of the liberal Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said Regent is churning out an increasingly well-trained legal army for the conservative Christian movement.

    "You can't underestimate the quality of a lot of the people that are there," said Lynn, who has guest-lectured at Regent and debated professors on its campus.

    In light of Regent's rapid evolution, some current law students say it is frustrating to be judged in light of Regent alumni from the school's more troubled era -- including Goodling.

    One third-year student, Chamie Riley , said she rejected the idea that any government official who invokes her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be a good representative of Regent.

    As Christians, she said, Regent students know "you should be morally upright. You should not be in a situation where you have to plead the Fifth." [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    The saddest part is that 150 people on the Bush staff are from this "school".

    The funniest part? Monica Goodling has a lawyer now. Can you guess if her lawyer went to Pat Robertson's "Moron Religious Idiot" law school or did he go to a REAL law school?

  3. #3
    Goodling taking the 5th should make one wonder about how good a 33 year old could of actually been at her job? 33 years old and she was the #3 highest ranked official in DOJ? That is just crazy.

    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan]The saddest part is that 150 people on the Bush staff are from this "school".

    The funniest part? Monica Goodling has a lawyer now. Can you guess if her lawyer went to Pat Robertson's "Moron Religious Idiot" law school or did he go to a REAL law school?[/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    Appointment to these jobs should be on merit, not on the basis of skin colour, gender and most certainly not on the basis of religious beliefs. If it were me appointing these people I'd want the very best I could get, not someone who is employed on the basis they know the the New Testament. It is amazing this sort of religious cronyism exists in this day and age in a Western country; that's the sort of thing they do in places like Iran, and frankly the USA should be much better than that.

  5. #5
    Exuecutive Branch positions are at the will and discretion of the President, to serve his agenda and his beliefs and his plan as he sees fit. If he wants these folks, he gets them (as long as Congress approves where appropriate, of course).

    That goes for any President. Of any faith. Or any belief system.

    So if the next Dem wants to fill his staff/branch with all former ACLU lawyers, he can. Thats how our Govt. works, and always has.

    So whats the issue again? :huh:

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]So whats the issue again? :huh:[/QUOTE]


    The issue is that this administrations biggest problem seems to be a general lack of competence. The problem is exemplified in the fact that this administration seems to award people jobs based on loyalty and ideology instead of qualification.

    And it doesn't make it right that the democrats do the same thing too. It is a tired argument to constantly bring up "Well, I understand that we have f-ed up...but the other side does it too." We must get past the whole left right thing. There is no difference. They are both different ends of the same assh*le.

    I, for one, don't want my justice system run by a bunch of people who couldn't make it in a reputable law school. Would you trust the plumbing in your home to a plumber who never soldered a pipe in his life? I don't want my AG to be somebody who never prosecuted a case before...

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan]The issue is that this administrations biggest problem seems to be a general lack of competence. The problem is exemplified in the fact that this administration seems to award people jobs based on loyalty and ideology instead of qualification.

    And it doesn't make it right that the democrats do the same thing too. It is a tired argument to constantly bring up "Well, I understand that we have f-ed up...but the other side does it too." We must get past the whole left right thing. There is no difference. They are both different ends of the same assh*le.

    I, for one, don't want my justice system run by a bunch of people who couldn't make it in a reputable law school. Would you trust the plumbing in your home to a plumber who never soldered a pipe in his life? I don't want my AG to be somebody who never prosecuted a case before...[/QUOTE]

    The People in a Democracy get exactly what they vote for. Sadly, for about 49.9% of us, that will be exactly what they DON'T want. I still fail to see the issue, Bush's term is over soon enough, and the next guy will do exactly the same thing, right OR left.

    Unless you're planning on amending the Constitution, saying "I wish it wasn;t that way" is slightly pointless, isn't it?

  8. #8
    You need to read the entire article. OPM actually has qualifications and processes one has to go through to get a job. The President only appoints the person in charge, not the entire agency. This is a huge issue because there are people unqualified to have and make decisions in their job.

    Regent Law school? How can you not laugh, this is embarrassing.

    [QUOTE=Warfish]Exuecutive Branch positions are at the will and discretion of the President, to serve his agenda and his beliefs and his plan as he sees fit. If he wants these folks, he gets them (as long as Congress approves where appropriate, of course).

    That goes for any President. Of any faith. Or any belief system.

    So if the next Dem wants to fill his staff/branch with all former ACLU lawyers, he can. Thats how our Govt. works, and always has.

    So whats the issue again? :huh:[/QUOTE]

  9. #9
    The constant theme here is the 'competency' of this administration. It is the core issue that leads to things like we [B]all[/B] should see by now:

    Iraq War Mis mangement
    Big government
    Large deficits
    inadeqaute trade balance
    Failure of Foreign Policy

    Better stop here...

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan]The saddest part is that 150 people on the Bush staff are from this "school".

    The funniest part? Monica Goodling has a lawyer now. Can you guess if her lawyer went to Pat Robertson's "Moron Religious Idiot" law school or did he go to a REAL law school?[/QUOTE]


    I saw this week's Real Time with Bill Maher, too

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=cr726]You need to read the entire article. OPM actually has qualifications and processes one has to go through to get a job. The President only appoints the person in charge, not the entire agency. This is a huge issue because there are people unqualified to have and make decisions in their job.

    Regent Law school? How can you not laugh, this is embarrassing.[/QUOTE]

    Can you name a specific someone who doesn't meet the OPM requiste qualifications, and tell us in what ways she/he fails to meet them?

    The implication of being "unqualified" implies not meeting pre-existing requirements. If the requirement is a Law Degree, then I fail to see how having a Law Degree, even from a religious/faith based school, doesn't meet that requirement. Is there some certification the school itself is missing, compared to toehr schools, that would specificly show "unqualified" status to it's graduates?

  12. #12
    Goodling is the example you are looking for, she has zero qualifications for the position she held. She was there at 33, she had zero experience in any type of criminal law.

    Regent's history for graduates passing the bar is below the national average, yet there are 150 law grads within the DOJ? They were hired because of their faith and religious beliefs, how is that advantageous for the U.S.?

    Come on now, these are sad facts............

    [QUOTE=Warfish]Can you name a specific someone who doesn't meet the OPM requiste qualifications, and tell us in what ways she/he fails to meet them?

    The implication of being "unqualified" implies not meeting pre-existing requirements. If the requirement is a Law Degree, then I fail to see how having a Law Degree, even from a religious/faith based school, doesn't meet that requirement. Is there some certification the school itself is missing, compared to toehr schools, that would specificly show "unqualified" status to it's graduates?[/QUOTE]

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=cr726]Goodling is the example you are looking for, she has zero qualifications for the position she held. She was there at 33, she had zero experience in any type of criminal law.[/QUOTE]

    Okay, thats one. Any others? And I assume you have a copy of her resume, and her transcripts and test scores, when you determine her "unqualified", right?

    [QUOTE=cr726]Regent's history for graduates passing the bar is below the national average, yet there are 150 law grads within the DOJ? They were hired because of their faith and religious beliefs, how is that advantageous for the U.S.?

    Come on now, these are sad facts............[/QUOTE]

    What does the schools record of Bar Passers have to do with THESE 150 grads? Did theri individual jobs require passed bar exams? And if so, did they get hired without that? Otherwsie, again, I dont see the problem (well, I see a problem, but not a fixable one).

  14. #14
    Are you seriously asking if you need to pass the bar to practice criminal law?


    [QUOTE=Warfish]Okay, thats one. Any others? And I assume you have a copy of her resume, and her transcripts and test scores, when you determine her "unqualified", right?



    What does the schools record of Bar Passers have to do with THESE 150 grads? Did theri individual jobs require passed bar exams? And if so, did they get hired without that? Otherwsie, again, I dont see the problem (well, I see a problem, but not a fixable one).[/QUOTE]

  15. #15
    Warfish, do you think it was a coincidence that the U.S. Attorney's Office started going after porn in the last 5 years?


    [QUOTE=Warfish]Okay, thats one. Any others? And I assume you have a copy of her resume, and her transcripts and test scores, when you determine her "unqualified", right?



    What does the schools record of Bar Passers have to do with THESE 150 grads? Did theri individual jobs require passed bar exams? And if so, did they get hired without that? Otherwsie, again, I dont see the problem (well, I see a problem, but not a fixable one).[/QUOTE]

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=cr726]Warfish, do you think it was a coincidence that the U.S. Attorney's Office started going after porn in the last 5 years?[/QUOTE]

    Uh, No. Duh. :D

    [QUOTE=cr726]Are you seriously asking if you need to pass the bar to practice criminal law?[/QUOTE]

    No, I am asking if there are specific cases of Job Positions that previously required passage of the BAR for consideration (i.e. documented proof) that were given to people that did NOT, in fact, pass the bar. I.e. a strict factual assertion of "unqualified".

    Saying that teh School they came from has alot of Bar-failer's doesn;t really have any bearing on the specific folks who got jobs. If some of tHOSE folks hold positions today that previously required (and can be documented to have previosuly required) a passed Bar exam, but are now help by people who do not, in fact, have passed Bar exams, then yes, you would 100% appropriate is saying they were "unqualified".

    Long story short CR, I am looking for fact, not rhetoric, is all I am saying.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]The People in a Democracy get exactly what they vote for. Sadly, for about 49.9% of us, that will be exactly what they DON'T want. I still fail to see the issue, Bush's term is over soon enough, and the next guy will do exactly the same thing, right OR left.

    Unless you're planning on amending the Constitution, saying "I wish it wasn;t that way" is slightly pointless, isn't it?[/QUOTE]


    See...you just totally miss my point.

    When did I say "I wish it wasn't that way"? I made the point of whether or not the reason for the Bush administration lack of competence stems from their hiring practices...and you just keep going on about the left and right illusion.

    It doesnt matter what happened in the past. Now is now. Post 9-11. After the towers fell. In the age of terrorism. Now would be a good time for some competent people to call the shots in Washington. Wouldn't you agree?


    [QUOTE=Pauliec]I saw this week's Real Time with Bill Maher, too[/QUOTE]

    I appreciate you informing me of your choices in weekend television programming. I have great respect for Scotty M. after appearing on such a liberal bastion of a show as "Real Time". I feel for anybody who hold the position of press secretary. What a god-awful job... :rolleyes:

    I plan on watching Hannity's "America" tonight. My usual Sunday night routine. Put the kids to bed, do a bong hit, shot of scotch and prepare to be Hannitized...

  18. #18
    Rhetoric? You think it is acceptable that the lead law enforcement officer's staff is a bunch of religious zealots, who went to one of the worst law schools in the U.S.? I brought up the stats about the bar exam because that is way to show how good the school someone went to actually prepared them to be able to practice law.

    150 from a bottom of the barrel law school and you think hey no big deal they are all qualified because they were hired? Their old Dean was in charge of OPM but, hey don't worry about it.

    That is not rhetoric that is using common sense, they have politicized a place where politics should not be played the core employees.

    Do some research and let me know when someone at DOJ was 3rd in power and not even 35? It doesn't happen because it shouldn't happen.


    [QUOTE=Warfish]Uh, No. Duh. :D

    No, I am asking if there are specific cases of Job Positions that previously required passage of the BAR for consideration (i.e. documented proof) that were given to people that did NOT, in fact, pass the bar. I.e. a strict factual assertion of "unqualified".

    Saying that teh School they came from has alot of Bar-failer's doesn;t really have any bearing on the specific folks who got jobs. If some of tHOSE folks hold positions today that previously required (and can be documented to have previosuly required) a passed Bar exam, but are now help by people who do not, in fact, have passed Bar exams, then yes, you would 100% appropriate is saying they were "unqualified".

    Long story short CR, I am looking for fact, not rhetoric, is all I am saying.[/QUOTE]

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=cr726]Rhetoric? You think it is acceptable..... [/QUOTE]

    CR, my friend, I would think you'd have come to understand me by now......

    There is very very little about the Bush Administration I find to be "acceptable". However, I can still see the difference between my personal view of acceptable, and the legal rights of any President to hire (without oversight) and nominate (with oversight/approval/*cough*back-dooring*cough*) anyone he wishes for whatever reason he wishes, qualified in whatever way he wishes.

    Every President in History has had that right. If you want to talk about taking it away, great.....good luck amending the Constitution, really. If not, we're just blowing hot air in this (and many other, similar) threads.

  20. #20
    War, I appreciate your views. What has happened in the U.S. Attorney's Office is outrageous. You could compare this to if every agency within the DOJ did the same. The FBI's top are 30 year olds from Oral Roberts and Liberty University. No experience, just the proper religious beliefs.


    [QUOTE=Warfish]CR, my friend, I would think you'd have come to understand me by now......

    There is very very little about the Bush Administration I find to be "acceptable". However, I can still see the difference between my personal view of acceptable, and the legal rights of any President to hire (without oversight) and nominate (with oversight/approval/*cough*back-dooring*cough*) anyone he wishes for whatever reason he wishes, qualified in whatever way he wishes.

    Every President in History has had that right. If you want to talk about taking it away, great.....good luck amending the Constitution, really. If not, we're just blowing hot air in this (and many other, similar) threads.[/QUOTE]

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