You don’t have to have a severe intellectual disability to work at the Justice Department. But it helps.
According to a July 31 policy memo titled “Hiring of persons with targeted disabilities,” otherwise problematic mental deficiencies are no barrier to jump-starting a career at Justice. The memo lists a number of “targeted disabilities” that trigger special hiring privileges in compliance with President Obama’s Executive Order 13548. Among them are people with “severe intellectual disability,” “psychiatric disability” or other undefined “current severe physical, intellectual or mental conditions.” Most employers would balk at even minor mental disabilities in hiring a lawyer, let alone severe ones. But the policy states that the Cabinet department run by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. must “achieve a work force from all segments of society,” which includes those who are teetering on the edge of sanity.
Mr. Holder’s crazy new human-resources priority says it’s necessary to ensure that people with targeted disabilities “have equal employment opportunities.” It then goes into detail on all the ways in which they will be given special, exclusive treatment. The disabled are eligible for direct hiring in a “streamlined, non-competitive appointment” process that the policy lauds as a “win-win” for the department and the applicant. Of course, this preferential treatment is a lose-lose for the other, perhaps vastly more qualified applicants who were never let in the door, as well as for American taxpayers who cannot benefit from a superior level of public service.
Targeted mentally challenged individuals may be hired for unadvertised positions in a secret, closed-door process that otherwise would be strictly illegal. Standard requirements for prior work experience may be waived so that those who most need to prove they are up to the task don’t have to. Once hired, some of these special hires may have their privileged Schedule A appointments converted into career civil-service positions.