A Justice Department job announcement seeks up to ten attorneys for the Civil Rights Division to serve as Trial Attorneys in the Voting Section. It also says…
The Civil Rights Division encourages qualified applicants with targeted disabilities to apply. Targeted disabilities are deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorder, mental retardation, mental illness, severe distortion of limbs and/or spine. Applicants who meet the qualification requirements and are able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation are encouraged to identify targeted disabilities in response to the questions in the Avue application system seeking that information.
Yes, it’s true: your government is looking for mentally retarded and mentally ill trial lawyers to work in the Justice Department.
What should we make of this? Has affirmative action now reached the point where mental illness or defect not only do not bar to legal work in government agencies, but are regarded as assets to it? Or are lawyers with menatl retardation already installed in important positions in the Justice Department, which would explain, for example, recent decisions regarding the trials of accused terrorists? Could it be that the government’s efforts to hire lawyers with disabilities are just a cruel sham, since the announcement cleverly injects the qualification of being “able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation”? Clever! Those lawyers with brain function disabilities will never pick up on that. Still, this bait-and-switch suggests that the government’s supposed dedication to hiring the physically disabled is dishonest and deceitful, and that private industry is being urged to do something the government itself does not take seriously.
Perhaps the announcement’s meaning is more mundane, and merely shows that the same faceless bureaucrats whom we are supposed to entrust with increasing influence over our lives, finances and future are in fact careless, cynical, and inattentive, failing to consider the obvious implications of what they publish, do or say. Perhaps it means that mentally ill or disabled government employees are already on the job, writing job announcements.
Whatever this means, something is definitely wrong.
But we already knew that.
[Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy for the link.]