Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bloch now under investigation for being Catholic and hiring AMSOL graduates

It was just a matter of time before this happened. As many organizations and publications noted earlier this year, there has been a concerted campaign by liberals and gay-rights groups to oust Scott Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). What has Mr. Bloch done to deserve such treatment? Well, he is a devout Catholic who has hired several AMSOL graduates. This is a double whammy to these radicals. Below you can follow the progression of events, beginning with a Catholic League press release in March, followed by an American Spectator article in April, and finishing with the story just released today that Bloch is being investigated by the Office of Personnel Management. Let's not let another good Catholic in public service be destroyed by character assasination. Perhaps our friends at OSC could let us know what the best way to show support for Bloch would be.
To be specific, PEER director Jeffrey Ruch has persistently charged in public that it is improper for Bloch to hire graduates of Ave Maria law school; he did this most recently on National Public Radio on March 25. “Scott Bloch’s personnel practices,” Ruch previously said, “are taken straight from The Da Vinci Code rather than the civil service manual.”
The PEER press release also said Bloch "is a religious conservative who had served as deputy director in the Justice Department's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives." PEER cited Bloch's hires of graduates from "ultra-conservative" Ave Maria Law School as Schedule A attorneys, who can be hired non-competitively, ignoring that he has also hired attorneys from George Washington, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia. And what exactly is Ruch's objection to Ave Maria? It is an accredited law school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and its first class of graduates performed better on the bar exam than any other Michigan school. Are graduates there prohibited from government service in his view?
While Bloch was supposed to enforce merit-based hiring across federal agencies, he converted several OSC positions to at-will appointments, Ruch said. This included hiring recent graduates from the conservative, Catholic law school Ave Maria, as well as hiring his child’s former headmaster from boarding school, the complaint details.


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