Enforcement of civil rights laws fell significantly during the Bush administration, according to a GAO report, as reported in the NY Times.  The non-partisan Government Accountability Office reports, for example, that the DOJ Civil Rights Division had filed 11 cases of sex or race harassment per year during the Clinton years, but only 6 per year during the Bush years.  Political appointees rejected the recommendations of career CRD lawyers to proceed further with cases for no apparent reason, according to the report.  The GAO audit was based on records from 2001-2007.  

The reduction in suits filed is all the more remarkable since EEOC filings have been rising each year for the past 20 years or more.  And, of course, we now know that the Bush administration often hired DOJ lawyers more for their political correctness than for their competence in civil rights. 

The Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing the civil rights statutes against state and local governments.  Whereas, the EEOC enforces the employment discrimination statutes against private employers.  Charges against state and local governments are still filed with the EEOC.  When the EEOC investigates a charge against state and local governments and finds evidence of discrimination, the EEOC refers the charge to the CRD for review.  

So, it is very remarkable that that when staff lawyers wanted to investigate a report of voter intimidation by a state government, the supervisor told them they could not contact the state government.  Say what?  That makes no sense.  I cannot imagine investigating harassment by a state government without actually talking to the state government.  That would be like investigating a murder without actually speaking with any of the murder suspects.