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March 29, 2007

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu or Phil West, Luminaria Media & PR, 512-945-7493, philwest@gmail.com.

Adjunct Professor Steve Bickerstaff Speaks on Politicization of the DOJ at National Press Club, March 30

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Steve Bickerstaff, an election law expert and an adjunct law professor at The University of Texas School of Law, will discuss the politicization of the U.S. Department of Justice at an informal press event in the Zenger room at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 30, at 9:30 a.m. He will be joined by two former DOJ officials.

The discussion will cover recent episodes of DOJ decision-making, including the dismissal of the eight U.S. attorneys, recent voter fraud cases, partisan enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, hiring of attorneys in the Department and approval of the 2003 congressional redistricting in Texas masterminded by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

A panel of three attorneys with lengthy personal experience with the DOJ will discuss politicization under the present Administration.

Two attorneys formerly with the DOJ – J. Gerald Hebert, now executive director of the Campaign Legal Center and the lead attorney for the Congressional Democrats in the Texas Congressional redistricting suit, and Joseph Rich, who was chief of the Division’s Voting Section from 1999 until 2005 and is now director of the Fair Housing Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – will join Bickerstaff on the panel.

Both Hebert and Rich served for decades in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, spanning many Administrations.

Bickerstaff recently authored a book, Lines in the Sand, on the 2003 Congressional redistricting episode in Texas, the politicization of the DOJ and the downfall of Tom DeLay. He also was among the persons who wrote a recommendation letter calling for the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General in 2005, but has recently called for his resignation because of the politicization of the Department of Justice.

The National Press Club is located at 529 14th Street N.W. in Washington, D.C.

Related Link:

Steve Bickerstaff UT Law Bio:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/rsb76/