Seeking Qualified Mentally Retarded Lawyers?

From a Justice Department job announcement for “up to 10 experienced attorneys for the position of Trial Attorney in the Voting Section in Washington, D.C.”:

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.

I’m pretty sure I know what happened here: Boilerplate that was designed for a wide range of federal jobs — including the ones (probably a relatively small percentage of all federal jobs) for which one can be qualified even though one is mentally retarded — is just being copied here; and the limitation to “qualified applicants” who “are able to perform the essential functions of the position” ensures that no mentally retarded lawyers will indeed be hired. Still, the result looks pretty striking in a call for applications from experienced attorneys.

Thanks to Christopher Rohrbacher for the pointer.

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