"Notable Increase" in Justice Department Hiring from Religious Schools:

The New York Times has an interesting piece on the changing priorities of the Civil Rights Division Justice Department under the Bush Administration. The article, however, contains this curious line: "Figures provided by the department show that from 2003 through 2006, there was a notable increase of hirings from religious-affiliated institutions like Regent University and Ave Maria University. The department hired eight from those two schools in that period, compared to 50 from Harvard and 13 from Yale." The author seems unaware that Ave Maria wasn't accredited until 2002, so it's hardly shocking that hiring from there rose from 0 to an average of less than one per year. Regent was accredited in 1996, and again it's not exactly surprising that as the school becomes more established, an average of slightly more than one of their graduates per year could get jobs at the Justice Department. The statistics quoted look even more like data-dredging when you realize that hiring from BYU went down from 2 per year in 01 and 02 to 1 per year from 03 to 06, and, even more impressive, hiring from Notre Dame went down from 6 in 02 to one in 06, and from Catholic from 4 in 02 to 2 in 06. Put another way, during the Clinton Admnistration, in 1999 the Justice Department hired 9 graduates of religious law schools, and in 2000 hired 7 such graduates. In 2006, with one more law school to draw data from (Ave Maria) and with a much more established Regent, the Bush Justice Department hired 6 graduates of religious law schools (in 2005, the total was nine). If anything, then, the Department is hiring fewer graduates of religious schools from a significantly bigger pool. And the scandal is what? [I should note that there are other religiously affiliated law schools in the U.S., but my data comes from a table accompanying the New York Times article.]