The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday, according to a press release from the Department’s Office of Public Affairs. But was the celebration premature? While September 9, 2017 did in fact mark 60 years since President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, The Civil Rights Act of 1957 did not formally establish a civil rights division within the Department of Justice. What the law did do was enact voting rights protections and create the office of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and a federal commission. It wasn’t until December 9, 1957, three months later, that the Civil Rights Division was born. For all you Birthers, here’s a copy of the order from Attorney General William P. Rogers. Are we being pedantic? Sorry, not sorry. What we are sorry about: concerning developments within the Division itself, including the selection of John Gore as interim chief and the pending confirmation of Eric Dreiband to replace him. As private attorneys, both men have spent their careers defending clients against civil rights claims brought under the very laws their appointments would have them protect. So, given a choice between Gore and Dreiband, it looks like it’s out of the frying pan, into the fire.

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