Figure From Bush DOJ Scandal Helps Kobach With Kansas Senate Lawsuit

ASSOCIATED PRESS

One of the officials at the center of the Bush administration’s U.S. attorneys scandal is helping to author briefs for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the lawsuit that could help determine one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country.

Bradley Schlozman, who stepped down from the Justice Department in 2007 amid controversy and is now an attorney practicing in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the signatories of a new brief from Kobach’s office. Kobach is fighting this week in the Kansas Supreme Court to keep Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor on the November ballot.

Taylor attempted to withdraw from the race earlier this month, which cleared the field for independent candidate Greg Orman, who is running strong against incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Roberts’ seat is now unexpectedly in play and could decide whether Republicans regain control of the Senate in November.

Election law expert Rick Hasen on Monday first noted Scholzman’s participation in the lawsuit as outside counsel for Kobach.

Schlozman was one of several high-level Justice Department officials who left the department after TPM helped uncover politically motivated firings and conduct during President George W. Bush’s administration. He was said to have helped prevent the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights section from opposing voter ID laws and was also accused by former employees of adding negative comments in subordinates’ performance reviews if they didn’t follow the political line, as TPM reported at the time.

He once notoriously said that he was replacing Democratic hires with “good Americans,” TPM reported at the time. From the Civil Rights Division, he was appointed as the U.S. attorney in Kansas City in 2006 after his predecessor had been abruptly fired.

A 2009 Inspector General report concluded that Schlozman violated federal law when he “considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys” while he headed the voting rights section of the Civil Rights Division.

However, he was never formally charged.