The Trump administration has forced a historic record of turnover among civil servants in the federal government. Between firings, resignations, and leaving posts unfilled, Trump’s government seems determined to do everything possible to sabotage vital functions.
The Department of Justice, headed by Jeff Sessions, has been particularly hard hit. Many talented attorneys have left the department, likely due to the chaotic nature of the Trump administration, as well as the poisonous assault being unleashed on our democracy.
Now, the Justice Department has lost yet another top lawyer. Diana Flynn, chief of the Civil Rights Division Appellate Section, has been at the DOJ since the Reagan administration. She planned to spend the rest of her career there. Yet now, under Trump, she thinks that her skills could be better used elsewhere.
‘One of the government’s top civil rights lawyers since the Reagan administration told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday she will leave to become the litigation director for Lambda Legal, a high-profile exit that will put her at the vanguard of LGBT rights and likely place her in conflict with former colleagues at the Justice Department.’
She explains her reasoning:
‘She reflected on a three-decade tenure under four Republican presidents and two Democratic presidents, saying, “There have been some good times in the Civil Rights Division, regardless of the party.”
‘“But it appears to me — at this crucial time for LGBT rights — to make the arguments I want to make and take positions I want to take, I would be much better situated at Lambda Legal than I am at Justice,” she said.
‘“I see a danger to some of the principles that have been established in the civil rights arena generally,” she said. “I see attempts to roll back specifically LGBT rights in the courts and society, and I want to be in the position where I can aggressively resist that and make the arguments that I think will be most effective.”’
While it’s unfortunate to see so many talented people with some degree of common sense leave civil service, we can at least take heart in the fact that those like Diana Flynn are not giving up the fight. Indeed, far from it. Lambda Legal is an important civil rights legal firm, and the oldest LGBT rights litigation firm in the entire nation. They’ve been a key force in courtroom battles for equality.
Whoever has to come in to clean Trump’s mess is going to find that the federal government has been drained of talent, though. The State Department and the Justice Department have been perhaps the hardest hit, with many career civil servants choosing to leave the out-of-control dumpster fire that is the Trump administration, likely not wanting to participate in an ongoing assault against American values and traditions. Others have been fired, with Trump choosing to leave positions unfilled, then blaming Democrats for it.
Hopefully, by the time Trump is voted out or removed from office, there won’t be too much damage to our nation to repair.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images