Bush Replaces Outspoken Civil Rights Chair

Bush could hardly wait to do this. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has blasted his administration for the pathetic last few years of enforcement and policies. It’s unclear whether the terms of Mary Frances Berry and vice chairman Cruz Reynoso’s terms expired at midnight or on Jan 21, 2005, but the White House believed it to be the former and replaced them both. (AP):

The eight-member panel investigates civil rights complaints and publicizes its findings. It has no enforcement power. Four years ago, Berry and the commission were heavily critical of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for his administration’s handling of the disputed presidential election won by his brother.

The newly named commissioners are Gerald A. Reynolds, former assistant secretary for the office of civil rights in the Education Department, and attorney Ashley L. Taylor of Richmond, Va. Bush intends to designate Reynolds the commission chairman, succeeding Berry, and to name Abigail Thernstrom, already a commission member, as vice chairperson.

Berry is a contentious figure, so I’m not surprised the admin is pissed; what is also not surprising is that she managed to survive all presidents since Carter but Bush was the first vindictive enough to go ahead and sack her. He takes slights like the early report that was released personally and takes no prisoners.

Tip to House Blend reader Matthew for the pointer.