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"Dan Rather Reports:" Politicizing Civil Rights?

Joshua David Riegel,
Racial Justice Program
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June 14, 2007

“Dan Rather Reports” recently featured two ACLU clients in the episode, “A Question of Rights,” which focuses on the Justice Department’s politicization of the Civil Rights Division and its failure to enforce civil rights under the current administration. The approximately 20-minute segment in which our clients, Janet Caldero and Marianne Manousakis, were featured describes a case in which the ACLU Women’s Rights Project stepped in to represent female and minority custodians in New York City public schools. In 1999, the Justice Department under the Clinton Administration won the custodians relief as part of broad affirmative action measures remedying past discrimination in recruitment and hiring by the City. But in 2002, the Justice Department under the Bush Administration turned around and attacked that relief as unconstitutional and discriminatory against white males. The Women’s Rights Project’s intervention resulted in an important victory against discrimination in the workplace in 2006, when a judge ruled that our clients could keep their benefits.

In the episode, Caldero and Manousakis describe the betrayal they felt when the Justice Department abandoned them and the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated profession. The episode premiered a couple of days ago, but will re-air a number of times over the next couple of weeks; DVDs of the episode are also available for sale on HDNet’s website. If you receive HDNet, you can see the episode at the following times:

Fri., June 8 11:00 AM EDT
Thu., June 14 11:00 AM EDT
Thu., June 14 6:00 PM EDT
Sat., June 16 11:00 AM EDT
Tue., June 19 11:00 AM EDT
Tue., June 19 6:00 PM EDT

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