Federal Efforts to Eradicate Employment Discrimination in State and Local Governments: An Assessment of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Employment Litigation Section


At the time this report was being prepared, the new administration under President George W. Bush had not yet identified new priorities in the area of employment discrimination, nor had an assistant attorney general for civil rights been confirmed. For this report, the Commission interviewed the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights, William Yoemans, and his counsel, Richard Jerome, who currently oversees and reviews the work of the Employment Litigation Section.

In March 2001, President Bush named Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., an African American lawyer who is a former assistant U.S. attorney from Boston, as his choice for assistant attorney general for civil rights. As a federal prosecutor for six years in Massachusetts, Mr. Boyd prosecuted bank fraud, bank robbery, firearms, homicide, bombing, narcotics trafficking, and gang violence cases. During the past four years in private practice, Mr. Boyd has worked on securities, product liability, and trade secret cases. In other capacities, he coordinated “Operation Triggerlock,” a national firearms-prosecution program organized by the Department of Justice, and served as a member of the Department’s urban anti-violent crime initiative team.

After being nominated, Mr. Boyd’s confirmation hearing was conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May. Under regular Senate procedures, the first day that the Committee could vote on his nomination was in mid-June 2001, which occurred after the completion of this report.

In addition to new leadership at the Civil Rights Division, ELS also may find its current assignments and workload affected by the Supreme Court’s review of Adarand, which is scheduled during the fall of 2001 (also after the release of this report). None of the officials interviewed at the Department would speculate as to the outcome of the Supreme Court’s review or whether it would result in changes in the applicability of the law.