An article in Monday's Washington Post analyzed the appointment of immigration judges since 2004 and found that many of the 37 judges chosen under Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez had political ties to the Republican party. Their analysis also revealed that of the appointees with background in immigration law, all were prosecutors or enforcers, bucking an older trend that mixed former immigration prosecuters with former defenders.
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A Miami Court judge is mentioned in the article: Prior to taking his oath of office in Miami, Mark H. Metcalf, says the Post, was an "unsuccessful Republican candidate for the state Senate and U.S. Congress from Kentucky who went on to several positions at the Justice Department unrelated to immigration." His Department of Justice biography can be found here. It verifies that Judge Metcalf had apparently never worked in immigration law prior to his appointment. --Emily Witt