In a sweeping executive order, Trump has just eliminated civil service protection for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. In so doing, he also eliminated the veterans’ preference for hiring for those positions.
His order probably violates federal laws. It most certainly demonstrates ignorance and contempt for the civil service system established in 1883. That system was established to end the political “spoils system” of giving federal jobs to political cronies without regard for merit or ability.
The federal Office of Personnel Management describes the reasons we need the civil service system:
“Just as the pivotal efforts of Federal workers have helped shape America into the world leader it is today, the early efforts of American civil service leaders helped secure a truly American legacy—a merit-based hiring system where fairness, equal access, and protection for all Federal employees ensure a highly effective and non-partisan force to be reckoned with.”
The Washington Post quoted Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, on the effect of the order:
“The discretion for both hiring and firing is so great that the merit principles are undermined and they resemble a political appointee much more than a career civil servant.”
Federal agencies have 90 days to determine which of their employees fall under this order. If we have a new president on January 20, he can end this travesty. If not, our government will sink deeper into the Trumpian swamp.