DOJ Environment Division’s Morale ‘Destroyed': Transition Head

April 8, 2021, 6:40 PM

The Justice Department’s environment division was demoralized and somewhat dysfunctional before Joe Biden won the presidency, Harvard Law professor Richard Lazarus said in a rare behind-the-scenes look at the unit’s transition.

The prominent environmental law scholar oversaw the transition for DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division ahead of Biden’s inauguration and shared details of his experience during a Harvard event Thursday.

Career staff were dejected before the Biden team came in, Lazarus said, with some lawyers burdened by Trump-era constraints on enforcement tools and others trying to defend agencies in court with substandard administrative records.

“At the Department of Justice...

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