The Trump administration appears to have tapped a longtime critic of the federal government’s role in education policy for a job at the Education Department. Hans Bader, who until last week served as senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, will be joining the department’s Office of General Counsel, according to an internal directory listing viewed by POLITICO.
— A message sent to Bader’s work email address at the Competitive Enterprise Institute on Sunday received an automatic reply: “I have departed from CEI as of October 14, 2017 to work at the Education Department,” he wrote. A department spokeswoman did not respond to messages seeking confirmation of his hiring.
— Bader previously worked at the Center for Individual Rights and at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights during the George W. Bush administration. He was sharply critical of many Obama administration education policies, particularly its enforcement of civil rights laws, which he has said amounted to federal overreach. He said in a blog post that Trump’s proposed $9.2 billion cut to the department’s budget was “justified and long overdue.”
— Bader was also a prominent voice on the right criticizing the Obama Education Department’s campus sexual assault policies as trampling the rights of the accused and violating students’ free speech rights. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last month withdrew those policies, arguing that they made it too easy for students to be found responsible for sexual assault and that they denied due process to accused students. Bader joins the Trump administration as it plans to write new regulations governing how colleges should approach sexual assault cases.
— Also to watch this week: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is expected on Wednesday to take up the nomination of Carlos Muniz, President Donald Trump’s pick to serve as general counsel at the Education Department, along with several other nominations.