ROBIN ASHTON GETS JUSTICE AT JUSTICE…. Looking back, it’s still almost hard to believe what went on in Bush’s Justice Department. Monica Goodling, a young graduate of a radical TV preacher’s college, made the transition from being an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee to scrutinizing applicants seeking positions at the Justice Department.

One of the more striking examples came with Robin Ashton, a seasoned criminal prosecutor, who’d been promised a promotion she’d clearly earned. In 2005, however, Ashton was told she had “a Monica problem” — Goodling suspected Ashton might be a Democrat, which meant Ashton couldn’t be trusted, which meant there would be no promotion.

Ashton, a victim of obvious employment discrimination, saw her position go to someone else. Goodling went on to lead partisan witch hunts, reviewing resumes and rejecting anyone who she suspected of partisan or ideological disloyalty, even for nonpartisan jobs. In March 2006, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales quietly assigned Goodling the authority to appoint or fire all department political appointees in the Justice Department other than the United States attorneys.

Fortunately, grown-ups are back in charge at the DoJ. Goodling is a disgrace, while Ashton was re-hired by the department last week.

Robin C. Ashton, the woman Attorney General Eric Holder just named to head of the Justice Department’s internal ethics office, was reportedly herself a victim of improper politicization during the Bush administration at the hands of Regent University graduate Monica Goodling.

“As a veteran career prosecutor, Robin is uniquely qualified to serve as Counsel for Professional Responsibility, and I am confident she will lead the office with the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and dedication,” Holder said in a statement.

If this seems vaguely familiar, it’s because this isn’t the first time the Obama administration’s Justice Department did right by officials screwed over by Bush’s Justice Department.

In 2006, career prosecutor William Hochul was poised to be appointed to a top counterterrorism detail, but Goodling vetoed the decision — Goodling discovered that Hochul’s wife had supported Democratic congressional candidates, so she refused to allow him to get a promotion. In 2009, Obama nominated Hochul to be a U.S. Attorney.

There was also Daniel Bogden, a highly regarded U.S. Attorney, who was forced out of his job for refusing to politicize his office. Last year, Obama brought Bodgen back as a U.S. attorney.

And then there’s Leslie Hagen — a respected lawyer, with impeccable credentials as a Republican, and sterling performance evaluations at the Justice Department. Goodling, however, had heard a rumor that Hagen was a lesbian, so Goodling blocked Hagen from being considered for any position, at any level, in the entire department. Last year, Obama brought her back to the DoJ, too.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.