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Joseph “Jody” Hunt testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, on March 7, 2018. Joseph “Jody” Hunt testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to assistant attorney general for the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, on March 7, 2018. Photo Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

The U.S. Justice Department in a federal appeals court has disavowed Obama-era guidance that discourages employers from flatly rejecting job applicants who have criminal histories, marking the latest clash with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Justice Department’s brief, filed late Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, was submitted on behalf of the EEOC in a lawsuit Texas brought against the agency over its criminal-history guidance. That 2012 guidance confronted blanket policies that disqualify job candidates for past criminal convictions. A trial judge blocked enforcement of the guidance against Texas, and the Justice Department took the case to the Fifth Circuit.

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