The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is free at last! We talked last week about Mary Frances Berry, the very reluctantly outgoing commissioner who’s made such a hash of the commission’s work. We wondered if it would take federal marshals to dislodge her. It didn’t.

The Weekly Standard took note of Berry’s departure:

“She’s finally gone. One of the sorrier chapters in the history of federal employment ended with an unexpected whimper December 7, when Mary Frances Berry ’resigned’ from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights after 24 wholly counterproductive years. She was two days late with the move, and it was technically unnecessary, since her most recent six-year appointment by President Clinton had actually expired December 5. But there’s always been something about Mary, so she’d been threatening, without explanation, to continue occupying her office another couple of weeks–and to sue anyone who tried to stop her. Instead, for what’s probably the first time in her high-pitched life, Berry decided to go quietly.

“Ms. Berry is survived at the Commission, which she had ruled like a cult leader since becoming chairman in 1993, by a depressingly large number of career-staff acolytes. But the White House is already at work on the problem thus posed. Berry ’will be asked for her keys to the building,’ one Commission insider tells the Washington Times, ’although we will still have to change the locks, because there are many people here who are loyal to her who would allow her in.’ (One such, longtime Berry henchman and Commission staff director, Les Jin, has since been ’released’ from the agency, according to the Washington Post.)”