You can count me among those who don’t believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a firm grip on the Department of Justice. The place is huge. It is chock to the gills with hardcore progressives and Democrat partisans–and has been since the Great Society era. Sessions’s deputy, ordinarily the hatchet man, is part of the problem. But, in some things, Sessions is having an impact whether you like it or not. He’s reinvigorated civil asset forfeiture, which looked like it was on its last legs under Obama. He taken control of the immigration court system and is changing the way in which illegals have been coddled for decades. Another area where he’s really taken the bull by the horns has been his defense of religious freedom and his use of federal civil rights laws to do so. This, as one might expect, has not made a lot of people happy: Trump’s Justice Department Redefines Whose Civil Rights to Protect.
The Justice Department’s decision last week to support Asian-Americans seeking to curb race-based college admissions is the latest in a series of moves that are redefining decades of civil rights enforcement — and reshaping the very notion of whose interests the federal government should protect.
Since its founding six decades ago, the Justice Department’s civil rights division has used the Constitution and federal law to expand protections of African-Americans, gays, lesbians and transgender people, immigrants and other minorities — efforts that have extended the government’s reach from polling stations to police stations.
But under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the focus has shifted to people of faith, police officers and local government officials who maintain they have been trampled by the federal government. The department has supported state voting laws that could wind up removing thousands of people from voter rolls. And it has pulled back on robust oversight of police departments found to have violated the rights of citizens in their jurisdictions.
Actually, this is wrong. What Justice has done is to set about systematically balkanizing America into victim groups with enhanced rights. If you aren’t the correct minority or if your sex life isn’t sufficiently exotic or, heaven forfend, you are a Christian who takes his or her faith seriously outside of about an hour on Sunday, you, my friend, are screwed. Even civil rights laws may not apply to you if you aren’t the flavor du jour.
The Asian-American suit against Harvard, which argues that the school’s admissions policies are discriminatory, is positioned to help one minority group, but former Justice Department attorneys worry that it could ultimately weaken a legacy of the civil rights era that has been used to expand opportunities to other underrepresented minorities.
The Justice Department’s support of that suit “is a distortion of the law and repeated rulings from the United States Supreme Court,” said Anurima Bhargava, an attorney who worked in the department’s civil rights division. “It undermines schools’ efforts to bring students of different backgrounds together.”
I never cease to find this argument hilarious. Even if you go along with the noxious idea that increasing “diversity” is a function of a university then excluding the successful offspring of immigrants because they, as a group, are simply too successful is grotesque. Aand, let’s be honest, they aren’t really talking about diversity of background because the main beneficiary of these programs are black and Hispanic students from upper middle-class homes and there is no way the kid of a white construction worker is going to get a break just because of a disadvantaged background. They are talking about racial set asides the only diversity is of melanin.
If you want a full indictment of the roll back of “civil rights” activities under Sessions, this is the source.
What is noticeable about them is that they are largely activities where Sessions’s decision was sufficient to carry the day and he didn’t have to rely upon the support of the DOJ bureaucracy.
Sessions has been largely successful in limiting federal meddling in local police forces, he has been sympathetic to the lawfare being waged against people of faith, and he has refused to use the power of the federal government to carve out additional rights for people who really are all that clear about their gender. So, on the whole, this part of Sessions’s tenure has fairly successful.
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