The Legal Arm Of The Left
The Department of Justice isn’t about to leave the town of Ferguson, Missouri, alone anytime soon.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced her agency was pursuing a lawsuit against the St. Louis suburb for massive civil rights violations. The DoJ has investigated Ferguson with incredible zeal ever since the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown.
Brown’s death was later ruled a justified act of self-defense both by the local district attorney and then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. But that finding hasn’t stopped Obama’s Justice Department from seeking vengeance on the town which has became a focal point for America’s racial turmoil. (RELATED: Justice Department Sues Ferguson Over Alleged Civil Rights Violations)
Attorney General Lynch is basing her lawsuit on the presumption that the Missouri locale is heavily infected with systematic racism. This insidious bigotry, according to the DoJ, is why African-Americans are arrested more than whites and are more likely to receive tougher sentences than them from the city’s justice system.
“Residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights — the rights guaranteed to all Americans — for decades,” Lynch said in announcing the lawsuit.
In the same 2015 DoJ report that cleared Brown’s shooter — Darren Wilson — of any wrongdoing, the agency castigated the Ferguson Police Department and local government for this alleged abuse of power and demanded immediate change.
The city didn’t drag its feet on the matter and rushed to implement measures — such as a civilian oversight panel — requested by the federal government. But Ferguson rejected an expansive and expensive deal forced upon them by the feds, which the town’s council said it couldn’t afford. In the eyes of Lynch and her deputies, that was an egregious move, thus Ferguson is getting the full power of a federal suit.
While there are certainly issues with Ferguson’s city management — especially with the evidence that the town operates as a speed trap — the zealous pursuit of the Missouri town by one of the most powerful agencies in America should make all citizens pause for a moment.
For years, the office of the United States Attorney General has had partisan connotations. Richard Nixon’s notorious Saturday Night Massacre involved the then-president forcing the resignations of the residing attorney general and his deputy until he found a lawyer willing to fire the special prosecutor investigating Watergate.
Janet Reno, the attorney general for Bill Clinton’s presidential tenure, was infamous for her enthusiasm in running the Justice Department in a politically-biased manner.
But under Obama and his two lieutenants Holder and Lynch, the DoJ has transformed itself from a body dedicated to upholding the law to one enforcing a left-wing agenda.
There’s no element of the Justice Department that has been more involved in advancing a leftist agenda than the Civil Rights Division. As documented in John Fund’s and Hans von Spakovsky’s book “Obama’s Enforcer,” Holder ensured that this division became an epicenter for racial activism.
Many of the individuals hired to work in the Civil Rights Division hail from such partisan organizations like the NAACP and La Raza. The division has utilized the theory of disparate impact — the idea neutral hiring, housing and other practices that don’t result in favorable conditions for minorities can still be found discriminatory — to sue dozens of businesses for the sake of diversity.
Most of these companies caved into the pressure and agreed to exorbitant settlements out of court, such as Wells Fargo and SunTrust. SunTrust was sued because it allowed its brokers leeway in setting a customer’s interest rate, which the DoJ viewed as inherently discriminatory. Most of these companies denied any wrongdoing and said the only reason they shelled out millions was to avoid “costly legal fights.”
Law professor Elizabeth Price Foley noted that Holder’s obsession with disparate impact also led his department to intimidate school systems to adjust their disciplinary practices to conform to racial sensitivity. In other words, the DoJ told schools to not punish misbehaving kids if it comes at the cost of disciplining a disproportionate number of students from a certain minority group. (RELATED: Eric Holder’s Disparate Impact Obsession)
During the 2013 media scrutiny of the knockout game, Holder’s DoJ responded to the national outcry at these racial attacks by charging the one white guy they found punching a black person with a hate crime. No federal hate crime charges were pursued against the dozens of African-Americans who were arrested in connection with knockout attacks against whites.
Nearing the end of his term, Holder called upon Congress to “lower the bar” for federal civil rights charges so his department could file even more cases against those individuals the agency finds bigoted.
Von Spakovsky, a Heritage scholar, has documented how poorly Holder’s DoJ did before the Supreme Court, many times getting handed a unanimous verdict against his actions. While serving as attorney general, Holder requested the power to go after churches for maintaining religious requirements in hiring practices and other rank violations of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court, thankfully, overruled many of the worst practices of Obama’s legal arm, but the decisions haven’t convinced Loretta Lynch to sway from the activist path set by her predecessor.
Besides continuing Holder’s crusade against Ferguson, Lynch has taken action to use her power to peer into any allegation of a authority doing wrong against a minority. She had her deputies look into the school district that detained Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohammed. She launched an investigation into the case surrounding the South Carolina school officer who aggressively handled an unruly student in October. She vowed to target “threatening” speech against Muslims in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attacks. (RELATED: Hunting Down Islamophobia While The World Burns)
The Obama DoJ has had an ideological axe to grind for the president’s entire term, and the agency doesn’t really have anyone to answer to except for the president himself.
Many conservatives have warned that Republicans must win the presidency in 2016 in order to safeguard the Supreme Court from far-left appointments. What’s not mentioned as much is the executive branch’s power over the Justice Department and how it can shape American life. With the precedent set by Holder and Lynch, imagine what Hillary Clinton will do with the DoJ if she wins the White House. Or Bernie Sanders.
Janet Reno was able to get away with the Waco slaughter with nothing more than bad press and now police departments around the country are on high alert that one wrong move can bring the wrath of Loretta Lynch.
The Supreme Court’s decisions may have a more long-lasting impact on the republic, but the Department of Justice can wreak enormous havoc in the short-term. It’s well-past time for Republicans to drastically reform the agency before it gets too out of hand.