Posted on March 28th, 2017
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – March 28, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a copy of a letter it co-signed that offers guidance on how Attorney General Jeff Sessions should evaluate candidates for the next Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
The letter, co-signed by 25 civil rights attorneys, organization leaders, authors, and a sitting Secretary of State asserts that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has strayed from its traditional role and was leveraged as a political tool for too long.
“During the Obama administration, the Division served purely ideological ends with rigidity unmatched in other federal offices. Entrenched federal bureaucrats jettisoned precepts like equal enforcement in favor of political and racialized dogmas,” the letter argues.
The leaders also note that the DOJ needs to focus on new fronts in civil rights, rather than reliving the past century.
“Together, we have witnessed longstanding conventions held from the mid-20th century prove outmoded in recent years and discovered new fronts in need of protection where civil rights are concerned—with particular respect to voting. Discrimination, dilution, and poor processes will always be constants, yet the victims can vary in our contemporary era,” the letter adds.
The authors leveled three primary challenges to new incoming Justice Department leadership:
- Put an end to the second-chair posture on civil rights leadership;
- Address the ‘ideological rot’ impacting the Civil Rights Division that the DOJ Inspector General reported on in 2013; and
- Implement reforms to curtail the ‘unethical behavior’ of government attorneys.
PILF President J. Christian Adams underscored the gravity of the staffing pick.
“The most important position General Sessions will fill in the DOJ is the AAG for Civil Rights,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “For years, a radicalized Civil Rights Division heavy-handedly advanced leftists causes with respect to voting, law enforcement, immigration, and others while constitutional Rule of Law was considered a nuisance. General Sessions has an opportunity to begin the course correction necessary to protect all Americans from civil rights abuses.”
The letter concludes with an understanding that “the road to reform will be a rough one requiring time and perseverance.” Advancing the status quo is not an option with respect to civil rights, the authors urge.
A copy of the letter can be accessed here.
Letter to AG Sessions on Civil Rights Division by Public Interest Legal Foundation on Scribd