Trump Therapy 5.2 -- Assault on Civil Rights (part 1)
By now, everyone is aware that Trump is doubling down on one of his big lies, claiming that “between three million and five million unauthorized immigrants voted for Mrs. Clinton" (and while the coverage has been focused on the question of illegally cast votes, no one seems to have noticed an even more crucial issue -- Donald Trump is claiming to know for whom all these ballots were cast. How does Trump know what happened when these votes were cast is a question that demands an answer, given the office he currently occupies. )
This isn't just another lie, driven by Trump's insecurities about size. Its part of the vanguard in an assault on civil rights. Trump is rewarding his white nationalist base, making it clear to them that he is on their side.
While sub rosa, there has been an enormous amount of activity designed to create a foundation for a wholesale assault on civil rights. The nomination of Jeff Sessions – who is openly hostile to civil rights enforcement – to head the Justice Department is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the inauguration, Team Trump has
#1) delayed the implementation of a consent decree reached with the City of Baltimore regarding reforms to the city's police department designed to deal with police violence/discrimination against African Americans, citing the “change in administration.”
#2) delayed a hearing on Texas' voter ID laws, which the courts have already found to be discriminatory, again citing the “change in administration”.
In fact, this effort appears to be co-ordinated, given the almost identical language of the two filings.
On August 25, 2016, this Court set a hearing for January 24, 2017. Order (ECF No. 922).The United States seeks to continue this hearing because of the federal government’s change in administration, which took place on January 20, 2017. Because of the change in administration,the Department of Justice also experienced a transition in leadership. The United States requires additional time to brief the new leadership of the Department on this case and the issues to beaddressed at that hearing before making any representations to the Court. This motion is made ingood faith and not for the purposes of delay.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, the Court issued a letter constituting an Order of the Court (ECF No. 7) scheduling an initial hearing in this matter for Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The United States moves for a continuance of this hearing because of the federal government’s change in administration, which took place on January 20, 2017. Because of the change in administration,the Department of Justice also experienced a transition in leadership. The United States requires additional time to brief the new leadership of the Department on the case at bar and the proposed Consent Decree before making any representations to the Court. This motion is made ingood faith and not for the purposes of delay.
Someone clearly sent out a form letter to the various offices litigating civil rights cases, and told them to put an immediate hold on all enforcement efforts. Given that the “change of administration” has the potential to impact all current cases, it might make sense to issue this kind of request for all current cases. But the Federal Courts have not shut down while the Trump Justice Department gets its act together – its seems as if just Civil Rights enforcement has been affected.