Current Administration’s Department Of Justice Redefining Who Has Civil Rights
The Department of Justice’s announcement that they would be working against race-based college admissions in early September is the latest move in a series of decisions made by this administration to redefine the entire concept of civil rights. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the focus has shifted from protection of the everyday citizen and robust oversight of police departments, towards protecting police officers, people of faith, and local government officials who claim that they have been trampled by the federal government, as well as supporting state voting laws that have the potential to remove thousands of people from voting rolls, as we discuss below.
For many, this means that while for the last 242 years, there has been a movement to transform America into a more open society – a movement that includes providing everyone with greater access to classrooms, employment opportunities, public accommodations and voting booths – the Department of Justice is now moving away from all of that and towards policies that embrace clear violations of civil and a noticeable departure from promoting equality and diversity. This includes active efforts to chip away at the rights of disadvantaged populations, including prisoners and immigrants.
A Shift from Justice to Special Interests
For many, one of the most alarming aspects of this move is just how fast it is happening; from allowing employment discrimination based on decisions of religious organizations; to supporting the right to refuse service to someone simply based on an “offense to someone’s religious sensibilities.” These decisions are curbing the rights of groups that have historically faced discrimination – including gay, lesbian, and transgender people – losing sight that these same religious freedom arguments were once used to fight school desegregation.
Nowhere is this perhaps more evident than the Department’s move to back away from a longstanding position to protect voting rights and its shift in approaching local law enforcement issues. It reversed a decades-long stance that people should be allowed to vote and withdrew its objection to a Texas voting law that judges ruled was discriminatory against African-American and Hispanic voters. It also stepped away from investigations into allegations of abusive and discriminatory policing in Chicago and Louisiana. Sessions also asked for a 90-day delay in a consent decree with the Baltimore police department, which was involved in the death of Freddie Gray, de-emphasizing the department’s responsibility to enforce fair policing policies in general.
Contact a Civil Rights Attorney Today
Policies that seek to dissolve our fundamental civil rights are dangerous. Remember that the federal government and justice department is not the final word on these rights; states like New York and New Jersey afford their citizens protection from such civil rights issues as discrimination and racial profiling.
If your civil rights have been violated, contact the office of Phillip J. Murphy today for a free consultation. Our attorneys have been protecting the civil rights and providing criminal defense representation for communities throughout New York and New Jersey for more than 25 years.