Thursday, 9 January 2014

“Justice Scalia and the Failure of the Reagan Revolution,” By Kevin R.C. Gutzman


"Justice Scalia and the Failure of the Reagan Revolution," By Kevin R.C. Gutzman
By Kevin R.C. Gutzman
January 9, 2014

Recent news of Justice Sonia Sotomayor's injunction of enforcement of the PPACA's (Obamacare's) contraception mandate against the Little Sisters of the Poor prompted me to consider the judicial history of the last thirty-three years. Specifically, it led me to think about the place of Justice Antonin Scalia in that history and the sense in which his performance on the Supreme Court reflects the failure of the Reagan judicial program.

Perhaps the most significant domestic-policy legacy of President Ronald Reagan was the resuscitation of originalism, which at one point was called "the Constitution," in constitutional law. Nowadays, scholars and judges, both on the right and on the left, commonly at least genuflect in the direction of the Constitution in the course of explaining their views and rulings. Prior to Reagan's election to the presidency, such was not the case.

Not only were pre-Reagan judicial performances apt to rest on nothing more significant than the justices' preferences, but the justices gave little indication of thinking they should hide this fact. For example, consider the Court's 7 2 ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973) that abortion was a constitutional right. Neither the general ruling itself nor the Court's labored discussion of the human gestational cycle had the slightest basis in the Constitution. To the contrary, as the topic is entirely unmentioned in the Constitution, it clearly fell under the Tenth Amendment's reservation of undelegated powers to the states.

Reagan's election owed much to the legal history that climaxed in Roe. That history prompted Evangelicals to abandon their historic abstinence from politics, organize themselves as a leading component of the New Right, and help Reagan to power. However, Evangelicals were not alone in criticizing Roe v. Wade. In fact, prominent liberal legal academic John Ely famously said of the Court majority's opinion in the case that it "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be."

Ely's is the best summary of the output of the Supreme Court in the period of several decades before Reagan's election. As I said before, Roe was merely a kind of culmination. Other notable opinions of the decades before­in Engel v. Vitale, Griswold v. Connecticut, Miranda v. Arizona, and even Brown v. Board of Education­also gave "almost no sense of an obligation to try to be" law.

In response, Reagan fought the good fight­not least by appointing his close aide and ideological companion Edwin Meese to be attorney general. Meese surrounded himself with serious originalist warriors such as Bruce Fein and Charles Cooper, and he launched a full-scale assault on the people who had been foisting "not constitutional law" off upon us. Their avatar, Justice William Brennan, fired back. According to Brennan, it was impossible to know what the Constitution was supposed to mean, and so . . . well, apparently and so one should just accept whatever Brennan's "Rule of Five" (with five votes, he could do anything) might yield.

Besides fighting on the battlefield of ideas, Reagan's men also busied themselves with the equally important task of staffing the federal courts with judges committed to adhering to the Constitution. So out of whack were the times that this was seen by the gatekeepers of conventional wisdom as an odd goal, as reflecting principles long thought dead­as inexplicable. By the time he retired in January 1989, however, Reagan had put history's chief judicial proponent of his approach in the chief justice's chair and named three other justices to the Court, along with a majority of inferior-court federal judges.

The shining light of this crop, nearly all believe, is Justice Antonin Scalia. Over and over, from the Court's bench, in public forums, and in his books, Scalia has argued for "originalism." Combative, quick, and intelligent, Scalia ought by now to have a large number of acolytes to show for his efforts.

But he does not. One reason is that his fellow Reagan appointee Sandra O'Connor seems to have found his go-for-the-jugular dissents off-putting and his readiness to overturn established doctrines in their entirety unnerving. Another, often unnoticed, is that his orignalism isn't very originalist.

For example, take Scalia's famous opinion in Johnson v. Texas holding that one has a right to burn the American flag. Although purportedly grounded in the First Amendment's Speech Clause, that decision striking down a Texas law was technically based on the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause: the Speech Clause, as the Court said in Barron v. Baltimore (1833), constrains only the Federal Government, and it was only in holding that the Speech Clause had been "incorporated" into the Fourteenth's Due Process Clause that the Court prepared the way for Johnson.

Scalia won love from liberals for respecting their freedom-of-expression shibboleth and support from conservatives for his supposed fealty to constitutionalism with Johnson. The problem is that Scalia has recognized that the Incorporation Doctrine is not grounded in the original understanding of the Due Process Clause. He has even said that he is "not going to re-fight the Incorporation battle."

Originalism? Nothing of the kind. Seemingly, the decision simply reflected the justice's policy preference.

Scalia performed similarly in Stenberg v. Carhart, the partial-birth abortion case. There, he and his close ally Clarence Thomas issued a concurring opinion explaining that while they would like to see the Court reconsider its Commerce Clause jurisprudence, that line of cases led them to the conclusion that they must uphold Congress's partial-birth abortion statute. Note: they had to provide the decisive votes in favor of upholding a congressional power never before recognized by the Court because the Court's Commerce Clause precedents led them in that direction.

Well, you might say, stare decisis exerts a powerful pull on Supreme Court justices. Since 1942's decision in Wickard v. Filburn, one could hold that virtually anything the Congress wanted to do in the way of business regulation fell under its Commerce Clause power. Abortion was a business. Therefore, Congress might ban this type of abortion. Scalia was only following stare decisis­and drawing Thomas along with him.

Fortuitously, his devotion to stare decisis coincided perfectly with Scalia's policy preferences.

If from nowhere else, reason for mentioning the Stenberg result's consistency with Scalia's personal preferences comes from Scalia's vote in NFIB v. Sebelius (2012) to strike down the PPACA on the ground that it exceeded the limits of Congress's Commerce Clause powers. Here Scalia seemed to be contradicting himself, to be voting to overturn the Wickard line of cases despite the majority's unwillingness to do so. How to account for that?

Once again, his vote was perfectly consistent with his policy preferences.

Leaving aside the Bush v. Gore debacle, perhaps Scalia's most important decision was that in Employment Division v. Smith (1990). In that case, Scalia wrote that although a legislature could not consistently with the First (meaning the Fourteenth, as noted above) Amendment adopt a law saying "No peyote use by members of the Native American Church," it could adopt a generally applicable law that interfered with some people's religious practices, viz., "No peyote use by anyone." The remedy for such a problem, if there was to be one, must be sought from the legislature, Scalia said.

Again, this position was perfectly consistent with Scalia's personal preferences.

Sotomayor's injunction of enforcement of the PPACA's contraception mandate seems to me easy to decide, in light of Scalia's 1990 Smith decision: the PPACA is generally applicable, after all, and Congress is open for business. If he is consistent in his stated reasoning, Scalia will side with the Obama Administration against the Little Sisters of the Poor.

In the old, pre-Reagan days, one knew what a Thurgood Marshall or William Brennan, not to mention a William Douglas or Earl Warren, would do. The Rule of Five was the rule of the day, gussied up in the academic garb of "Legal Realism." ("'Constitutional law,' Prof. Ely? Be real.") The Reaganites were going to put an end to that. Now, they believed, constitutional matters would be decided on the basis of principle, not politics.

How will Justice Scalia vote, if the matter comes before him? I have made clear my belief that in a large number of cases, Justice Scalia is guided more by his desires than by legal principle. I think that his voting to follow his own Smith precedent in the case is virtually impossible to envision. For him to do so would be entirely out of character.

Thus, the Reagan project has failed.

http://nomocracyinpolitics.com/2014/01/09/justice-scalias-and-the-failure-of-the-reagan-revolution/?utm_content=buffere9f9d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Chris Christie Is Either a Vengeful Asshole or Entirely Incompetent


09 January 2014
Chris Christie Is Either a Vengeful Asshole or Entirely Incompetent
Adam Weinstein


There's one thing missing from the recently unearthed emails that show Chris Christie's underlings conspired to jam up traffic for political revenge: Any messages from Christie himself. He claims he knew nothing of it. He claims, in other words, that he's not an evil string-puller, just an ineffective slackjaw.

Perhaps the New Jersey governor can refine that thesis in his first public appearance today, a live press conference at 11 a.m. But more likely, he's going to profess outrage, announce firings, and vow that he's learned something: how to do a better job of policing his own people while governing for the people of New Jersey, and geegle florp buz gagat narboza.

But mostly, he'll profess ignorance. Christie didn't know that, after Ft. Lee's Democratic mayor shrugged off his pressure and denied him a re-election endorsement, his deputy chief of staff emailed a Port Authority appointee: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Christie didn't know that the appointee, a high school classmate of his, replied, "Got it." Christie didn't know that after the traffic cones were set out, jamming traffic from the George Washington Bridge all the way into the town of Fort Lee, an ailing 91-year-old woman died in an ambulance waiting to move in the packed streets. Christie didn't know that the Port Authority appointee dismissed reports of kids stuck in the traffic on their school buses by invoking the name of Christie's opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial election: "Those are the children of Buono voters."

A guy who wants to be leader of the free world, who spent most of his adult life as a federal prosecutor­turning over rocks, investigating criminals and organizations deeply­claims he had no clue that his closest aides conspired with one of his top political appointees­again, a high school classmate­in manufacturing a public transportation crisis for political getback.

He claims further that after journalists and Jersey residents started asking questions about the traffic closures, his administration did an internal investigation­his vocational specialty, remember­and turned up no evidence of a conspiracy.

And then the New York Times got a bunch of emails that contradicted him.

At that point, he did what real political leaders do; he took ownership of the problem canceled his public appearances and pushed the scandal off his table like a plate of moldy carbonara:

What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions. [emphasis added]

Here's the tl;dr: "Corruption is bad, and I don't tolerate corruption, except that I didn't know about my subordinates' corruption, and it doesn't reflect on me at all because I didn't know about it, but I still will never tolerate it, as soon as I know it exists, which now I do."

Okay, give Chris Christie the benefit of the doubt. Assume that the guy is telling the truth, and this happened without his knowledge or sanction. What he's saying is he's an idiot who can't manage the people he hired, and no matter how much he would like to blot out corruption on his staff, he's not equal to the task. Now, would you please vote for him for commander in chief of the United States armed forces, please?

There's an old standup bit about how awesome it must be to really be stupid, because it's an easy out for fouling up any situation: "What are you, stupid?" "Well, yeah." "Oh. Sorry..."

Most scoundrels caught in the orgiastic throes of their worst political and legal sins play this incompetence card. It's not that they're cold, calculated or callous; it's just that they're stupid and awful at what they do. Nixon in Watergate; Reagan in Iran-Contra; Ken Lay at Enron; "money-losing" Major League Baseball owners; Bernie Madoff; every government or corporate entity involved in the primary and secondary mortgage markets from 2003-2008: These people first eschew public scrutiny of their jobs by arguing that they're consummate professionals doing work that no one else can possibly comprehend or manage.

Then, when public scrutiny turns up misdoings on their watch, they claim it's not their fault; they failed to comprehend what was happening! They mismanaged their personnel! How can you expect these things not to happen in organizations this complex?!

So place your bets. Bet No. 1: Chris Christie is the slappy, snippy, sly dog he's played for us these past few years, the kind of guy who runs a ship so tight and digs so deeply into a problem that something like Bridgegate could never happen on his watch without not only his knowledge, but his blessing. Bet No. 2: He's a bumbling moron.

The governor would prefer you take Bet No. 2. That should tell you everything you need to know about Chris Christie.

http://gawker.com/chris-christie-is-either-a-vengeful-asshole-or-entirely-1497791173

Fwd: Deepak Chopra and Nancy Pelosi Join The Atlantic Presents the Shriver Report LIVE 1.15.13



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Spenser Sussan
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014
Subject: Deepak Chopra and Nancy Pelosi Join The Atlantic Presents the Shriver Report LIVE 1.15.13
To: Bruce Majors <Majors.bruce@gmail.com>


Good Afternoon -

I'm writing in the hope that you are still considering our invitation to The Atlantic Presents: The Shriver Report LIVE on Wednesday, January 15. I'm delighted to announce that New York Timesbestselling author Deepak Chopra and U.S. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be joining us for a day of solution-driven discussion following the Sunday release of the third Shriver Report, "A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink." The conversations will be conducted by moderators includingNPR's Michel MartinNational Journal's Ron Brownstein, and David Gregory from Meet the Press

 

Made possible by our presenting underwriter American Federation of Teachers, and our supporting underwriters Abbott Laboratories and Thomson Reutersthere are a limited number of seats still available – please feel free to share our invitation with colleagues who might also have interest in joining us. To RSVP, please click Yes or No below or reach out to myself at ssussan@theatlantic.com or by calling 202-266-7154. 


We also encourage you to join the conversation via twitter by following @Atlantic_LIVE, @ShriverReport and #WhatWomenNeed, and by reading ongoing coverage of America's economic gender inequality by speakers including Maria Shriver and Anne-Marie Slaughter in a special report on theatlantic.com.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we hope to see you on Wednesday, January 15.

 
Best,
Spenser


Spenser Sussan

The Atlantic | AtlanticLIVE | TheAtlantic.com

202-266-7154 | @Atlantic_LIVE

Invitation Top Banner

The Atlantic Presents The Shriver Report LIVE

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where
The Newseum: Knight Conference Center
555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20001

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Re: Chris Christie: I did not have sex with that woman

I actually believe him ... my gut feeling is that his staff went native and did what THEY THOUGHT would punish the Mayor of Fort Lee and Governor Christie was not told about it!!!


On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM, Travis <baconlard@gmail.com> wrote:






http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/chris-christie-i-had-no-knowledge-or-involvement-issue

 

Chris Christie: I Had No Knowledge or Involvement in This Issue'

January 9, 2014 - 11:08 AM


By Susan Jones

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FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

(CNSNews.com) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized Thursday for "failing to understand the true nature" of the problem that has landed him in so much political trouble -- a deliberately arranged traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge for reasons of political retribution.

"I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in it's planning or execution, and I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here," he said at a news conference.

Christie said he was "embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team," singling out two of them by name.

"I was being led to believe by folks around me that there was no basis to this" he said. "But I was wrong." He used the word "heartbroken" several times.

Christie said he's fired his top aide Bridget Kelly "because she lied to me." He also said he's ended the political career of Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager, telling him to remove his name from consideration as state Republican Party Chairman and to step down from his work with the Republican Governors' Association.

Christie said he continues to interview his staff to find out if there's anything else he should know.

He said he will go to Fort Lee, N.J., today to apologize in person to the Democratic mayor of that town, which is situated at the New Jersey end of the bridge. The apparent reason for the early-September traffic jam -- which lasted three days -- was the refusal of the town's Democratic mayor to support Christie's re-election.

In response to a question about his reputation as a bully, Christie said, he isn't one: "Politics ain't bean-bag, okay, and everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that. On the other hand, that's very very different from saying that you know, someone's a bully.

"I have very heated discussions and arugments with people in my own party and on the other side of the aisle. I feel passionately about issues and I do not hide my emotions from people. I am not a focus-group-tested blow-dried candidate -- or governor."

Christie said until yesterday, when an email trail emerged, "I was told this was a traffic study." He said "there was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday."

Even though he didn't know about it, he admitted, "It's my responsibility."

"I don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study," Christie said in response to another question.

He also said he never asked for the political support of Fort Lee's mayor, so reports that the traffic jam was payback were not credible to him. He said that's why he could go out and joke about it -- until yesterday.

 



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Fwd: Sun Goes Wild - NOAA Issues Alert: Earth Directed X-Class Flare On Its Way; Chance Of More







http://www.activistpost.com/2014/01/sun-goes-wild-noaa-issues-alert-earth.html

 

January 8, 2014

Sun Goes Wild - NOAA Issues Alert: Earth Directed X-Class Flare On Its Way; Chance Of More

Mac Slavo


This morning The Daily Sheeple reported that the biggest sun spot in recent history had been identified, and that it had moved into position facing earth. The spot is so large that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it could swallow three earths.

(Photo by Rocky Raybell : Sun spot AR1944 is so big it can be seen with amateur telescopes)


The spot was mostly quiet for the last few days and wasn't directly facing earth, though a smaller Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) glanced the planet in the early hours of January 7th.

Then at 12:32 Central Time it went wild:

Massive sunspot AR1944 has erupted. The X1 flare has sent a coronal mass ejection into space, and it's heading towards Earth. 

[…]

NOAA has upped the risk from further X-class flares to 50% for the next 24 hours. Risk of M-class up to 80%

 


The NASA-ESA Heliophysics Fleet is monitoring the sunspot and CME. Depending on its speed it could take anywhere from a day to three days to hit earth. NBC News reports that the flare is already responsible for radio traffic disruptions.

(Pictured: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory 

shows a blast of activity originating from the center of the sun's disk on Tuesday)


Though an X-1 Class flare is not going to cause widespread power outages across earth, the possibility of increased activity on the sun has been noted by NASA and other researchers, as the sunspot destabilizes further.

The rapid formation of sunspot AR1944 and the earth-facing ejections highlight how quickly life on earth could change if the right conditions are met.

In the summer of 2012 a massive solar flare was ejected by the sun and narrowly missed earth.

Had it occurred just a week prior, the highly charged particles would have struck earth and, according to CU-Boulder Professor Daniel Baker, would have led to nothing short of a technological disaster across the globe. 

The CME itself was massive… and its speed was unprecedented, clocking in at 7 million miles per hour. 

While typical coronal mass ejections from the sun take two or three days to reach Earth, the 2012 event traveled from the sun's surface to Earth in just 18 hours. 

"The speed of this event was as fast or faster than anything that has been seen in the modern space age," said Baker. 

[…] 

Had it hit Earth, the July 2012 event likely would have created a technological disaster by short-circuiting satellites, power grids, ground communication equipment and even threatening the health of astronauts and aircraft crews. 

Source: Scientists Warn of Worst Case Scenario

But that flare wasn't a once-in-a-million-years event.

A decade ago in 2003 NASA identified the most powerful flare in recorded observational history:

In 2003 a solar flare emitted by the sun was the most powerful in recorded observational history, measuring in at levels so high that had it hit earth it would have likely disabled everything from the internet and mobile phones, to water utility plants and the whole of the U.S. electricity infrastructure.

That event was originally thought to have been an X-28 class flare, more powerful than necessary to take out modern electronics across earth. It was later revised to a "whopping" x-45.

These events occur quite regularly in the grand scheme. Recent observations suggest at least several occurrences in a lifetime. For the last hundred years since electronics made their way into our society we've been lucky, having experienced just minor disturbances.

But as the last decade shows, it can happen at any time and the after-effects would be catastrophic.

This is what prompted Senior Member of the House Homeland Security Committee Congresswoman Yvette Clarke to warn that the likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.

Despite the various earthbound threats that exist, a solar flare is arguably the most probable threat we face as a civilization.

As Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has noted in the documentary Urban Danger, if an event of this magnitude hit earth we'd revert back to the stone age overnight:

We could have events in the future where the power grid will go down and it's not, in any reasonable time, coming back up. For instance, if when the power grid went down some of our large transformers were destroyed, damaged beyond use, we don't make any of those in this country. They're made overseas and you order one and 18 months to two years later they will deliver it. Our power grid is very vulnerable. It's very much on edge. Our military knows that.

So how does one survive such an event, where pretty much everything we have come to expect in our just-in-time modern society comes to a screeching halt within seconds of the disaster striking?

It won't be easy, but it is certainly survivable, and if you've developed a broad preparedness plan you would fair much better then the 90% of people who studies say wouldn't make it in such a scenario.

Imagine for just a moment what would be going through your mind and the minds of those with whom you share this report if sunspot AR1944 had emitted an X-25+ Class solar flare that was heading for earth right now and that it would be here within 48 hours.

Would you be prepared for what happens when the national power grid collapses? Would you be ready for the catastrophe that would follow within a matter of hours?

Preparedness for such an event starts with a simple grid-down supply. Once those basics are covered and you have enough to keep your family afloat for two weeks, you could broaden your preparedness horizons with long-term food storage, emergency medical supplies, gold and silver as bartering currencies, and self defense strategies to protect against the inevitable hordes that would follow.

The threat is real. Countless officials and experts have warned of the possibility in our lifetimes.

What if tomorrow was the day?

 



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Fwd: How the DOJ’s Radical Race-Based School Discipline Policies Will Outlast the Obama Era







How the DOJ's Radical Race-Based School Discipline Policies Will Outlast the Obama Era

Posted By J. Christian Adams On January 8, 2014

Today the Drudge Report covers the Justice Department's racialist attack on school discipline policies. The DOJ policy is based on the idea that school discipline policies are racially discriminatory because black students comprise a greater percentage of students disciplined than their percentage in the general population. Call it exceeding the bad behavior quota.

That this four-year-old federal policy exists wasn't news. I covered it in my 2011 book InjusticeWhat is newsworthy is how these radical racialist education policies will outlast the Obama administration, and Republicans are ill-equipped to reverse it even if they win the White House.

As I wrote in Injustice:

The DOJ's reasoning goes like this: if minorities face school discipline at rates greater than their overall percentage in the population, then the school is engaging in racial discrimination. As Civil Rights chief Tom Perez explained, "Black boys account for 9 percent of the nation's student population, but comprise 24 percent of students suspended out of school and 30 percent of students expelled." This preposterous racial bean-counting is an affront to the very concept of individual responsibility.

In January 2011, Perez announced that the DOJ would use a "disparate impact" analysis on school discipline cases to determine whether discipline policies were racially discriminatory. Thus, if blacks were disciplined in higher percentages than their share of the population, the DOJ would bring a lawsuit to stop the discipline policy. The new policy was on display at a DOJ conference on September 27 and 28, 2010, entitled "Civil Rights and School Discipline: Addressing Disparities to Ensure Educational Opportunity." Attorney General Holder addressed the gathering and sought to "better understand the causes, and most effectively remedy the consequences, of disparities in student discipline." Perez then complained that minority "students are being handed Draconian punishments for things like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights and subjective violations, such as disrespect and insubordination."

Some might argue American schools have already allowed far too much disrespect and insubordination among students. That Tom Perez gives quarter for these acts illustrates the cultural demographic he and his fellow Obama political appointees seek to protect—the disrespectful and insubordinate.

We've come to expect this sort of policy from Eric Holder of protecting the lawless and misbehaving. The New Black Panther voter intimidation case dismissal was mere prologue.

Republicans in Congress have shown minimal skill in stopping these radical racialist programs.  Instead of defunding the components of the DOJ that perpetrate these lawless policies, they continue to vote for spending resolutions and budgets that fuel them.

And even if the GOP takes control of the Justice Department in 2017, it will take an Attorney General willing to roll up his or her sleeves and clean out the mess inside the Civil Rights Division that is fueling these nutty and lawless policies.  Only a few GOP figures understand the scope of the problem and have the courage to correct it.  Among them are people like Representatives Louie Gohmert or Trey Gowdy, Senators Jeff Sessions or John Cornyn.

Here are three reasons why even these four would struggle in 2017 to reverse this lawless nuttiness:

1. Imbedded Radicals at DOJ

Republicans make an enormous mistake to assume that Eric Holder is behind every bad idea and the bad policies end when the GOP takes control. Wrong. PJ Media has reported over the last three years about the radical transformation of the civil service taking place inside the Justice Department. These are career civil servants who cannot be removed from their positions easily, if at all. The radical anti-discipline policies are the concoction of the Educational Opportunities Section at the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

The Educational Opportunities Section has been filled up with radical leftist lawyers who will continue to push these policies from the ground up, even in a Republican administration. I saw it firsthand when I worked as a DOJ lawyer in the Bush administration. The best the GOP leadership could do in many instances was put out leftist fires. Debates over Supreme Court briefs and election policies always met with a well-entrenched chorus of leftist lawyers pushing policies at odds with the administration, and often the Rule of Law. Political overseers have ablative will. They can only resist so much.

Better yet, look at the biographies of the lawyers hired from 2009-2011 in the Education Opportunities Section. PJ Media went to court to obtain their resumes.

Their backgrounds are a stew of racial grievance, representing Al Qaeda terrorists, abortion radicalism, "Black Student Movements" and United Nations race activism directed at the United States. Now they are writing federal policies against school discipline.

They are also suing school districts. Consider Meridian, Mississippi. The DOJ pushed these nutty anti-discipline policies on Meridian in a federal lawsuit – and Meridian caved to DOJ demands. You can read the Consent Order here.  (Consent = Meridian voluntarily agreed to the federal order curtailing school discipline).

It's no accident that the attorneys behind the Meridian school discipline case are among those we featured in the PJ Media expose. The crackpot background of Section Chief Anurima Bhargava is too long and nutty to be repeated here.  Click the link for details. Even during the next GOP administration, Bhargava will have a job.

2. Fear of Career

The second reason the GOP will have a hard time rolling back the radical Obama-era policies at DOJ is because many of those appointed to political positions will have a Fear of the Career DOJ employee. During the Bush years, when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced criticism from left wing blogs and Democrats in Congress, his response, like Meridian's, was to cave.  He pushed power down, into the hands of these long term career bureaucrats.  Worst of all, he was proud of it, and spoke openly about how important they were.  A number of other political appointees at the time advised him to do this.  Gonzales ignored the advice of those who told him to fight back against the left-wing attacks.

Depending on who the next GOP President is, expect some political appointees to be named who are afflicted with Fear of the Career DOJ employee. Instead of reversing these radical Obama-era polices, they will enshrine them and make them permanent through acquiescence.  Instead of boldly reversing these lawless policies, deference to institutional continuity will be more important to the ill-chosen political appointee.

As an aside, the PR mantra during the Alberto Gonzales era was not to respond to attacks coordinated by Democrats in Congress and far-left blogs. "That would just prolong the story," I heard many times.  They were stuck in a 1990′s model of the news cycle.  Let's hope the next GOP administration learns something from the combat effectiveness of the Holder regime.

3. Consent Decrees

The final reason that the next GOP administration will have a hard time undoing the nutty radical policies of the Obama-era DOJ is the existence of consent decrees. These consent decrees don't vanish just because President Obama will in 2017.  They remain in force, and the next administration will still have to enforce them.

By now, those first learning about the radical racialist school discipline policies at DOJ should be more concerned about how they will be undone, rather than that they exist.

****

images courtesy shutterstock / Monkey Business Images /  spirit of america / CBS News

****

Cross-posted from Rule of Law


Article printed from PJ Lifestyle: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/01/08/how-the-dojs-radical-race-based-school-discipline-policies-will-outlast-the-obama-era/

 



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Fwd: Obama: Schools should give criminal minority students a pass








January 9, 2014

Putting the Chill on Discipline

By J. Robert Smith

The Associated Press, via Breitbart, reports that Attorney General Eric Holder wants public schools to back off zero tolerance policies that he alleges discriminates against minority students. Putting a chill on discipline and stymieing schools from ousting miscreants means lots of public schools -- particularly inner-city ones -- will do even less educating.

Holder 's guidelines aim at halting "targeting minorities," but, practically, will accomplish defining deviancy downward yet again in urban minority-dominated schools -- that's mostly black and Hispanic kids from broken families and single-parent households.

The A.G.'s guidelines are another tacit admission that there are enormous dysfunctions in poorer minority communities that liberal prescriptions can't arrest and change. In place of reality-based solutions and constructive engagement, Holder -- on behalf of the president -- desires to excuse liberal urban failures by rationalizing and dismissing near- or outright criminal behavior on the part of minority students.

Reports the AP:

Attorney General Eric Holder said the problem often stems from well intentioned "zero-tolerance" policies that too often inject the criminal justice system into the resolution of problems. Zero tolerance policies, a tool that became popular in the 1990s, often spell out uniform and swift punishment for offenses such as truancy, smoking or carrying a weapon. Violators can lose classroom time or become saddled with a criminal record.

Carrying a weapon? Kids are being suspended in some public schools for bringing toy guns to classes or pretending their fingers are guns. Besides, the AP is letting Holder and the president off easy. Suggesting that truancy and smoking are leading to criminal actions against minority students ignores more serious offenses: gang activity, violence, bullying, theft, robbery, rape, drug dealing and use, threats or actual violence toward teachers, and more. (See "Normandy High: The most dangerous school in the area," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for a vivid picture of a dangerous urban school.)

More from the AP:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan acknowledged the challenge is finding the balancing act to keep school safe and orderly, but when it comes to routine discipline the "first instinct should not be to call 911 when there's a problem."

Sheer nonsense, and Duncan knows it. Poor urban public schools aren't calling the police for minor infractions (which likely are routine in those environments), but for greater offenses or because the offender has a track record of more serious violations.

Another nugget from the AP story:

In American schools, black students without disabilities were more than three times as likely as whites to be expelled or suspended, according to government civil rights data collection from 2011-2012. Although black students made up 15 percent of students in the data collection, they made up more than a third of students suspended once, 44 percent of those suspended more than once and more than a third of students expelled.

Of course, legal actions against criminal black kids in largely poor urban schools carried out by mostly black administrators are racism. Liberals and race pimps have evidently degenerated to the point where black education officials are guilty of discriminating against their own. But Holder and company will fix on the instances where white or Hispanic administrators are seeking criminal action against black students in a tortured effort to find racism as the core problem.

Moreover, there are far greater breakdowns of family and neighborhood in poor black and Hispanic communities across the land. The sad reality is that criminality is disproportionately higher in poor minority communities. That fact can't be wished away. Holder's guidelines are an attempt to satisfy that need to wish away reality and hoist that old boogeyman, racism, as the cause of the catastrophe (not an exaggeration) in inner cities. Liberals and the race-pimp industry don't intend to be held accountable for their failures and follies.

Mind you, Holder's guidelines aren't binding, but given that many public school districts are hooked on federal money, they'll take heed. Funny how federal money can dry up when recipients fail to play the tune Uncle Sam wants.

Meanwhile, poor black and Hispanic kids who are struggling to get educations in substandard urban public schools are being done great disservices; actually, moral injustices. Holder wants to saddle good kids who are trying to improve their lives with kids whose criminal behavior is at best disruptive to learning and, worst, prevents real learning from occurring.

But then there are school vouchers. But, no, come to think of it...


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2014/01/putting_the_chill_on_discipline.html at January 09, 2014 - 02:33:15 PM CST



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Fwd: [New post] MUSLIM LOGIC: Muslims in Gaza and around the world suffer hardships because Muslims are watching porn





BareNakedIslam posted: "And Pakistan is the world's largest consumer of internet porn - especially kiddie porn and bestiality. http://youtu.be/CglmjJVb7jE"

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

MUSLIM LOGIC: Muslims in Gaza and around the world suffer hardships because Muslims are watching porn

by BareNakedIslam

And Pakistan is the world's largest consumer of internet porn - especially kiddie porn and bestiality.

Read more of this post

BareNakedIslam | January 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-10IR

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Fwd: [New post] ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA’ AWARDS 2014: Hey…why isn’t BNI on this list?




BareNakedIslam posted: "Well, I'll have to throw my vote to Egypt's General Sisi for taking down the Muslim Brotherhood, jailing its leaders, killing a lot of its violent followers, and designating it a terrorist organization, while thumbing his nose at Barack Hussein Obama.  C"

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

'ISLAMOPHOBIA' AWARDS 2014: Hey…why isn't BNI on this list?

by BareNakedIslam

Well, I'll have to throw my vote to Egypt's General Sisi for taking down the Muslim Brotherhood, jailing its leaders, killing a lot of its violent followers, and designating it a terrorist organization, while thumbing his nose at Barack Hussein Obama.  Clink the link below to cast your vote: Islamophobia Awards 2014: Vote now! TUESDAY, […]

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BareNakedIslam | January 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-10IJ

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