Sessions Department of Justice

Up in smoke, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Up in Smoke,” I discussed Sen. Cory Gardner’s decision to put a hold on all pending Justice Department nominees in retaliation for Jeff Sessions’ revocation of a memo issued by the Obama DOJ regarding enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana. The memo in question discouraged federal prosecutors in most cases from bringing charges wherever the drug is legal under state law. Sessions called the memorandum unnecessary »

Up in smoke

Featured image I wrote here about the void in the Trump/Sessions, where four nominees for Assistant Attorney General positions are being held up due to Senate inaction. The four positions are crucial ones: Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. Why can’t these nominees get a vote? Apparently, it’s because of marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner is »

The gap at DOJ

Featured image Rachel Brand, the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department has resigned. She will become Walmart’s “Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary.” With Brand’s departure, here is what the top echelon of the Department of Justice looks like: Attorney General – Jeff Sessions Deputy Attorney General – Rod Rosenstein Associate Attorney General – vacant Solicitor General – Noel Francisco Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division – vacant, nomination »

Justice Department sides with free speech on campus

Featured image The Justice Department has filed a statement of interest siding with two conservative groups that have sued the University of California at Berkeley for violating their First Amendment rights. The DOJ’s filing argues that the plaintiffs — the Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans — properly pleaded that Berkeley violated these rights, and that therefore the court should not to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case at the pleadings stage. »

“Sessions tries to regain Trump’s favor”

Featured image That’s the top headline in today’s Washington Post (paper edition). I’m not sure why it’s newsworthy, though. Naturally, a Cabinet member wants to be in the good graces of his boss, the president. There’s no job security, and not much chance of being very effective, without the president’s favor. It would be newsworthy if a Cabinet member tried to curry favor by acting lawlessly. However, nowhere in the Post’s article »

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “nearly a year into President Trump’s administration, the Justice Department lacks Senate-confirmed appointees in leadership posts running the national security, criminal, civil rights and other key divisions.” “The problem shows no sign of abating anytime soon,” the Post adds. The Post is correct. Not only are key leadership posts vacant, but it now appears they will remain vacant until at least the Spring. Moreover, this »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ: Andrew McCarthy comments

Featured image There is no one whose opinion I wanted more than that of former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy on “Fear and loathing at the DoJ.” He knows what he is talking about. I am grateful that he took the time to read the post, watch the video of Howard Root’s account of the criminal case against him (Howard, that is), and comment via Twitter (below). Andy’s tweet to his »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ

Featured image In the memoir Cardiac Arrest: Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO on the Feds’ Hit List (written with Stephen Saltarelli), Howard Root tells the story of his experience as chief executive officer of Vascular Solutions caught in the crosshairs of the federal government when prosecutors sought to put his company out of business and to send him to the big house. Howard touched on one aspect of his story in »

DOJ interns treated to Q and A with Attorney General

Featured image Attorney General Sessions fielded questions today from interns at the Justice Department. Naturally, many of the questions had a left-wing slant, some aggressively so. As Sessions put it, “this is not a timid group.” Sessions fielded the questions with aplomb. He was combative at times, but maintained a friendly demeanor. He deserves credit for engaging in a spirited, candid dialogue with the interns. The best exchange, in my view, was »

Is Sessions Trump’s most effective cabinet member?

Featured image Many conservatives would scoff at the idea that Attorney Jeff Sessions is President Trump’s most effective cabinet member. They would cite his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation (probably the right call), his refusal to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton (probably the right call), and his failure to remember various obscure meetings with Russians, etc. (unfortunate). But those who pay close attention to policy know »

DOJ investigates Harvard for race discrimination

Featured image The Department of Justice is investigating Harvard University’s use of race in undergraduate admissions. It has also warned Harvard that it is out of compliance with federal civil rights law because it has not provided documents the department requested. The investigation concerns admissions policies that depress the number of Asians admitted to Harvard. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color »

Pseudo-moderate Dems toe party line on DOJ nominations

Featured image If there is any administration job for which the Senate should defer to the president’s selection, that job is Solicitor General. The SG represents the U.S. before the Supreme Court, defending the administration’s positions. The administration’s positions should be defended by the lawyer of the president’s choice. Barring truly exceptional circumstances, the Senate should confirm the president’s selection. President Trump chose Noel Francisco for Solicitor General. Francisco has a distinguished »

Left balks as Sessions returns DOJ to rule of law

Featured image President Trump may be disillusioned with Jeff Sessions, but the Attorney General is doing an outstanding job. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment is returning the DOJ to the rule of law by reinstituting guidelines that require prosecutors to charge the most serious offenses and ask for the lengthiest prison sentences. One indication of the significance of this accomplishment is the howling from Team Leniency, including two former Obama-appointed prosecutors — »

Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville violence. But why?

Featured image The Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the violence that occurred in Charlottesville yesterday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law »

Is DOJ Going Soft On Leaks?

Featured image This morning on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the administration’s determination to stop leaks, including criminal leaks that damage national security. The key question here is whether DOJ is willing to go after reporters who publish classified information in violation of the Espionage Act. As Scott has written, there is no obstacle under current law to prosecuting reporters and editors. But Rosenstein seemed »

A dangerous candidate for the top DOJ civil rights job, Part Two

Featured image Prominent conservatives have expressed to me their alarm over the prospect that Harmeet Dhillon will be tapped for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. However, I have also received pushback from a few of her supporters. In this post, I will address the arguments they make in defense of selecting Dhillon. But first, I will note that the supporters in question have not denied any of the statements of fact »

A dangerous candidate for the top DOJ civil rights job

Featured image The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was at the center of much of President Obama’s “transformative” agenda. It took a leading role on issues ranging from local police practices, to voting procedures, to transgender matters, to employment quotas, to immigration. In all instances, the Civil Rights Division advanced the left’s position. The amount of mischief the Civil Rights Division can produce is vast. One of the great »