Bloomberg reports that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is “headed for a dramatic makeover” under Joe Biden. It quotes Linda Chavez, among others. She says that the Biden administration is certain to “undo the Trump years” the same way Trump tried to undo the Obama years — “but with a vengeance.”
I don’t want to underestimate the extent to which a Biden DOJ will accommodate race-hustlers, but neither should we overestimate its ability to transform the civil rights landscape. Just as Congress will check Biden’s general domestic agenda, courts are likely to curb the excesses of his Civil Rights Division when it tries to exalt the parochial interests of favored racial groups over the rights of others.
Biden has talked about installing the Civil Rights Division (or parts of it) in the White House. He can move it into the Oval Office if he wants to. It won’t make courts any more likely to uphold race-based preferences in college admissions and employment, for example.
With all of the judges installed during the Trump administration, and especially the three Supreme Court Justices, the left will be lucky if the overall legal landscape on “civil rights” issues is as favorable to its vision in four years as it is now.
There’s also the matter of public opinion. The vote on Proposition 16 in California shows that even in one of our most liberal states, the public doesn’t want racial preferences. If the Biden administration pushes aggressively for such preferences — and I’m pretty sure it will — it will create an issue for Republicans justifiably to exploit in 2024.
And if the Biden administration resumes the Obama policy of interfering in local policing — as I’m quite sure it will — the potential for a justifiable backlash is even greater. Biden won’t defund the police, but his DOJ is likely to handcuff it — not to appease the BLM crowd, but because the folks in his DOJ will agree with BLM about the police.
As policing inevitably deteriorates as a result, crime will continue to rise. Biden, or more likely Kamala Harris, will have to run on that record, as Americans yearn for public safety.