jeff sessions

A Warning From Democrats to Trump

Sarah N. Lynch

Democrats raised concerns about Sessions’s acting replacement, Matthew Whitaker, who now oversees Mueller and once argued Mueller’s probe was going too far. They also questioned whether the removal of the top U.S. law enforcement officer was an attempt to undermine or end the investigation. “Congress must take bipartisan action to protect the integrity of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” said Steny Hoyer.

The Trump Administration and the Problem of Small-Town Police Abuses

Ian MacDougall

But Jeff Sessions, who took office as attorney general just months after the Justice Department report, has a different view. He considers his predecessors’ reform efforts, particularly via consent decree, to be gross federal overreach that denigrates and demoralizes police. Sessions all but declared that the Justice Department was getting out of the business of meaningful police reform. 

Trump Rescinds Diversity-Based College Admission Guidelines

Klarize Medenilla

However, a number of civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, do address the issue of race in school admissions, and the stipulations of those laws will not be affected by the Trump administration’s retractions, which only affect the new rules put in place by President Obama. The rescission of diversity-based guidelines means that the administration will promote race-neutral methods in admissions, although the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that colleges and universities may use race as a holistic marker for admissions, as long as its use is “narrowly tailored.”

The Trump Administration vs. California

Klarize Medenilla

Although the federal government is the supreme authority on broad matters like immigration, in some cases, states have sovereignty over more precise issues like health and public safety. That’s what Becerra asserted at a press conference on Tuesday where he expressed that, through the Tenth Amendment, California has the right to handle public safety in the ways it sees fit. Calmly poised, Becerra assured Californians that the claims made in the lawsuit demonstrated “there’s nothing really new there that we weren’t already familiar with.”

Donald Trump: The Worst President on Minority Issues in Decades?

Lauren Burke

Trump says "there were very fine people on both sides" at the Charlottesville White nationalists rally, during a Trump Tower press conference. Never mind that one of the largest gatherings of racists in America since the end of the Civil Rights Movement occurred only eight months into Trump’s presidency. Put that aside. Trump’s “both sides” comments on who was to blame for the public street fight in the college town was all anyone needed to understand regarding the thinking of America’s 45th president on the issue of race.

Trump's Ugly Midyear Record on Civil Rights

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

His first nomination out the box was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department, the umbrella agency that the Civil Rights Division is under. The total remake of the department was a top priority for Trump. Sessions hit the ground running. He demanded the delay, if not the end, of federal consent decrees on police misconduct, a new war on low-level drug offenders, silence on criminal justice reforms, and a full-throated endorsement of private prisons. Given Sessions’ intense dislike of the Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the law is even more imperiled.

The Opioid Crisis in Black and White

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There’s one final great cruelty in the glaring racial double standard on drugs. The reports and statistics on opioid and heroin addiction, the wrath of news stories and features on it, and the calls for legislative action to deal with the problem, have not changed one whit the deeply embedded perception that drugs in America invariably come with a young, black face. 

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