Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. attorney general, confirmed his focus on “ensuring racial equity” and “meeting the evolving threat of violent extremism” at his confirmation hearings last week.
“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol,” he said in his opening statements, calling the events on Jan. 6, “a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”
In a way, it seems like an effort to reassure Democrats’ base, to be sure. The left’s civil rights groups are not happy about the Garland nomination. In the words of Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, co-founder of Racial Justice NOW!, “It is a huge disappointment to see Merrick Garland nominated,” reports the Washington Times.
Combined with other nominations being put in motion, the statements indicate we may be going back to the days of extraordinary politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other administrative agencies to go after Democrats’ enemies.
Take Vanita Gupta, who has been nominated to be associate attorney general, the No. 3 position at DOJ. A former American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP attorney, who later worked for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Gupta headed the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama, when the weaponization of DOJ for political purposes was at its peak.
Civil rights and election law expert Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation has written of Gupta’s time at DOJ, “Rather than enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws on a race-neutral, non-political basis, Gupta acted as if the Civil Rights Division was simply the in-house counsel of the Democratic National Committee and its political ally, the NAACP.”
Her support for defunding the police, something most Americans have soundly rejected, is just one example of why she is the wrong choice for this critical position. In her mind, the defunding efforts have not gone far enough. “Police reform alone is not going to solve the problem of police violence,” she said as a member of then-presidential candidate Biden’s criminal justice task force.
Gupta has been at the forefront of movements to decrease criminal penalties, advocating even for the release of some convicts because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even urging President Biden to “act on [his] promise of ensuring equality, equity, and justice in our criminal legal system by immediately commuting the sentences of all individuals under federal sentence of death, and reinstating the federal moratorium on the use of the death penalty.”
And what of our constitutional rights to religious freedom? Add Gupta to the anti-religious liberty cabal the president is assembling to go after groups of nuns, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, if they don’t fall in line on abortion and human sexuality. After the Supreme Court protected the sisters’ conscience rights in their case against Obamacare’s unconstitutional contraception and abortifacient mandate, Gupta said the court was giving them “a license to discriminate.”
To top it all, Gupta is entirely on board with ignoring women’s concerns to work tirelessly to destroy Title IX, effectively canceling women’s sports to allow biological males who identify as women to enter into women’s sports competitions. This is a radical position that women from both the left and the right emphatically reject.
This will be the new extreme official position of the United States under the leadership of nominees like Gupta. Women, and women athletes, in particular, can expect to become a major target under the coming DOJ persecution.
Will Garland stand for women’s rights in this area? Don’t count on it. Therefore, senators must demand fairness for women athletes. Opposing Vanita Gupta for associate attorney general would be a great start.