The attorney general is threatening our constitutional rights

Alternet 4 days ago

William Barr has already demonstrated that he is an attorney general who:

  1. Is more interested in protecting the president than acting as the chief law enforcement officer of the country,
  2. Believes that only religious people (i.e., Christians) are capable of self-government, and
  3. Doesn’t know the difference between justice and revenge.

But in a speech to police officers and prosecutors on Tuesday, he demonstrated that he also doesn’t respect our constitutional rights.

“Today, the American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers. And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves,” Barr said in pointed remarks delivered at a Justice Department ceremony to honor police officers.

Barr added that “if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”…

[H]e suggested, Americans should stop protesting police officers “fighting an unrelenting, never-ending fight against criminal predators in our society.”

While Barr didn’t specify how communities will “find themselves without the police protection they need” if they don’t show an adequate amount of support and respect for law enforcement, his words were designed to be an obvious threat to those who protest against police misconduct, particularly in communities of color.

To get an idea of just how aberrant Barr’s comments are, it is helpful to take a look at how a previous attorney general talked about protests against law enforcement. When Eric Holder visited Ferguson in the midst of protests against the killing of Michael Brown, he said this.

This is something that has a history to it and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson…

I just had the opportunity to sit down with some wonderful young people and to hear them talk about the mistrust they have at a young age. These are young people and already they are concerned about potential interactions they might have with the police.

I understand that mistrust. I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man. I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over …. ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.

Holder upheld not just the constitutional right to protest, but lauded its value.

Peaceful protest has been a hallmark, and a legacy, of past movements for change, from patriotic women who demanded access to the franchise, to the civil rights pioneers who marched for equal rights and equal justice.

That, my friends, is how things are supposed to work in a pluralistic democracy, while Barr’s threats are the pathway to authoritarianism.

We don’t vote directly on who gets the job of attorney general. But I can think of no better example of the phrase “elections matter” than to contrast the ones chosen by Obama and Trump. Our democracy requires both a president and an attorney general who respect and defend our constitutional rights.

Source link
Read also:
USA Today › Sports › 1 month ago
"They knew they violated his constitutional rights. The city attorney calls it mere errors," said Mark Thomsen, attorney for Bucks' Sterling Brown.
Reuters › 2 weeks ago
The Organization of American States (OAS) said in a statement on Tuesday that human rights violations and the overall situation in Nicaragua since April 2018 have upset the "constitutional order" in the Central American country.
The New York Times › 2 weeks ago
The Organization of American States (OAS) said in a statement on Tuesday that human rights violations and the overall situation in Nicaragua since April 2018 have upset the "constitutional order" in the Central American country.
Newsweek › 1 month ago
Solitary confinement may violate the constitutional rights of prisoners according to a North Carolina lawsuit.
CBC › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
After a week in which the White House issued a blanket refusal to co-operate with what it describes as an 'invalid' impeachment inquiry, constitutional scholars are divided about whether this moment represents a constitutional crisis.
Reuters › Politics › 1 month ago
The parents of slain gay Wyoming man Matthew Shepard blasted U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for failing to stand up for LGBT civil rights in a statement read at a Justice Department ceremony marking the 10-year anniversary of a hate...
The Boston Globe › Opinions › 1 month ago
Attacks on our constitutional structure undermine the rights of all Americans to live in a free society governed by the rule of law, rather than mob rule.
Raw Story › 1 month ago
In a single tweet, President Donald Trump attacked the constitutional right to a free press and possibly confirmed he asked the attorney general to lie for him. The president angrily disputed a report that he asked Attorney General William Barr to...
Business Insider › Finance › 2 weeks ago
Reuters reported that the New York State Attorney General is investigating WeWork in the latest crisis facing the embattled workspace giant. The company confirmed that it had been contacted by Attorney General Letitia James' office, which will...
New York Post › 2 months ago
​President Trump will award the Medal of Freedom to Edwin Meese, who served as attorney general in the Reagan administration, in a ceremony on Tuesday, the White House said in a statement. Meese, 87, who served as the attorney general from 1981 to...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google