Personnel is policy, and the Obama administration knows it. That’s why they hired swarms of committed leftist lawyers to populate the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Bobby Jindal and school choice advocates are finding out the hard way how it works.
Mike Flynn at Breitbart covers a lawsuit filed last week to block school choice in Louisiana by the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division. (Copy of complaint is here.) The lawsuit alleges that school choice in Louisiana means too many white kids are going to private schools. Never mind the fact that black children can do the same thing.
People regularly underestimate the enormous power held by radical bureaucrats. People often wrongly assume Eric Holder or President Obama are masterminding these radical and absurd policies. They are wrong. Holder and his downstream political appointees often only green-light radical legal theories cooked up by lifelong radicals.
Anurima Bhargava: Ms. Bhargava was hired as the new chief of the Section after working for the previous six years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Although her days were likely busy there, she managed to find time to make a $250 contribution to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. She also produced the “Jazz for Obama” concert back in October 2008.
During her tenure at the NAACP LDF she litigated cases across the country seeking to defend and expand the use of racial preferences and racial quotas in public secondary schools and universities. One of the highlights of her work was her coordination of the filing of amicus briefs and other advocacy efforts in support of two Supreme Court cases in which liberal coalitions insisted that local schools be permitted to assign public students to different schools on the basis of race. Fortunately, the Supreme Court rejected this argument as unconstitutional.
In remarks to the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues (yes, such a waste of time and money really does exist) just before joining the Justice Department, Ms. Bhargava described how imperative it was for schools to promote “integration and social cohesion” by considering race, language, immigration status, and religion in placement decisions. Imagine what your communities would be like if courts actually permitted government bureaucrats to engage in such racial engineering.
One wonders if she has even read the Constitution. This woman is running the Educational Opportunities Section.
When it comes to the rights of non-traditional minorities, like whites, Ms. Bhargava’s ideology of inclusion begins to crumble. Indeed, after the Bush Civil Rights Division negotiated a consent decree with Southern Illinois University to end racially discriminatory paid fellowships for which white graduates were told they were not eligible based on their skin color, Ms. Bhargava publicly blasted the decision as “hinder[ing] the legitimate efforts of colleges and universities to create equal educational opportunity.”
And some deniers still think this Justice Department will enforce the law to protect all Americans from racial discrimination.
Shortly thereafter, she was ironically honored for her aggressive battles to prevent state referendums (i.e., real democracy at work) opposing racial preferences. Once again, rights for me, but not for thee.
Her prior work experience includes a fellowship with the ACLU and service as the field director for the election campaign of ultra-liberal Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman of New Jersey. In addition, she remains a member (along with the militant Lani Guinier) of the advisory board of the Center for Institutional and Social Change, whose must-see website is testament to the detached dribble of left-wing activism. The group states that “through a multi-level systems approach, [its] research develops the capacity to sustain and ‘scale up’ initiatives aimed at building the ‘architecture of inclusion.’” It adds that its “collaborative projects develop frameworks, strategies, and roles designed to maximize the impact and influence of initiatives that advance full participation, innovative public problem solving, and institutional reimagination [sic!] — a set of linked goals we refer to as ‘institutional citizenship.’”
Now Ms. Bhargava gets to impose that Orwellian “institutional citizenship” on the rest of us from her new perch in the Civil Rights Division.
Torey Cummings: Ms. Cummings joined the Education Section as a trial attorney from a large private practice law firm, where she performed significant pro bono work representing terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay and death row inmates. This is a trend among new Holder DOJ employees. Never mind the fact every detainee can obtain a highly qualified federal public defender, these attorneys rushed to represent America’s enemies for free. She previously worked as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and as a project assistant at the Wellesley College Centers for Women, where she was able to utilize her social work degree.