Total Pageviews

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

America is in big trouble and the GOP love it

Jeff Sessions Is Dismantling Obama’s Legal Legacy

 Recusal from the Russia probe has freed the U.S. attorney general to rearrange Justice Department priorities.
In mid-May, as the Russia investigation reached new heights with the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the eventual naming of Robert Mueller as special counsel, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going about his business as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Having recused himself from the Russia probe two months earlier, he spent those two weeks in May, among other things, issuing stricter charging policiesfor prosecutors and speaking at an antidrug conference in West Virginia, where he blamed Mexican cartels and porous borders for the opioid epidemic.
Under normal circumstances, the U.S. attorney general would be deeply involved in any investigation of a foreign power interfering in domestic affairs. But with the country fixated on all things Russia, Sessions’s recusal has allowed him to implement his tough-on-crime agenda and dismantle large parts of President Obama’s legal legacy without creating big headlines. Since taking over the U.S. Department of Justice on Feb. 9, Sessions has made more than a dozen changes affecting almost all facets of federal law enforcement. His priorities are clear: violent crime, drugs, and immigration. Although the proposed budget for the department includes $1 billion of cuts overall, Sessions has asked for an extra $26 million to hire 300 prosecutors devoted to gang violence and deportation cases.
Some of his most notable moves have involved rolling back Obama’s more lenient approach to punishing criminals. He’s reinstated tougher sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, ordering prosecutors to go for the harshest penalties allowed under the law. That puts him at odds with a growing consensus among Democrats and even some Republicans that jailing drug addicts is counterproductive.
In April, Justice began a review of its prior settlements with troubled police departments, a significant piece of Obama’s response to allegations of police bias and excessive use of force. Sessions tried to stop a judge from signing off on a settlement agreement that put the Baltimore police department under federal supervision because of its past treatment of minority suspects. When his request was rejected, Sessions issued a rebuke. He later wrote an op-ed in USA Today warning of the consequences of “handcuffing the police.”

No comments:

Post a Comment