Was there some change in the definition of the role of the Department of Justice which I missed recently? The last time I checked, that agency was part of the executive branch and was entirely separate from the nation’s legislative activities except in terms of enforcement. If that’s still the case, somebody might want to mention it to our Attorney General at the next staff meeting. She showed up in North Carolina this week, ostensibly for the purpose of checking in on police protocols (perfectly reasonable) but decided to wax poetic on the state’s lawmakers. (Fox 8)
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in Fayetteville Tuesday to discuss community policing, but, during a media press conference, she also reiterated her opposition to House Bill Two.
“North Carolina decided to pass a law that sanctioned discrimination,” she said.
While some say that the federal government’s involvement in HB2 is an overreach, Lynch said she felt it was the U.S. Department of Justice’s duty to step in.
There’s something quite inappropriate going on here and it’s not the first time this problem has cropped up. The various states pass laws all of the time. On rare occasions they will run afoul of federal law in a supremacy dispute or overstep the boundaries of the constitution. When that happens, challenges are filed and the matter is decided in the judicial branch. Even when it comes to federal law, bills are passed by Congress and the only person in the executive branch who has anything to say about it is the President who either signs or vetoes them.
Loretta Lynch is the nation’s top cop. She’s supposed to be in charge of enforcing the laws and that, in theory, applies to laws that she may not personally agree with. (Her boss, President Obama, falls victim to the same shortcoming at times, particularly when it comes to immigration law, but he’s at least tangentially involved in the process.) The Attorney General has nothing to say about the quality or merits of the laws which are on the books. As long as they remain the law of the land she is tasked with ensuring they are upheld. Period. Full stop.
But she didn’t stop there. When the question arose, she decided to jump into yet another area of government overreach.
When asked when or if the federal government might consider cutting any federal funding to North Carolina, Lynch said as the lawsuit progresses, the DOJ will consider all options..
The DOJ will “consider all options” in terms of state funding? Since when does the Department of Justice have anything whatsoever to do with the allocation of public funds to the states? The police around the nation are supposed to lend an ear to the Attorney General in terms of law enforcement issues. It’s completely inappropriate for her to be poisoning the well with these types of biased dog whistles. Methinks it’s time for the House majority to call some more hearings and have a chat with Ms. Lynch over her proper role in the federal government.