It’s all “legal”: Why DOJ was facilitating protests in the Martin-Zimmerman case

The news rocketed across the rightosphere yesterday:  the U.S. Department of Justice sent workers to involve themselves with protests against George Zimmerman and the Sanford, FL police department.  (See Howard Portnoy’s wrap-up here.)

If you haven’t been following the growth of DOJ over the years, you probably didn’t know that it has an agency within it which is dedicated to performing this function.  Well, not precisely this function – but for the purposes of the Obama Justice Department, in the era of the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it’s close enough.

“Office of Protest Support”?

The Community Relations Service (CRS) is a small federal agency created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to mediate and facilitate the resolution of local tensions.  It was originally formed under the Department of Commerce, Continue reading “It’s all “legal”: Why DOJ was facilitating protests in the Martin-Zimmerman case”

Same-sex “marriage”

OK, fine, it’s in the news, we gotta talk about it.

My bottom line on same-sex marriage (SSM) as a political issue is that recognizing it will inevitably be a misuse of government.  It is especially a misuse of national government.  States have more latitude to indulge in governmental malpractice, because the rights of citizens are properly backstopped at the federal level.  If a state has infringed citizens’ rights by doing something misguided, a federal read on the Constitution should adjust the problem.  But the national government must remain limited in its scope for mucking around in the people’s lives, in large part because there is no appeal above it.

The corruption of our thinking

The original intent of the Civil Rights Act was precisely to affirm federal constitutional protection for rights that were being infringed – either outright or in effect – by state law. Continue reading “Same-sex “marriage””

In Defense of the Impious Rand Paul

Rand Paul wants you to think. His mainstream critics don’t.

If there is anything that demonstrates enduring intellectual piety in American politics – fealty to doctrinaire positions, reflexive demonization of those who don’t express them as a form of religious observance – it’s the fulmination from both left and right against Rand Paul.  I actually disagree with Paul quite seriously on foreign and security policy; I’m not a Paulista by any means.  But the reflexive, religiously doctrinaire reaction of his critics certainly suggests that any remaining aperture in their American minds can today be measured, at best, in micrometers.

There have been two incidents now, since the Kentucky primary, in which Rand Paul has failed to prostrate himself automatically before a political shibboleth. Continue reading “In Defense of the Impious Rand Paul”