Opinion Why Merrick Garland Can’t Win
Bannon January 6 probe referral puts Attorney General Merrick Garland in center of legal and political storm
Attorney General Merrick Garland -- whose nomination was premised on insulating the Justice Department from politics -- faces a decision that puts him at the center of a partisan firestorm, with the House's coming request that the department pursue criminal contempt against Steve Bannon for his refusal to cooperate in lawmakers' insurrection probe.Attorney General Merrick Garland -- whose nomination was premised on insulating the Justice Department from politics -- faces a decision that puts him at the center of a partisan firestorm, with the House's coming request that the department pursue criminal contempt against Steve Bannon for his refusal to cooperate in lawmakers' insurrection probe.
The fundamental fallacy at the heart of the four-year-long legal resistance to Trumpism was that the American people desperately wanted to be bored again. Thefor his investigation into Donald Trump’s election interference and obstruction of justice was rooted in the we took in the special counsel’s obvious stodginess and ploddingness. We mistakenly believed that the cure for Donald Trump’s flagrant lawlessness and nihilism would lie in the of the dutiful, meticulous lawyer—the of a James Stewart who embodied real American values, values we pretended we would cherish and fight for, if only given a second chance.
Opinion | Why Is the DOJ Going Easy on Jan. 6 Defendants?
Leniency is not necessarily a bad thing, but politically selective leniency belies the guiding principle of equal justice under law.That question is complicated to answer in the abstract, in part because of the many stages of the criminal process and the corresponding ways in which defendants can be treated comparatively well or poorly.
We were wrong about this, on multiple levels. We were wrong about the American appetite for boringness and sincerity, and wrong too in believing that what America craved in response to the carnival barkery was unironic, diligent institutionalists.; he merely did what his diligent institutionalism demanded of him, and that failed us.
Which brings us to the present moment, a moment that makes plain that despite protestations to the contrary, we just seem to prefer the circus clowning to the sincere and ordinary. In the nine months it’s taken for the GOP to move fromto , it’s become clear that shoring up the integrity of vulnerable institutions is never going to be an adequate response to the carnival. Attorney General Merrick Garland is, like Mueller before him, a . And while the institutionalists are not to be faulted for attempting to prop up institutions—answering chaos with chaos is not an option—it is now amply clear that propping up institutions in response to the carnival is not enough. As Garland’s testimony Thursday morning revealed, the big lie is already going to be halfway across the world while the institutionalists are still double-knotting their loafers.
Justice Department to expand redlining investigation efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department announced Friday a cross-government effort to investigate and prosecute redlining, the practice of banks discriminating against racial minorities or certain neighborhoods. It is the first major expansion of redlining investigations since the Obama administration. As part of the effort, the Justice Department as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency also announced a new redlining case against Trustmark Bank for its treatment of Black and Hispanic borrowers in Memphis, Tennessee.
When we comforted ourselves with the bromide that boring old institutionalists and reliably respected institutions would serve to cool the fever dreams and the fearmongering that characterized every day of the Trump administration, what we forgot was that boringness and stability are no match for the show. Garland is currently attempting to restore confidence in an independent, professionalized, apolitical Department of Justice, but he is doing so in the face of claims by his opponents that the DOJ is the new KGB and that itsare coming to arrest you in the dark of night for expressing peaceful opposition to a classroom curriculum. If you where no conspiracies exist, at bare minimum you will have raised the questions. The questions backfill the truth. It doesn’t matter what the Garland DOJ is doing—trying to protect school officials who are threatened and stalked. The point is to say he’s creating an army of federal forces to enforce critical race theory in school. Try as he may, Merrick Garland cannot perform boring independence fast enough to outrun GOP claims that he’s a wild-eyed, violent socialist. And while the GOP currently exists only to cast everything you thought you believed into doubt, . The endgame is to ensure that people mistrust government, election systems, school boards, the media, and the justice system enough to lend a hand in their destruction.
Merrick Garland urges Congress to help DOJ fight GOP-backed voting laws
Attorney General Merrick Garland is out today with a message for Congress: Pass laws allowing the Justice Department to block state-level, Republican-backed voter integrity laws more easily. © Provided by Washington Examiner “On this anniversary of the Voting Rights Act,” Garland said in an opinion article published Friday by the Washington Post, “we must say again that it is not right to erect barriers that make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to vote. And it is time for Congress to act again to protect that fundamental right.
The Jan. 6 protesters are being canonized for taking the law into their own hands. So is Donald Trump. So is Steve Bannon. Such is the allure of the take-no-prisoners narratives right now, that while one side feverishly props up ideas about the rule of law and independence and truth, the other side inches ever closer to saying out loud that the rule of law is immaterial—the rule of the angry patriot is the only law of the land. As Rep. Val Demings noted during the Garland hearing, the same people who were harassing and threatening and stalking local school board officials in ways that required federal protection are also harassing and threatening and stalking. They are also the same people who are harassing and threatening and terrorizing (and being offered cash prizes for it), and they are the very same people who are terrorizing and threatening in ways that also .
Offering new federal protections to workers who can no longer do their jobs without it may be necessary, and we can hope it helps them feel safer, but it sure doesn’t foment confidence in the rule of law. Nor does it help when it is recast as lethal authoritarianism and tyranny and used to encourage more self-help and more threats and violence. “The government is coming to arrest you over your kid’s curriculum as it cancels Christmas” isn’t true, no, but it sure is thrilling. Garland is well aware that decreasing confidence in the Justice Department is a crisis that will accelerate acts of violence and self-help. That’s why he’s trying to bore us into believing that nothing nefarious can really happen on the watch of a silver-haired man with earnest centrism. The problem is that to the bulk of the GOP, anything done to uphold the rule of law now codes as nefarious.
Merrick Garland defends school memo at Senate hearing against GOP criticism, call for resignation
Attorney General Merrick Garland defended offering federal aid to investigate violence at local school board meetings against Republican criticism.The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, said Garland politicized the department and urged him to revoke the Oct. 4 memo. Grassley said the memo would target parents expressing concerns about curriculum on critical race theory or about mask mandates under the First Amendment.
The trouble with boringness is that it’s boring. For a whole host of reasons, to the people who are not inflamed about these things, the Jan. 6 commission is now as boring as Jan. 6 itself has become, and the second impeachment is about as interesting as programmatic voter suppression was last spring. The GOP tactic is to froth up feelings and controversies, and Tucker Carlson shaped dramas—from stolen elections to critical race theory—in the Republican base in ways that keep things fresh and lively for the already activated. Meeting that with procedural boringness may have worked five years ago. But nobody craves boring sincerity anymore. Street fighting is the new Mueller. This won’t stop with violence against school officials, nurses, doctors, election officials, abortion providers. We either are about to fall into or have already lost ourselves to an abyss in which nothing matters more than how you feel about how your children feel about what’s being taught in their classrooms, how you feel about a stolen presidential election, and how you feel about COVID vaccine mandates. Anyone who tells you to feel otherwise is an authoritarian tyrant.
I used to believe that answering hysteria with vanilla bean–flavored institutionalism would restore confidence in institutions. But maybe all that longing for the earnest, midcentury lawman and his vaunted institutional ideals was always just another kind of make-believe. We’ve even stopped asking where the grown-ups have gone.
Cruz accuses Garland of weaponizing Justice Department in heated hearing .
Sen. Ted Cruz and Attorney General Merrick Garland had a tense exchange Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about a controversial Justice Department memo directing the FBI to monitor threats of violence against school board members. © Provided by Washington Examiner Garland maintained that the purpose of the memo was to assess whether threats of violence against school officials warrant federal involvement, while Republican senators accused him of targeting parents protesting school curricula or decisions such as mask mandates.