As our Caroline Downey reports, the Justice Department will today announce that it is suing Georgia over the latter’s election-integrity law. This is ridiculous. The law provides for voting far more extensive than the Constitution’s minimal standards, and well beyond what, about five minutes ago, were state-law norms. The lawsuit is yet another sign, as if we needed one, that the Biden Justice Department is the Obama DOJ 2.0, an activist tool that puts the awesome law-enforcement power of the federal government in the service of woke progressivism.
This is not a surprise, of course. The lawsuit will be brought by DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which Biden put in the radical hands of Kristen Clarke, for whose confirmation we can thank Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the lone Republican to assent. I wrote about Clarke when she was nominated:
At the all-important Civil Rights Division, Biden has appointed Kristen Clarke, a radical with a history of racist and anti-Semitic commentary. At Harvard, where she led the Black Students Association as an undergrad, Clarke publicly contended that blacks were superior to whites physically and mentally because their brains contain higher amounts of neuro-melanin. Blacks are also spiritually superior, she said, though she elaborated that this is not an attribute that can be “measured based on Eurocentric standards.”
Though she does not exactly come off like a career in stand-up was an option, Clarke would like us to believe that she was just joking — resorting to parody in her umbrage over the publication of Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve. People seemed to think she was pretty serious at the time, as she took pains to cite Richard King, a psychiatrist and melanin/pineal-gland scholar, as authority for the proposition that melanin is “the chemical basis for the cultural differences between blacks and whites,” and the reason why “Black infants sit, crawl and walk sooner than whites.” (C’mon, you know you were wondering!) On a related subject, Clarke certainly seemed serious when she invited a notoriously anti-Semitic Trinidadian academic, Tony Martin, to expound on his theories about the racism of the Torah and the “Jewish monopoly over Blacks” — and when she later asserted, in his defense, “Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed Black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact.”
Clarke is dedicated to the proposition that identity — racial, ethnic, sex (including, of course, sexual identification), sexual preference, etc. — trumps merit. She made that clear in a recent interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson (embedded in this Paul Mirengoff post at Powerline). She swaddles this noxious ideology in the euphonious argot of “diversity,” much as [Attorney General Merrick] Garland, in his [confirmation] hearing, toed the Biden line of describing as “equity” the Left’s championing of discrimination against whites for the purpose of fighting “systemic racism.” Equity, in this construction, is the antithesis of equal protection under the law, that passé constitutional value it used to be the Justice Department’s mission to defend. Equal opportunity is out, disparate impact is in. Naturally, Clarke thus frets that if COVID-19 has hit black communities harder than others, it must be due to “racial bias.”
In a saner time, someone with Clarke’s record would not have been nominated because the incumbent administration would not want to run the risk of being associated with her views, and even if willing to run that risk, the president wouldn’t find enough votes in his own party to get her through the Senate. (See, e.g., President Clinton’s withdrawal of his 1993 nomination of Professor C. Lani Guinier to head the Civil Rights Division.) Three decades later, to satisfy his left flank, President Biden nominated Clarke because of her radical views, Democrats closed ranks around her, and Senator Collins went along for the ride.
These are still early Biden days. He may not be able to get much legislation through Congress, but there are no brakes on the Civil Rights Division — except the courts.