Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Commission on Civil Rights to look over Trump's shoulder

Catherine Lhamon was elected chair of the Civil Rights Commission in Dec. 2016.

MEMBERS OF THE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights must have a death wish.

Or maybe with all the hullabaloo surrounding Russia's hacking of the U.S. elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, the commission thought their little action would go unnoticed.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a watchdog agency in the federal government 
that monitors civil rights law enforcement, announced last Friday that it would launch a two-year assessment of the executive branch. In other words, they would look into  Donald Trump's fledgling record on civil rights.

If the Donald doesn't fire them first. We all know how Trump hates being investigated. He fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI director James Comey. He's contemplating firing the federal prosecutor assigned to investigate Russian involvement in the last election and rumors have it that he is not happy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The Commission, by majority vote, expresses concern with the Administration’s proposed budget cuts to and planned staff losses in numerous programs and civil rights offices across the federal government that enforce our nation’s federal civil rights laws,” the commission said in a statement.

“Along with changing programmatic priorities, these proposed cuts would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination.”

“For 60 years, Congress has charged the commission to monitor federal civil rights enforcement and recommend necessary change. We take this charge seriously, and we look forward to reporting our findings to Congress, the President, and the American people,” Commission Chair Catharine Lhamon said in a statement.

Other members of the OCR are Debo Adegbile, Gail Heriot, Karen Narasaki, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, David Kladney, Peter N. Kirsanow and Michael Yaki.

The Commission expresses concern with the administration's proposed budget cuts to and planned staff losses in numerous programs and civil rights offices across the federal government that enforce our nation's federal civil rights laws. 

The proposed cuts, says the commission, would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LIGBT people, older people, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination. 

The Commission is particularly concerned with the following: Department of Justice actions indicate it is minimizing its civil rights efforts. The DOJ is slated to lose about 150 positions.

Other departments that will come under the scrutiny of the commission study are the Departments of Education, Labor Environmental Protection, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Legal Services Corporation.

Psst. Don't tell Trump.

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