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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    17 Jul '13 21:24 / 1 edit
    (CNN) -- We have a Department of Justice, not a Department of Social Justice. That is an essential distinction. It is brought into sharp relief by politicized demands that George Zimmerman, having just been acquitted of murder by the state of Florida, be subjected to a second prosecution -- a federal civil rights indictment -- over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

    The Justice Department has earned the trust of the United States courts precisely because it resists the politicization of law enforcement. Its tradition is to ensure the equal protection of law for every American, to evaluate cases strictly on the basis of facts and law, and to recognize its obligations not only to the community but also to criminal suspects.

    Yet, though Attorney General Eric Holder never tires of reminding us about the due process owed even to foreign terrorists who've confessed to mass murder, the principle does not seem to apply to Zimmerman, an American now acquitted of murder.

    Even if the Justice Department never files criminal charges against Zimmerman -- which is likely given the implausibility of obtaining a conviction -- it is extremely inappropriate for law enforcement officials, particularly the U.S. attorney general, to engage in a running extrajudicial commentary that taints the jury pool and ratchets up the investigative anxiety for a citizen who is presumed innocent and has been acquitted. Law enforcement officials speak in court -- with public charges, if prosecutors have the evidence to back them up.


    Andrew C. McCarthy


    The justice system is not a morality play. It is not designed to right every wrong, nor has it the capacity to remediate tragedy, such as the indescribable pain the Martin family endures after the loss of their 17-year-old son. In the face of such tragedy, the human instinct to demand some kind of "justice" -- social, poetic or cosmic -- is something we all feel. But that is not the justice our legal system exists to dispense.

    Federal courts prosaically apply established law to provable facts, and they rely heavily on the Justice Department to perform that duty faithfully. When a popular political narrative -- such as the left's portrayal of racism as the root cause of many American ills -- crashes into uncongenial facts, the justice system is the place where the narrative must yield, and the Justice Department is supposed to ensure that it does.

    Sadly, just the opposite has happened in the Zimmerman case. It has been bereft from the start both of proof that Zimmerman had the requisite criminal intent to sustain a murder charge and of evidence to refute his well-corroborated claim of self-defense. That is why veteran police investigators initially declined to file charges.

    After the verdict

    Yet Holder and his subordinates joined in the effort to induce Florida to file charges, unabashedly making common cause with the likes of the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose metier is racially divisive demagoguery.

    Attending an anti-Zimmerman rally with Sharpton, Holder saber-rattled about filing a civil rights case. As the attorney general well knew, his inappropriate chatter would be construed as a suggestion that Florida had abdicated its responsibilities by declining to prosecute a purportedly racist murderer. Simultaneously, Justice's Community Relations Service worked closely with anti-Zimmerman activists to pressure Florida Gov. Rick Scott into reversing the police determination that there was no case. Scott finally caved, appointing the compliant special prosecutor Angela Corey, who dutifully lodged a groundless second-degree murder charge.

    Standard, prudent Justice Department practice has always discouraged commentary on criminal investigations outside the public record. That is for the politicians. Law enforcement is not supposed to speak until the government is ready to file public charges and back them up in court.

    To the contrary, Holder has engaged in an extrajudicial publicity campaign, and now finds himself in the hot seat: It's been over a year since he promised to file charges if warranted by the facts, and the facts have long been known -- indeed, they've been tried in court.

    Obviously, it is easier to promise to keep investigating -- and to keep alive a race narrative dear to President Obama's political base -- than to acknowledge that there is no federal case against Zimmerman. The insurmountable proof problems Florida prosecutors faced do not even begin to describe the challenges that would confront a federal case.

    A civil rights case would require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot Martin out of racial animus. There is no evidence that Zimmerman has ever been a racist -- jurors in the Florida case say race was not relevant to the case, and the FBI, after investigating extensively for months, has been unable to find proof of a racial motivation.

    Furthermore, a federal prosecution would require proof that Zimmerman was trying to prevent Martin's enjoyment of some statutorily specified civil right -- like attending school, applying for a job, staying in a hotel, going to a restaurant, or participating in a federal program. The Zimmerman-Martin altercation was purely local with no federal implications.

    Finally, in light of the Justice Department's heavy-handed role in pressuring Florida to bring a case that police originally decided not to charge, there may be a serious question whether the "dual sovereignty" exception to double jeopardy -- allowing a federal prosecution despite a state acquittal -- applies.

    This is not a federal case. If real justice had been served, it would never have been a criminal case at all.
  2. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    17 Jul '13 21:40 / 1 edit
    Holder indicts America

    By Jennifer Rubin, Published: July 17 at 11:00

    Attorney General Eric Holder is the perfect man to run President Obama’s Justice Department; neither miss an opportunity to pander on race or distort facts to suit their partisan aims.

    Eric Holder
    Attorney General Eric Holder (J.Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
    Holder went to speak to the NAACP on Tuesday. It took him no time to denounce the “stand your ground” laws, the Florida version of which was not invoked in the Trayvon Martin case. But of course to denounce laws of self-defense, on which the case did turn, would be both inane and unhelpful in stirring the base. So grab an issue, associate it with a hot-button topic and demagogue to audiences prepared to cast doubt on the justice system that Holder is sworn to uphold.

    But the intellectual dishonesty did not stop there. As his own Justice Department quietly tells reporters, there is no evidence of racism on which to base a civil rights case. Yet Holder bonds with his audience over another round of racial aggrievement and anger. He shares innocuous incidents (he was pulled over twice in his car and questioned while running to a movie) to involve race and establish his bona fides with those already incensed about the George Zimmerman acquittal. Does it matter the jury found ample doubt and no evidence of racism? Does it matter there was no evidence of racism unearthed by the FBI? Facts are irrelevant when you are stirring the pot of racial antagonism.

    As Peter Wehner puts it:

    What we’re seeing from the left is post-modernism on full display. The facts, the truth and objective reality are subordinate to the progressive narrative. In this particular instance many liberals so want the killing of Trayvon Martin to be driven by bigotry–which would serve as both an indictment of racial attitudes in America and turn a horrible mistake into a “modern-day lynching”–that they will make it so, even if it requires twisting the truth into something unrecognizable. What matters, after all, is The Cause. And everything, including basic facts, must be bent to fit it. This kind of systematic deconstruction of truth is fairly common in college liberal arts courses all across America. But when it becomes the primary mode of interpretation in a murder trial, it is something else again.

    If Holder were an MSNBC talking head or lefty pundit parroting the racial angle and averting his eyes from the facts, it would be nothing extraordinary. Intellectual dishonesty is the order of the day. But he is the attorney general of the United States, for goodness sakes. He has a higher obligation to the truth and to promoting respect for the courts. Instead, he chooses to bend and twist the facts to deliver an indictment of American justice and his fellow citizens that casts them as menacing, unfair and biased.

    No wonder that Holder, the left and the racial grievance-mongers could not accept the proposition that the states previously under the watchful eye of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act have changed in 50 years. No, no, you see, the bias is there — it has to be. Just like Zimmerman has to be racist. They are convinced that the stain of racism never fades. The absence of evidence is not going to get in their way.

    The need to perpetuate a false narrative to sustain the appearance of racism is as endemic on the left as it is reprehensible. And leading the charge, alas, is the attorney general.
  3. 17 Jul '13 21:51
    Holder dismissed a won really "racial" case he inherited. His actions in the Fast and Furious murders of two federal cops is indefensible. Holder is a disease that needs to be lanced.
  4. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    17 Jul '13 21:55
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Holder dismissed a won really "racial" case he inherited. His actions in the Fast and Furious murders of two federal cops is indefensible. Holder is a disease that needs to be lanced.
    He perjured himself. The Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in all the land, perjured himself. More proof that ObamaReidPelosi - they're the same rabid, diseased animal - are a band of unprincipled thugs.
  5. 17 Jul '13 23:36 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    He perjured himself. The Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in all the land, perjured himself. More proof that ObamaReidPelosi - they're the same rabid, diseased animal - are a band of unprincipled thugs.
    No one cares. Those that do are not in a place to hold anyone accountable.

    Sad but true. :'(

    Personally I think the whole Zimmerman bigot stance is backfiring on the DNC. After all, they are treating Zimmerman like a white man when he is really Hispanic. In fact, I've heard a few Hispanics tell me they will never vote democratic again because of all this manufactured race poo. I thought Hispanics were the wave of the future, not Blacks in terms of winning elections.
  6. 18 Jul '13 00:52
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    He perjured himself. The Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in all the land, perjured himself. More proof that ObamaReidPelosi - they're the same rabid, diseased animal - are a band of unprincipled thugs.
    Obama, Reid, and Pelosi can all be retired in the next election, Obama is gone anyway. With his goes Holder, but how much more damage can this corrupt person do in the meantime?
  7. 19 Jul '13 16:52
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Obama, Reid, and Pelosi can all be retired in the next election, Obama is gone anyway. With his goes Holder, but how much more damage can this corrupt person do in the meantime?
    What is worse is that a standard has been set. My guess is that it only goes down hill from here.
  8. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    19 Jul '13 17:16
    Originally posted by whodey
    Personally I think the whole Zimmerman bigot stance is backfiring on the DNC. After all, they are treating Zimmerman like a white man when he is really Hispanic. In fact, I've heard a few Hispanics tell me they will never vote democratic again because of all this manufactured race poo. I thought Hispanics were the wave of the future, not Blacks in terms of winning elections.
    yea no

    the nsa, legalizing wiretapping, keeping gitmo open, resigning the NDAA, and patriot act is what will kill the DNC for my generation. you can count on that
  9. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    19 Jul '13 17:19
    Originally posted by whodey
    What is worse is that a standard has been set. My guess is that it only goes down hill from here.
    Nightmare scenario ... Hillary wins 2016 and appoints Holder to replace Ginsburg.
  10. 19 Jul '13 19:40
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    Nightmare scenario ... Hillary wins 2016 and appoints Holder to replace Ginsburg.
    That is a nightmare, considering Holder probably more deserves Folsom Prison than a seat on SCOTUS. A winner is 2016 will get several SCOTUS nominations.

    I don't see Hillary as a nominee, never mind the candidate. She's a loser politically.

    If she were to win, would she appoint Holder over her husband?