Attorney General Jeff Sessions dropped another lump of coal into the Christmas stockings of Democrats by relegating another one of Barack Obama’s policies to the dustbin of history.
Sessions is rescinding a 2016 letter of guidance from Obama’s Justice Department directing local courts to take into consideration a defendant’s economic status when it came to imposing penalties and fees. It was one of over two dozen such documents that Sessions is feeding into the shredder.
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It was yet another example of the overreach of Dear Leader, who ruled the nation as if he were a strongman ruling a third-world hellhole and was clearly a sop to the Democratic party base in an election year.
"Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era Justice Department letter that asked local courts across the country to be wary of slapping poor defendants with fines and fees to fill their jurisdictions’ coffers.” https://t.co/JYjd7R1vCo
— Philip Bump (@pbump) December 22, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era Justice Department letter that asked local courts across the country to be wary of slapping poor defendants with fines and fees to fill their jurisdictions’ coffers, part of a broad rollback of guidance that Sessions believes overreached.
It’s the latest move in Sessions’s effort to dramatically reshape the Justice Department by undoing many of the reforms imposed by his predecessors and giving the institution a harder edge. Sessions is revoking 25 previous guidance documents dating back decades and covering topics as diverse as ATF procedures and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In a statement, Sessions said he was ending “the long-standing abuse of issuing rules by simply publishing a letter or posting a web page.”
“Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute, and we are going to follow it,” Sessions said. “This is good government and prevents confusing the public with improper and wrong advice” […]
The letter, which was sent in March 2016 to the chief judges and court administrators in all 50 states, noted that illegal imposition of fines and fees had been receiving significant attention, and that the Justice Department had a “strong interest” in making sure the rights of citizens were protected. The White House and the department had recently convened a summit on the issue, and the Justice Department had alleged in a lawsuit that officers in Ferguson, Mo., were violating citizens’ civil rights in part because their policing tactics were meant to generate revenue.
Though it did not seek to force any new policy, the letter urged court officials to review their rules and procedures. It detailed seven principles to consider when imposing fines and fees, among them that courts should not jail people for nonpayment of fines and fees without first determining whether the non-payer was indigent and then establishing that the failure to pay was “willful,” and that courts should consider alternatives to jail for indigent defendants.
The WaPo also bemoans the new normal as the realization is sinking in that Sessions is going to be a stickler for proper procedures:
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In less than a year in office, Sessions has imposed a new charging policy that calls for prosecutors to pursue the most serious offenses possible, even when that might trigger stiff mandatory minimum sentences. He has restored the use of private prisons. And he has adjusted the department’s legal stances on issues involving voting rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in ways that put him at odds with his most immediate predecessors.
It would seem that the Obama regime was more concerned with coddling criminals than having the courts apply punishments that would serve as a deterrent to future offenses. Never in the history of this country have the law and those who are tasked with enforcing it been so undercut by liberal ideologues than they were during the hellish eight years when Obama ruled the roost.
This comes on the heels of this week’s huge Republican victory on tax reform, as well as the stymieing of Democrat plans to engineer a government shutdown and the moonbat fever swamps are boiling with anger heading into the holiday weekend.
2017 has been a year when a good deal of progress has been made in dismantling the onerous burdens that Mr. Obama and his minions imposed on America, but the job is far from over.