Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Civil Wrongs Division

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (CRD) was established through the 1957 Civil Rights Act. In the ensuing years, its attorneys prosecuted important civil rights cases at the end of the Jim Crow era. Today, though, that respectable past is ancient history. By the early years of this century, CRD had become a dumping ground for aging attorneys desperately seeking and crushing the dying embers of actual civil rights infractions, even as the supply dwindled past the point of irrelevance for the department. As we demonstrate below, by the time Obama was elected, there simply were not enough civil rights offenses—even in a nation of more than 300,000,000—to justify CRD’s continued existence, at least not on the same grounds that justified its creation.

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