Obama’s Admin Strikes Again, The Justice Department Violates The Law

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Let’s talk about history first. Eighteen years ago, Bill Clinton omitted the Senate and illegally put Bill Lann Lee as the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This resulted with Congress passing the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA), a major reform of our vacancies law, limiting the time someone can be an “acting” high official without Senate confirmation.
This violation of the law has been mirrored by no one else but Obama and his administration. This time, the illegally appointed civil-rights head is Vanita Gupta. It all happened about three and a half years ago, when the previous leader, the ‘Peter Principle’ – example of ‘competence’, Tom Perez, reached for the stars and got promoted to Secretary of Labor. The first nominee for Perez’s substitute was Debo Adegbile, but he was almost immediately dismissed due to his contribution to a brief on behalf of the convicted cop-killer and cause célèbre Mumia Abu-Jamal. So, Vanita Gupta became acting official.

After that, an important statutory timer began running – it was decided that acting officials may serve for a maximum of only seven months after a permanent nominee’s withdrawal, which urged finding a new nominee in a short period of time. But here, President Obama decided that trying to find someone acceptable to the Senate wasn’t worth the hassle — and so he simply didn’t send up a new nominee.

The seven-month clock, meanwhile, ran out in April 2015. Vanita Gupta, the division’s deputy head, has continued serving as acting chief, although, according to the law, her time was up. The law states: Once an acting officer’s seven months have expired, “the office shall remain vacant; and . . . only the head of such Executive agency may perform any function or duty of such office.”

This means that only Attorney General Loretta Lynch is authorized to lead the Civil Rights Division, and not Vanita Gupta, who still remained on the job as head of the Civil Rights Division, responsible for conducting handling or supervising, ‘enforcement of all Federal statutes affecting civil rights . . . and authorization of litigation in such enforcement’.

How has Gupta justified her continued exercise of this power? She sent a letter to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, saying: “The attorney general may apply to the appropriate court for an order that will ensure compliance with Title VII. This responsibility has been delegated to the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division” — that is, to Gupta herself.

This doesn’t justify anything. The Attorney General cannot delegate duties to an acting officer whose time is up, unless a statute “expressly authorizes” her “to designate an officer” to perform those duties. Which in this case there isn’t such.  Gupta might point to 28 U.S.C. § 510, which declares that “the Attorney General may from time to time . . . authorize the performance by any other officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice of any function of the Attorney General.”

Which is EXACTLY what the Clinton Administration did to install Bill Lann Lee without Senate confirmation. In response to that ploy, the FVRA includes the following language: “Any statutory provision providing general authority to the head of an Executive agency . . . to delegate duties . . . [to] officers or employees of such Executive agency, is not a statutory provision” that qualifies as express authorization. They added, specifically for this case and this statute, that “shall not be construed as providing an alternative means of filling vacancies.”

That’s it! This proves that both members of the Justice Department, the Attorney General Loretta Lynch AND the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta have violated the law and must be held accountable!

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