What the heck is going on with the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee?
That’s what any sentient Republican must be asking as they look at what they are doing with both Criminal Justice Reform and allowing far left Obama judicial appointments to hit the Senate floor. This is definitely not what the people were promised when Republicans asked to be trusted with the keys to the Judiciary Committee Chairman’s office in 2014.
On top of pushing out a disastrous bill that will provide early release for some of the nation’s most dangerous drug traffickers and armed career criminals, the Senate Judiciary Committee keeps putting far left Obama judicial nominees on the Senate floor. Note to Chairman Grassley: just stop now before any more harm is done.
I really like Chairman Grassley, he is a good guy who has served the country honorably in Congress over many years, but having said that it would be dishonest not to call him out when he makes grievous errors, and now is such a time.
On the criminal justice bill, which some are calling the Grassley Early Criminal Release Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee is actively working in cahoots with the rogue Obama Justice Department against a conservative priority known as mens rea reform, which simply means having knowledge that the criminal act was against the law.
Mens rea reform is particularly important in this brave new post-Constitutional world created through Obama’s fundamental transformation. Obama’s pen and phone approach to governing has made it almost impossible for someone to know the nuances of every regulation, guidance, executive order and even advisory letters being issued from his regulators at break neck speed unimpeded by Congress. The plain and simple truth is that without mens rea reform individuals will go to jail for actions that they did not even realize were outlawed by the regulatory state.
Here is what Obama’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates is quoted by National Public Radio as saying about mens rea reform:
[The bill] would end up meaning that some criminals would go free as a result, because we simply would not be able to meet that standard of proof. If this proposal were to pass, it would provide cover for top-level executives, which is not something we think would be in the best interest of the American people.
Chairman Grassley comes into play in this debate because it is widely known in D.C. that the Senate Judiciary Committee is planning a hearing to highlight Obama’s lawless Justice Department’s argument against the inclusion of the change.
This is not to say that even with this reform that the legislation should pass. The fact that the bill releases dangerous high level drug traffickers and armed career criminals early from their mandatory prison terms should scare politician straight against the bill.
But Grassley’s actions on mens rea points to an underlying problem with the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the search for bi-partisanship, the value of GOP control has been so muted as to make it virtually meaningless, and that was one of the main arguments that got Republicans the majority.
Just last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee played a key role in putting an extremist Obama appointee on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals bench for life who believes the drug war is racist and smacks of jingoism, that people have a legitimate case when fearing the police, and rejects assimilation for immigrants, among other far left opinions.
Next week, another nominee to the federal district court in Minnesota will be brought to the floor who in writings has rejected the basic notion of private property rights as racist.
Chairman Grassley knows that these nominees are too radical, yet they continue to come out of his Judiciary Committee putting the Majority Leader in the cross hairs of the hard left which understands that the best way to thwart a Republican President is to stack the federal courts with political activists rather than Constitutional jurists.
It is time for Mr. Grassley to stop providing aid and comfort to Obama and his Justice Department and reconsider his support for the dangerous criminal justice bill, as well as shutting the door on any future Obama court appointees.
Instead, he should engage in extensive oversight into the Justice Department’s cover up of Obama Administration malfeasance starting with the Lois Lerner IRS abuse case and moving on to demanding accountability for the failure of DOJ to comply with numerous requests for documents in cases ranging from “Operation Fast and Furious” to the political decision to stop charges from being filed against the New Black Panther Party.
It is time for Chuck Grassley to go back to being Chuck Grassley, and end his one-sided détente with Obama, the Justice Department and Sen. Patrick Leahy.
The author is president of Americans for Limited Government and a former state lobbyist for the National Rifle Association