San Francisco Sues Jeff Sessions in Civil Rights Claim

Dennis Herrera (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

The city of San Francisco sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, claiming that his decision to rescind “guidance documents” from prior administrations violated civil rights protections.

In December 2017, Sessions announced that he was revoking 25 guidance documents as “unnecessary, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.” In a statement, Sessions explained that he was acting in accordance with President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13777 and a November memorandum that called for regulatory reform.

A task force within the Department of Justice, headed by Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, had sought to eliminate any guidance document that was “outdated, used to circumvent the regulatory process, or that improperly goes beyond what is provided for in statutes or regulation.”

But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera claims that among those 25 guidance documents were six that provided “protections for youth, immigrants, the poor, people of color and people with disabilities.”

In a statement, Herrera’s office said that Sessions had failed to provide adequate explanations for the repeal of those six guidance documents as required by law:

“The Trump administration is trying to gut protections for the poor, people of color and people with disabilities under the guise of regulatory reform,” Herrera said. “It’s appalling. Thankfully, they have been caught. This administration talks a good game about helping the working class, but their actions do the opposite. They’re trying to strip civil rights protections from some of our most vulnerable neighbors and keep them marginalized or mired in poverty while they’re helping out Wall Street tycoons and oil conglomerates. More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, we should be surging forward on equality in this country, not having to fight the federal government to restore civil rights protections. At a minimum, the public is entitled to an explanation of why this was done.”

The lawsuit marks the latest shot in the intensifying battle between California and the Trump administration. San Francisco, as one of the most prominent “sanctuary cities,” and as the preferred jurisdiction for state lawsuits filed against the federal government, is on the front lines of that fight.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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