Report: Obama’s Civil Rights Warriors Distraught as DOJ Shutters Project That Funded Open-Borders Groups

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a news conference at the Department of Justice on December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions called the question-and-answer session with reporters to highlight his department's fight to reduce violent crime. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has “quietly” put an end to most work at the Office for Access to Justice (ATJ), one of the lesser initiatives of the Eric Holder era, according to a Thursday New York Times report.

The tiny ATJ was founded in 2010 under then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Its last published organization chart, from 2015, shows only three appointees and their support staff. ATJ distributed grants and drafted “statements of interest” aimed at supporting the right to competent legal representation for the poor and indigent secured by the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court’s famous 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright.

In 2014, however, ATJ also provided $1.8 million to left-wing open-borders groups like the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the George Soros-funded Equal Justice Works, and the New York Immigration Coalition to provide lawyers for so-called “unaccompanied children” who surged across the southern border that year in their immigration hearings. This week, even the notoriously liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the idea that the Constitution requires the government to pay for lawyers for these child aliens.

The Civil Rights Division leaders of the Obama administration are dejected at the news ATJ was being all but shut down. “Sessions’ shutting down the Access to Justice Initiative sadly speaks for itself,” Vanita Gupta, President Barack Obama’s Civil Rights Division chief, told the Times.

Gupta is a self-described “critical race” theorist, who once wrote that “the rule of law,” “colorblindness,” “equal justice for all,” and “equal protection,” are merely “code words” for a legal system “contingent upon … racial power” and that treating criminal defendants as individuals without respect to race “is how we have managed to rationalize racism.” She has been broadly critical of the direction Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken DOJ, criticizing him, for example, for his “unwillingness to recognize the history of this country is rooted in immigration.”

Another of Obama’s civil rights attorneys, Sharon McGowan, told the NYT, “Ever since he became attorney general, Sessions has advanced positions that are irreconcilable with where we are as a country.”

McGowan now works for Lambda Legal, the left-wing law firm now leading the charge to force states to allow men who “identify” as women into ladies’ restrooms and vice versa after the DOJ pulled out of these lawsuits when Sessions took office.

The office was never a major recipient of DOJ resources but appears to have been sidelined to the point of irrelevance in the Sessions era. The New York Times notes that Maha Jweied, ATJ’s acting director, resigned this month and has not been replaced. No major ATJ project or accomplishment has been posted to the office’s website since President Donald Trump took office last year.

The Department of Justice did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment on ATJ’s future.


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