Democrats Will Have to Watch Trump Get Justice Award from Black Organization

Trump First Step Act (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)

All of the major Democratic presidential candidates have committed to attend the annual meeting of a black organization that is presenting its annual award to President Donald Trump for his work on criminal justice reform.

The president is receiving the “Bipartisan Justice Award” Friday in Columbia, South Carolina, from “the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a group founded by twenty black Republicans and twenty black Democrats in 2015,” the Daily Caller reported.

The award is being presented at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, which is being held at Benedict College, one of roughly 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. The annual distinction recognizes a public servant who works with members of the other party to achieve criminal justice reform.

The Daily Caller adds that nearly every Democratic presidential candidate is scheduled to attend the gathering at some point this weekend:

The following Democrats are set to attend the forum: Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker,  South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as well as Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

(Not listed was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), whose campaign ejected this reporter from an event at Benedict in August.)

Trump signed the First Step Act last year, providing opportunities for certain federal prisoners to reduce their sentences by committing to more intensive rehabilitation programs, including job and skills training.

Some conservatives were skeptical of the legislation, but Trump earned bipartisan praise from within the black community.

Democratic candidates have tended to ignore the new law in making pledges for new criminal justice reforms, as if unwilling to acknowledge Trump’s success.

They will have trouble avoiding it this weekend.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also 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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