NAACP Legal Defense Fund Wins Orders Ending Trump’s SECRET Police Advisory Group’s Meetings… Judge Specifically Finds Bill Barr At Fault — “Violated The Law”.

This is a new narrative arc, for us, tonight — we haven’t covered this case before — but we will, from now on. And were it not Trump and Barr, I might almost be tempted to label it as Halloween-style scary fiction. But it is not. This is real life, in the USA — in 2020, under these goons.

Apparently, the tenant (in our house, located) at 1600 Pennsylvania (through Attorney General William Barr’s offices) was running a secret “star chamber” — to revamp (and largely militarize) local policing in America — in direct violation of applicable federal open meetings laws. Quite rightly, the NAACP has ended it, in the form of an order entered tonight in the federal court house sitting in our nation’s capital.

Here is the well-reasoned 45 page opinion from the able USDC Judge John D. Bates, in DC — and the specific bit of the accompanying order, as to what’s next:

…The Attorney General [William Barr] created that Commission in January 2020 in order to “conduct a modern fresh evaluation of the salient issues affecting American law enforcement and the communities they protect” by focusing on issues that will enable law enforcement “to safeguard the public and maintain a positive relationship with their communities.” See Implementation Memorandum for Heads of Department Components (“Implementation Memo”) [ECF No. 25-5] at 1. Working groups addressing a wide range of fifteen subjects, including “social problems impacting public safety” and “respect for law enforcement,” were to assist in the Commission’s efforts. Id. at 4–6.

The Attorney General stressed the need to hear from “[a] diversity of backgrounds and perspectives” such as “community organizations, civic leadership, civil rights and victim’s rights organizations, criminal defense attorneys, academia, social service organizations, and other entities that regularly interact with American law enforcement.” Id. at 2. Despite these stated goals, however, the Commission’s membership consists entirely of current and former law enforcement officials. No Commissioner has a criminal defense, civil rights, or community organization background. And Commission proceedings have been far from transparent.

Especially in 2020, when racial justice and civil rights issues involving law enforcement have erupted across the nation, one may legitimately question whether it is sound policy to have a group with little diversity of experience examine, behind closed doors, the sensitive issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America today. But that is not the role of this Court.

Here, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (“LDF”) has challenged the composition and operation of the Commission under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”). Passed in 1972, FACA requires, among other things, that covered federal advisory committees be “fairly balanced” in the viewpoints represented, that meetings be open and publicly noticed, that a charter be prepared and filed, and that a designated federal officer be appointed to ensure compliance with FACA. See 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 1–16.

[The NAACP] LDF has now moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Commission has violated multiple provisions of FACA. In the face of LDF’s challenges, the government does not really defend the composition of the Commission as “fairly balanced” or contest the other transparency and oversight failures….

ORDERED: The Commission and its officers shall file a charter with the Attorney General, the relevant standing committees of the U.S. Senate and of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Library of Congress, and the Committee Management Secretariat of the General Services Administration, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 9(c) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.70(a). The Commission and its officers shall also provide notice of any future meeting in the Federal Register at least fifteen days before the meeting is held, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.150(a); it is further

ORDERED that the Attorney General shall designate a federal officer or employee who must be employed with the federal government either full-time or permanent part-time to be the designated federal officer for the Commission, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(e) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.120….

ORDERED that the parties shall submit proposed remedial orders consistent with the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, along with any supporting briefs, not to exceed twelve pages, by not later than October 9, 2020….

ORDERED that until the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”) have been satisfied, as explained in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, the Commission shall not hold further meetings, sessions, or hearings, or conduct any official business; it is further

ORDERED that until the requirements of FACA have been satisfied, defendants shall not submit, accept, publish, employ, or rely upon any report or recom- mendations produced by the Commission; and it is further

ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECLARED that the Commission is an advisory committee subject to the requirements of FACA and is not exempt from FACA under 2 U.S.C. § 1534(b); that the Commission has violated FACA by failing to file a charter with the necessary entities, as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 9(c) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.70(a), and by failing to provide timely notice of each meeting in the Federal Register, as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.150(a); and that Attorney General William P. Barr has violated FACA by failing to select a designated federal officer for the Commission, as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(e) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.120, and by failing to ensure the Commission’s membership is fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed, as required by 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 5(b)(2)….

The idea that newly militarized policing initiatives would be hidden from public view — without balanced input, as required by clear federal statutory law (in place for decades, so clearly Mr. Barr knew of them)… is simply more proof that these men (Trump and Barr) are unfit to lead our nation. Out.

Now… let’s disbar… Bill Barr.


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