It’s hard to tell if Loretta Lynch is a step down from Eric Holder or an improvement.
Holder was doggedly determined to wear away as much of the constitution as he possibly he could.
Loretta Lynch looked like she was going to as well.
So here’s what happened which makes it appear Lynch might actually be a softer (and slightly better) than Holder.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino it was determined the perpetrators in the attack were devout Muslims. Understandably Americans all across the nation were incensed that people who were following an “ISIS playbook” had committed this horrible act on American soil.
Especially considering it was only a few days after the Paris attacks that Obama assured the entire world ISIS was “under control.”
People everywhere sounded off on the dangers of ISIS and radical Islam…and they’re not without warrant as it’s a legitimate concern.
But Lynch made it seem like her Department of Justice wasn’t going to tolerate those kinds of actions and would prosecute anyone who spoke out against Islam.
As Politico wrote:
Speaking to a Muslim Advocates dinner in Arlington, Va., Lynch affirmed that “this is a country that is based upon free speech.” However, she went on to suggest that the Justice Department would “take action” when such speech “edges towards violence, when we see the potential to lift…that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
First Amendment precedents generally protect speech, even hateful speech, from punishment unless the comments are intended to incite direct action against specific individuals or in a specific place.
After she said that there was a loud cry from first amendment rights activists as they lamented this was a serious concern for the free exercise of the first amendment.
Many claimed they should be allowed to speak freely about something they felt was a justifiable threat to their way of life.
Well it looks like Lynch had some sense in her head, and she walked back her comments about prosecuting free speech maintaining this was a nation founded on free speech.
“Of course, we prosecute deeds and not words,” she said at a press conference Monday to announce an unrelated civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
This gives first amendment right’s activists a better sense of what the DOJ will do in the future.
Lynch defined the DOJ’s position saying:
“We always have a concern when we see the rhetoric rising against any particular group in America, that it might inspire others to violent action — and that violent action is what we would have to deal with,” Lynch told journalists at Justice Department headquarters. She also urged Americans “not to give into fear” in the wake of the apparent terrorist attack in California. “So, [what] we’re focused on, obviously, is protecting all of the people under the ambit of the Department of Justice.”
It’s an interesting and refreshing thing for those of us who are used to seeing the Department of Justice cast a blind eye to continual abuses of the Bill Of Rights