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Judge Rules Barr has broken the law in selecting members of the Law Enforcement Committee



US District Judge John Bates has directed the President’s Law Enforcement and Justice Commission not to hold any further meetings, sessions, or hearings or conduct any official business, or to “submit, accept, publish, engage or rely on any” report or recommendations “until it complies with the standards of the Federal Advisory Council Act in accordance with the ordinance.

The Commission aims to examine a wide range of issues related to law enforcement and the criminal justice system in more than a dozen working groups on issues such as “Respect for Law Enforcement”, “Victim Services” and “Juvenile and Juvenile Criminal Law”. After examining the issues identified by the groups, the commission is expected to make recommendations to Barr on actions to fight crime, increase respect for the law and assist victims. Barr would then reverse the recommendations for Trump̵

7;s consideration.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Barr, the Justice Department, and the commission in April alleging violating federal advisory council law by holding closed sessions and leaving out people in urban communities who will be affected by their recommendations.

“Especially in 2020, when issues of racial justice and civil rights related to law enforcement agencies have broken out across the country, one can rightly ask oneself whether it is a sensible policy for a group with little experience to investigate sensitive legal issues behind closed doors Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System in America Today, “wrote Bates.

Bates ruled Thursday that the commission violated federal law by failing to submit a charter and not timely announcing each meeting in the federal register. “Attorney General William P. Barr has violated the FACA by not selecting a particular federal official to serve on the Commission” and “by failing to ensure that the membership of the Commission is fairly balanced in terms of the positions expressed and the functions to be performed”, it says in the regulation.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

“The Federal Advisory Council Act was created to ensure that the Federal Advisory Councils are publicly held accountable for their actions. The Commission’s disregard for almost all of the FACA’s requirements was a grave violation of federal law, and we are pleased that the court acknowledged this. ” Natasha Merle, senior counsel with the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, wrote in a statement.

“In the midst of a national police crisis, we need to focus more than ever on reshaping this country’s approach to public safety,” Merle said. “This requires meaningful engagement with the public and all interested stakeholders. Today’s decision ensures that the government will not be able to evade the law to pursue a distorted agenda.”

Barr selected former and current law enforcement officials, including U.S. attorneys, prosecutors, and police chiefs from across the country. No member of the commission has a background in criminal defense, civil rights or community organizations, the judge wrote in accordance with the Legal Defense Fund.

“The commission was set up to completely ignore these provisions to ensure that the community has access to and participates in decisions that necessarily affect them,” said Miriam Krinsky, founder and executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution. wrote in a statement to CNN. “The distorted composition of the commission and its working groups – and its secret and closed process – underscores the bias and pre-set agenda associated with the establishment of this group.”

More than 75 current and former elected prosecutors and law enforcement officers joined the Legal Defense Fund’s lawsuit with an amicus letter, stating that this “flawed process … is the last thing a nation needs in crisis”.

District Attorney John Choi resigned from the commission last month after his concerns about a lack of transparency with the other working groups and the failure to involve members of the community in their study were not addressed.

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