By Washington Examiner
Do you believe a baker has the right not to bake cakes for same-sex weddings ?
Do you believe church daycare programs have just as much of a right as other such programs to apply for state grants?
Do you think pregnancy centers should not be forced by the government to tell pregnant women where to get an abortion?
If you support the First Amendment rights of any of these entities, then President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice believes you’re a bigot unworthy of associating with — or at least that is the message the department sends by protecting a senior DOJ official who attacked the nation’s leading legal advocate of religious liberty.
The DOJ Civil Division’s assistant director of commercial litigation is Eric Bruskin. Last week, Bruskin labeled a reputable organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, a “hate group” and told a former colleague online, “Are these beliefs you hold? If so then it’s time we end our professional association.”
There is nothing hateful about the ADF. Founded in 1993, the Christian legal advocacy group has successfully won 14 Supreme Court cases defending religious liberty. That includes Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which a 7-2 high court majority held that a baker cannot be forced to create a specialty cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. It includes Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, in which a 7-2 majority held that a Missouri grant program for daycare providers that excluded religiously affiliated daycare providers violated the First Amendment. It also includes NIFLA v. Becerra, in which a 5-4 majority held that a California law forcing crisis pregnancy centers to tell pregnant women where they could receive an abortion violated the First Amendment.
These are controversial cases. Responsible people can and did come down on both sides of these issues — and in two of those cases, that included some liberal Supreme Court justices. So is it the position of the Biden administration that the ADF is a hate group? Reached for comment on Bruskin’s remarks, Biden’s DOJ declined to comment.
An online slur by a career DOJ official attacking a mainstream conservative legal organization as a hate group wouldn’t normally be worth mentioning, except that Bruskin is just following Biden’s example. In his speech last week, Biden demonized and subtly hinted at criminalizing political disagreements he has with conservatives. Biden put every conservative in the nation on notice when he said that “MAGA Republicans” threaten “the very foundation of our republic” and defined as “MAGA Republicans” everyone who supports regulating abortion.
Between Biden’s remarks, Bruskin’s labeling of the ADF as a “hate group,” and the DOJ’s refusal to disavow the latter’s comments, a very clear message is being sent to pro-life Christians everywhere that Biden believes they, too, are a “threat to this country.”
Late last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to DOJ employees reminding them that “we have been entrusted with the authority and responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States in a neutral and impartial manner.” The memo, which announced a new policy forbidding DOJ employees from attending political events, continued, “In fulfilling this responsibility, we must do all we can to maintain public trust and ensure that politics — both in fact and appearance — does not compromise or affect the integrity of our work.”
Did Garland’s words mean anything? Apparently not because he is not acting to protect the integrity of the DOJ “both in fact and appearance” in this case. Biden’s attack on all pro-life voters and Bruskin’s attack on Christian legal advocates are making it impossible for any conservative to trust Biden’s DOJ to enforce the law fairly.
Read more at the Washington Examiner.
Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 8, 2022