AMAC Exclusive by David P. Deavel
A classic image is that of lady justice holding her scales while blindfolded. The blindness of justice signifies not the weakness of this-worldly justice—thought that’s true—but instead the ideal of equality under the law. Yet we see little of that these days. The Post-Millennial reported this week that the Department of Justice will not be investigating nursing home deaths in Pennsylvania where Democrat Governor Tom Wolf and former Department of Health Secretary (now Assistant Secretary of HHS in the Biden administration) Rachel Levine forced nursing homes to accept Covid patients. Reporter Libby Emmons noted that they will not investigate nursing home deaths in Michigan either, but fear not: they are investigating a whole slew of other issues including federal prisons’ use of at-home confinement. Democratic governors such as Wolf and Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer can be grateful lady justice has pulled down the blindfold and checked party affiliation.
These are not isolated incidents. All over the country there have been a slew of cases that seem much more important to our law enforcement officials than others. Biz-Pac Review reported this week that “Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser dismissed charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful gun possession against Brandon Campbell, 30, when prosecutors from the Circuit Attorney’s Office did not attend hearings for the case in May, June, and July. . . .” This is the same Circuit Attorney’s office in which Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner spent significant resources prosecuting Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who brandished weapons on their lawn after a group of protesters broke in to their locked and gated community while releasing 34 of 36 George Floyd protesters arrested last summer without charges, a group for whom the “potential charges included misdemeanors and felonies for burglaries, property damage, assault, stealing, and unlawful use of a weapon, among others.” A judge removed her from Mr. McCloskey’s case due to “rais[ing] the appearance of impropriety and jeopardiz[ing] the defendant’s right to a fair trial.” The lady representing lady justice had been sending out re-election fundraising material bragging about having bagged the two.
The most egregious behavior, however, has involved the approach to the events at the Capitol on January 6. While protesters in Kim Gardiner’s St. Louis and many other blue cities across the country were simply let go despite the facts that over 2000 police officers were injured in the riots of 2020 and several precincts and hundreds of police vehicles were damaged (19 of them set fully on fire), many of the people arrested in Washington, D.C. have been kept in solitary confinement for months, a decision that was criticized by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the ACLU (shamefully) before any Republicans spoke out. Given what we know about most of the detainees, this is shameful. As reporter Julie Kelly of American Greatness, whose reporting on the events of the Capitol has uncovered media and government lie after lie, has summarized it in an article dismantling the claim that $30 million of damage was done on that day:
Much of what the public has been told to believe about January 6 slowly is being exposed as a series of falsehood. It wasn’t an armed insurrection; five people did not die as a result of the protest; Brian Sicknick was not killed by Trump supporters; and it was not the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” as Joe Biden insists. The protest was not orchestrated or executed by white supremacists or “domestic violent extremists” as the director of national intelligence warns.
As she pithily concludes, “If January 6 was as bad as they say, why do they have to keep lying about what happened?”
The lies may not be as bad as the blatant double standards, however. This week Paul Hodgkinson became the first person given a felony conviction of eight months in prison for his role in the proceedings. What did this “terrorist” do? As independent liberal journalist Michael Tracey acidly observed, “Hodgkins pleaded guilty to an ‘obstruction’ charge which involved him taking selfies—obviously the essence of ‘terrorism.’” Another old-fashioned lefty, Glenn Greenwald, commented on the sentencing, “Virtually every long-standing left-liberal view about how the criminal justice system should work has been violated in the 1/6 prosecutions (just as they were in the Flynn prosecution), but many don’t care or support it because they want their political adversaries in prison.” They do indeed.
Do the American people approve of these two standards of justice? There is hope that they do not. First, a new Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that two-thirds would like an investigation of those 2020 riots—more than the 49% who support Nancy Pelosi’s politicized January 6 commission. And lest you think this is just Rasmussen surveying conservatives, they broke down the answers and found that:
Majorities of every racial group and political affiliation support a congressional investigation of last year’s violent protests. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites, 64% of black voters, 66% of Hispanics and 62% of other minorities think Congress should investigate the 2020 riots in U.S. cities. Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans, 60% of Democrats and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major party say Congress should investigate last year’s violent protests.
The American people want to know that justice really does have a blindfold when it comes to how we treat protesters of different parties.
Second, however, we are beginning to see the American people rise up against Critical Race Theory, which is often hovering in the background of many of these decisions of prosecutors such as Kim Gardiner and is being taught to our children in schools. This theory, which takes the Marxist division between oppressors and oppressed and interprets it through the lens of race, explicitly gets rid of the idea of equality under the law. Because disparities between races can only and always ever be interpreted as pernicious racism, say popularizers of CRT such as Ibram X. Kendi, what we need is different standards to judge different races. “The only remedy to racist discrimination,” Kendi says, “is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
For the CRT crowd, who cares about you personally getting justice? It’s really about your race getting to statistical parity with others on average! Of course others will come along and want statistical parity for their sex, their class, their religion, and today even their “gender identity.” If the ideas of Kendi and all the other boutique Marxians are adopted, get ready to have lady justice—or at least an impersonator—tipping the scales for you based on everything except your own guilt, innocence, rights, duties, and personal merit in every situation you ever get into.
The reason our country advocated for equality under the law for all persons is that our founders wanted to make sure that did not happen. The reason the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing equal protection under the law, was passed was to make good on that original vision. So too Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many other state laws.
That brings us to one final piece of hopeful news for the American people. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has declared, in a response to a question from the superintendent of public instruction in Montana about the legality of teaching of CRT and “antiracism,” that “key elements of Critical Race Theory and so-called ‘antiracism’ education and training, when used to classify students or other Montanans by race violate the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, Montana’s Individual Dignity Clause, and the MHRA [Montana Human Rights Act].”
It’s a big win that we can teach kids that lady justice should be blind to our race. We want our kids to learn early and often that one standard of justice should apply to us as Americans. Not multiple standards based on our race, our sex, our class, or our political party. No other condition will keep us together as one American people.
David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas (MN). He is the co-host of the Deep Down Things podcast.