Once again, polical appointees overruled career staff to sustain an effort to entrench the far right in power.
In case you were wondering: The career staff of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department unanimously recommended rejection of the DeLay redistricting of Texas as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The political management of the Department overruled the staff, just as it had in accepting Georgia’s virtual poll tax.
The good news is that a federal court has already struck down the Georgia law, and that ruling was sustained unanimously by a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit. The bad news is that the Texas law passed muster with the 5th Circuit (which apparently hadn’t seen the staff memo) and is now before the Supreme Court.
I’m sorry to be late on this one, but the capacity of the Bush Administration to execute outrages is outrunning may capacity to comment on them.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman