New America Media | “The White House judges nominees on the merits of their character and not on the clients they once represented as counsel.” This was the terse statement that #45 Trump issued in defense of the instant and loud criticism of his pick, Eric Dreiband to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The division has been described as the gold standard for civil rights enforcement and direction in the nation. It’s an appropriate designation considering that for much of the last half century the CRD has set the tone and the tempo for forcing, monitoring and implementing federal civil rights initiatives.,
The criticism of Dreiband is more than well-deserved. He made his reputation not as a civil rights attorney nor law professor specializing in civil rights. He made his reputation doing just the opposite, as a corporate attorney who specialized in trying to beat back age, gender and racial discrimination lawsuits against corporations. This makes him Trump’s perfect choice to not strengthen, but gut the federal government’s flagship civil rights agency.
His nomination comes at the mid-point of Trump’s first year in the Oval Office. This makes it the perfect time to take a hard look at just what Trump has done to wreak even more damage on civil rights. His unrelenting vow to get a Muslim travel ban received much of the ink and attention in his war on civil rights and liberties. But he has wasted no time in quietly inflicting as much damage as he can in other areas of civil rights enforcement and compliance. Just hours after he set foot in the White House he deleted the White House webpage on civil rights. The Obama administration had proudly cited and filled the White House website with loads of information about his administration’s initiatives on civil rights. Trump’s quick deletion of the page was more than symbolism.