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Virtue signaling aside, does Chicago have a right to DOJ funding?

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Yeah, if everyone could stop getting outraged and focus on how the law actually works, that’d be great.

Attorney General Sessions announced on July 25 that federal funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) has been officially barred from cities refusing to comply with federal immigration law. Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff, responded on Sunday by threatening a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, which was filed on Monday. For context, a Ninth Circuit judge illegally struck down President Trump’s executive order in January which more broadly prohibited funds to sanctuary cities (like the policy or not, that’s not how the judiciary works. Somebody actually has to file a case).

The DOJ swiftly replied to Emanuel’s pushback: “In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. So it’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk,” said department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Predictably, this story is being touted Left and Right with the utmost virtue signaling, so much so that no news outlet seems to have even considered which side has the best legal footing. It can be hard to keep our knee-jerk grandstanding to ourselves, so let’s put all that to rest before we move on to the more substantive material:

This article will not address crime rates among illegal immigrants, the Chicago prison system already teeming with complications and which would be decluttered with the deportation of illegals, nor the dubious research on whether sanctuary cities experience any significant change in crime rate.

But that goes both ways. I would also appreciate if the other side would calm down about accusations that Sessions has somehow violated the Constitution and Rahm’s “fundamental rights,” that this measure betrays the moral values of the city of Chicago, that it’s akin to blackmail, or that the withholding of a measly 0.03% of the city budget will “make the people of Chicago less safe” and “[undermine Chicago’s] actual safety agenda” in any serious way. It’s not about kindness, the American Dream, or being a “welcoming city.” It’s about the law.

Lastly, I won’t dive into a discussion about the virtue or even legality of sanctuary cities — federal law is supreme and cities must follow it as it pertains to them, whether they like it or not. But that’s not the item in question.

To address this story adequately, we need to consider the core issue: does the Department of Justice have the authority to rescind its contract with the city of Chicago? Consenting parties have a constitutional right to enter into a contract, so if Sessions has violated his end, then Emanuel might have a case.

When accepted for this grant program, states (and subsequently cities) enter into a contract with the DOJ. States apply to the Byrne JAG Program and are awarded funding based on a formula calculated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics involving population and violent crime stats. As this is a federal grant, the money can only be used for its stated purpose in a few specified areas. If a city or state refuses to comply with those terms, then no deal. They don’t lose any money; they just don’t qualify for additional funding because they won’t use it for its intended purpose.

This touches on a critical point: the DOJ isn’t holding outside money hostage. They’re not refusing funding for education, infrastructure, or anything unrelated so as to ostensibly treat police officers like “political pawns in a debate,” as Emanuel has alleged. This is money exclusively set aside for law enforcement, and the DOJ is refusing it based on concerns regarding law enforcement.

Next we have to ask whether Chicago intended to uphold their federal contract anyway by allotting the funds to an approved category. Chicago had reportedly planned on using its promised $3.2 million to buy police vehicles, which arguably qualifies under Byrne JAG specifications as “equipment,” so that appears to check out.

As far as I can tell, Chicago was in total compliance with the stated restrictions of the grant until the attorney general’s announcement, which makes it the only part that truly matters.

On July 25, Sessions declared in part, “From now on, the Department will only provide Byrne JAG grants to cities and states that comply with federal law, allow federal immigration access to detention facilities, and provide 48 hours notice before they release an illegal alien wanted by federal authorities. This is consistent with long-established cooperative principles among law enforcement agencies.” He cited “tak[ing] down MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs” as impetus for the policy change, and the department later issued further details concerning the new additions.

Under these restrictions, Chicago most certainly does not qualify for the Byrne JAG. So where does Sessions stand? It all depends on whether the attorney general has the authority to transparently adjust the terms of a financial contract while such is already in place.

To my knowledge, yes. He didn’t do it in secret and bust anyone for a law they didn’t know about, and, more importantly, it’s not legislation; it’s DOJ policy, and Sessions is the head of the DOJ. The contract comes from the DOJ, so only the DOJ can alter it, and there’s no reason they can’t alter it (it would be silly to claim that once a policy is established it has to stay that way forever).

I know of no legal argument against Sessions’s ability to amend department policy, and I haven’t seen any publication or politician even attempt to present one. We’ll just have to see if virtue signaling (from both sides) outweighs the legal question.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. R angel

    August 8, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Totally agree

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News

PRIDE: Portland renames major street after pederast, cult defender

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In 2016, the U.S. Navy named a ship after the late politician, Harvey Milk. In 2009, President Obama posthumously bequeathed Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Now, city officials in Portland, Oregon, have voted to rename a 13-block section of one of the city’s major streets, Southwest Stark Street, after Harvey Milk, the first open homosexual to serve on the San Francisco, CA, Board of Supervisors. Milk was murdered in 1978, by a fellow democratic Board of Supervisors member.

Harvey Milk was also a serial pederast. As his friend and biographer, Randy Shilts, wrote:

“Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.”

Milk was also a defender the now infamous Marxist cult leader Jim Jones. As Daniel J. Flynn wrote at City Journal in 2009, in a piece entitled, “Drinking Harvey Milk’s Kool-Aid”:

Nine days prior to Milk’s death, more than 900 followers of Jim Jones — many of them campaign workers for Milk — perished in the most ghastly set of murder-suicides in modern history. Before the congregants of the Peoples Temple drank Jim Jones’s deadly Kool-Aid, Harvey Milk and much of San Francisco’s ruling class had already figuratively imbibed. Milk occasionally spoke at Jones’s San Francisco-based headquarters, promoted Jones through his newspaper columns, and defended the Peoples Temple from its growing legion of critics. Jones provided conscripted “volunteers” for Milk’s campaigns to distribute leaflets by the tens of thousands. Milk returned the favor by abusing his position of public trust on behalf of Jones’s criminal endeavors.

“Rev. Jones is widely known in the minority communities here and elsewhere as a man of the highest character, who has undertaken constructive remedies for social problems which have been amazing in their scope and effectiveness,” Supervisor Milk wrote President Jimmy Carter seven months before the Jonestown carnage. The purpose of Milk’s letter was to aid and abet his powerful supporter’s abduction of a six-year-old boy. Milk’s missive to the president prophetically continued: “Not only is the life of a child at stake, who currently has loving and protective parents in the Rev. and Mrs. Jones, but our official relations with Guyana could stand to be jeopardized, to the potentially great embarrassment of our State Department.” John Stoen, the boy whose actual parents Milk libeled to the president as purveyors of “bold-faced lies” and blackmail attempts, perished at Jonestown. This, the only remarkable episode in Milk’s brief tenure on the San Francisco board of supervisors, is swept under the rug by his hagiographers.

Along with Stoen, 275 other children also perished that day in Jonestown.

Portland’s Southwest Stark Street is at the center of the largely LGBTQ Burnside Triangle neighborhood.

According to an article at LGBTQNation.com, “this change symbolizes the districts history as well as the legacy of Harvey Milk.”

Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler, prior to the vote, spoke about the importance of this name change, saying that it “sends a signal that we are an open and a welcoming and an inclusive community.”

Portland now joins several other cities, including San Diego and Salt Lake City, which have honored Harvey Milk.

My Take:

Those on the right side of the aisle are regularly accused of vilifying the LGBTQ community. Oddly enough, it’s the most vociferous activists on the left – specifically, it’s those who select, uplift, and honor “heroes” like the sexual predator Harvey Milk – who do the most damage to the image of the LGBTQ community, along with the ideologues who simply go along with it.

What could the right possibly do to harm the image of the LGBT community which the radical activists haven’t already inflicted themselves? I can’t think of anything. Can you?

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Opinions

Conservative Picks for the Oklahoma Primary

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Oklahoma is one of the more Conservative states in this country. The GOP has a stranglehold and the Democrats are on life support. This election cycle boast an opportunity to expand and maintain on the state’s decent Conservative record. Oklahoma has better incumbents than most red states, measuring by fiscal and social conservatism. The most exciting race in Oklahoma is the 1st District where Jim Bridenstine is leaving the seat.

Best Picks: Andy Coleman, Nathan Dahm, James Taylor
Worst Picks: Kevin Herns, Tom Cole
Best Race: District 1
Worst Race: District  3

District 1

There is a plethora of Conservative endorsements in this race. They are split between Andy Coleman and Nathan Dahm. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan both favor Coleman who appears poised to be the newest inductee to the Freedom Caucus. Rand Paul, the Republican Liberty Caucus, and Thomas Massie are coming out in support of Nathan Dahm. Dahm has a more libertarian styled campaign and platform. Coleman boasts a strong military and legal background while also having a history of supporting persecuted Christians in the Middle East through Voice of the Martyrs. Nathan Dahm is likely less formidable.

The worst candidate in this race has the most funding. Kevin Herns is the businessman insider posing as an outsider. This race has big shoes to fill and he is least likely to fill them. Herns also is lying about his support from Jim Bridenstine, the current Rep. who is vacating the seat to head NASA. Bridenstine responded to this deception.

Ideally, Coleman and Dahm advance to the runoff. Realistically Herns is poised for the next round, so Conservatives will have to combine the vote. But of course this assumes that Herns’s funding has him ahead.

Conservative Pick: Andy Coleman

District 2

Markwayne Mullin is a decent Congressman, but not so much as to dismiss his opponents. His most serious threat is John McCarthy. There is nothing that really separates the two other than McCarthy’s populist style campaign language. He emphasizes keeping his word, but being an outsider, he doesn’t have a track record. Mullin isn’t a RINO nor has he been in the House for too long.

Conservative Pick: Markwayne Mullin

District 3

Frank Lucas is an unchallenged RINO.

District 4

Tom Cole is another incumbent RINO. He is being challenged by James Taylor. This man understands John Locke. He is a Conservative and with the low threshold of Cole to beat, he is the clear choice in this race.

Conservative Pick: James Taylor

District 5

Steve Russell has gotten more Conservative as time passes which is the opposite of many Republicans. He is challenged but faces no serious contender.

Conservative Pick: Steve Russell

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Opinions

Conservative Picks for Utah Primary

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Conservatism is under assault in Utah. Leading the assault is Mitt Romney, the carpetbagging fipflopper using his Mormon status to target a vacant seat in Utah. The Senate is finally rid of Orin Hatch. RINOs Jeff Flake and John McCain’s days are numbered and there are some solid Conservatives advancing to November in easier to win seats. But Conservatives in the Senate will face their newest opponent in Mitt Romney. Romeny will, no doubt, be a vocal vote. He is campaigning on “calling them as he sees it,” which is fine if you have a Conservative worldview. But this is Mitt Romney. He is the author of Obamacare’s framework. He ran one of the worst campaigns in modern history in 2012. He’s the first reason we have Trump. Should Romney win he will vote as any establishment player would: from the left of Trump.

Conservatism in Utah is at a critical point and will have to overcome celebrity politics. The convention tried and failed. It’s now up to the electorate.

Best Pick: Mike Kennedy, Chris Herrod
Worst Pick: Mitt Romney
Best Race: District 3
Worst Race: US Senate

US Senate

There literally could not be a worse candidate than Mitt Romney. He’s a rich carpetbagger riding the Salt Lake City Olympics, which shouldn’t matter. Mike Kennedy is the only chance for Conservatives in this race.

Conservative Pick: Mike Kennedy

District 1

Ron Bishop is unopposed. He’s a mediocre career politician.

District 2

Chris Stewart is decent and unopposed.

District 3

John Curtis is opposed after a single term that was the result of a special election. He hasn’t seen enough action to prove a RINO. In fact, he may be fiscally responsible. He voted against Omnibus. His opponent is Chris Herrod. Herrod is running as a fiscal hawk. What is unique about him is the depth of principle he comes with. His opposition to spending and socialized medicine along with his support for individual freedoms make him a more ideal Conservative and less likely to disappoint in the future than Curtis.

Conservative Pick: Chris Herrod

District 4

Mia Love went to DC with much fanfare and high expectations. So far she has been a huge disappointment boasting an F Liberty Score. She is unopposed.

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