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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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Media

Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity, not seeking the truth

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Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity not seeking the truth

The press shouldn’t be part of the news. It happens from time to time based upon proximity; because they have to be close to situations, they occasionally get drawn in. What a good journalist should never do is intentionally insert himself into the news, but that seems to be exactly what CNN’s Jim Acosta is doing.

He doesn’t care about reporting. It’s as if he now enjoys being the news. That’s the only logical conclusion one can come up with when viewing his actions over the past several months. Once an obscure media figure during the Obama era, Acosta has found true celebrity status by going after the President and his staff.

He tasted blood and he liked it. Now, it seems he’s addicted to it.

The latest “outburst” against him came from the President himself. It happened during an event with the President of Kazakhstan in which Acosta asked an unrelated question:

‘OUT!’ Trump orders CNN star Jim Acosta to leave Oval Office after reporter’s newest outburst

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/16/out-trump-orders-cnn-star-jim-acosta-to-leave-oval-office-after-reporter-s-newest-outburst.html“Did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway? Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway? Is that true Mr. President?” Acosta frantically shouted.

“I want them to come in from everywhere… everywhere. Thank you very much everybody,” Trump responded as Acosta continued to bark questions.

That’s all acceptable, albeit slightly inappropriate considering the reason for the event. Acosta took it up several notches with his followup question:

“Just Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world… people of color.”

This was intended to insert himself into the news once again. It’s a ridiculous question to ask and embarrassed the President and the nation on an international stage. “Journalists” like Acosta are willing to harm the country and its people as long as they can harm the President at the same time.

I’ve treated the President fairly since he was elected. When he pushes a big-government agenda, I voice my concerns. When he does well, I give praise. I would never attempt to shame him (and the nation as a result) with petulant outbursts of absurd questions. Jim Acosta apparently doesn’t hold such standards.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Culture and Religion

Is the Republican Party racist?

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Is the Republican Party racist

Racism isn’t broken down by party lines. There are racists in every political party in America. Some are more public than others, but generally speaking it’s clear there are racists everywhere. Thankfully, there are fewer of them today than in the past. A good part of the reason for this is cultural, but politically it’s been the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, that has championed the cause of equal rights.

Unfortunately, there are two things that are changing the way history is perceived by many Americans. The first is a false narrative created by both mainstream media and liberal activists who paint the GOP as racists. The second is the reality of conservative values. While the fight for smaller government and more freedom is a righteous one, it’s also a fight that is more appealing to racists than the liberal ideologies of more government and less freedom.

Historically, the evidence is clearly on the side of the GOP, as this PragerU video demonstrates.

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