June 16, 2018

Dem Rep to CNN: Unaccompanied-Minors Detention Center Conditions ‘Kept Quiet’ Under Obama

Appearing to take the show’s host by surprise, Henry Cuellar, a Democrat in Texas’s congressional delegation contended Saturday on CNN that in 2014, the conditions at detention centers holding unaccompanied and separated illegal-immigrant children were “kept quiet under the Obama Administration.” That’s probably correct, but it should also be noted that enough info had leaked out that that the press, if it had been genuinely interested, could have investigated matters further, and clearly didn’t.

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WSJ’s Kim Strassel on IG Report: Media Ignoring ‘Searing Indictment’ of FBI Culture

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Friday to discuss Thursday’s Inspector General report on “Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” She made the big-picture point most of the rest of the press is either ignoring or denying, namely that the IG has delivered “a searing indictment of the entire FBI and its culture.”

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: ‘Much-needed’ initiative aims to protect churches from zoning discrimination

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Jun 15, 2018 / 06:31 am

Protecting places of worship from zoning discrimination is the focus of a new initiative from the Department of Justice, announced earlier this week.

The ‘Place to Worship’ initiative aims to increase awareness of religious institutions’ right to build, expand, buy or rent facilities.

These land-use provisions are already provided for in the 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which protects religious institutions from discriminatory or unduly burdensome zoning practices. However, these rights have come under threat recently in several legal cases.

In a statement announcing the initiative, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the provisions protect not only the private act of worship, but the public exercise of religion provided for in the Constitution.

“Under the laws of this country, government cannot discriminate against people based on their religion – not in law enforcement, not in grant-making, not in hiring, and not in local zoning laws,” Sessions said. “President Trump is an unwavering defender of the right of free exercise, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice is standing up for the rights of all Americans. By raising awareness about our legal rights, the Place to Worship Initiative will help us bring more civil rights cases, win more cases, and prevent discrimination from happening in the first place.”

Goals of the new initiative include raising awareness of these rights through community outreach events, educating municipal officials and religious organizations about RLUIPA’s requirements, and providing additional training and resources for federal prosecutors regarding these cases.

The DOJ also launched a new website containing additional information about RLUIPA for religious institutions and lawyers, as well as a complaint portal and Q&A section.

Non-profit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has represented several religious clients in RLUIPA lawsuits, applauded the initiative for providing a “much-needed” focus on religious freedom. …

Go here for the rest of the story.