Department of Justice Shifts Budget Priorities From Civil Rights Enforcement to a Renewed War On Drugs

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Mon, 06/12/2017 - 4:45pm
Official Portrait of US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before congressional appropriations subcommittees, several national civil rights and justice system reform leaders are speaking out.

They’re concerned about a Department of Justice budget that shifts priorities from civil rights enforcement, toward a renewed War on Drugs and greater incarceration.

The groups, which include the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU, and the Drug Policy Alliance, are calling on members of Congress to push Rosenstein on the department’s budget priorities.

We hear now from Vanita Gupta, who headed up the Justice Department’s civil rights division in the Obama administration. She’s now the President and CEO of the Leadership Conference.

That was Vanita Gupta, former head of the civil rights division at the Justice Department, now head of the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights; she was followed by Michael Collins, Deputy Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein appears tomorrow before Congressional appropriators to defend the new DOJ and its budget.

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