Our Dishonest Department of Justice

The Obama Department of Justice has been caught again.  This time, it advised the Supreme Court—13 years after the DoJ’s misbehavior—that it had lied made “several significant errors” in the 2003 case Demore v Kim, a case concerning excessive detention times for aliens with criminal records who were being held without bail.  DoJ had “mistakenly” argued at the time—and convinced the Supremes with the argument—that the detention periods involved were four months or less and so not excessive.  From this, the Supremes upheld a blanket policy of bail denial to immigrants jailed while appealing deportation orders.

DoJ’s lately confession admits that the detention periods actually were longer than 12 months.

And this incident:

In 2012, the Justice Department told the court that it had inaccurately asserted in a 2009 case, Nken v Holder, that officials routinely “facilitate” the return to the US of deported aliens who later win their immigration appeals.

It turns out that DoJ hardly lifts a finger to speed such returns.


In both instances, more accurate information emerged through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by immigrant advocates who were skeptical of the government’s claims.

Clearly, DoJ knew these things and have been trying to hide the fact of their “mistakes.”  They knew they were lying “providing inaccurate information” at the time; they deliberately withheld accurate information from the Supreme Court.  That’s why it took FOIA requests to expose these facts.

Recall, too, the DoJ having been caught out overtly and deliberately lying in another immigration case in 2015, and that judge ordered DoJ’s lawyers to undergo ethics training.  President Barack Obama’s (D) Attorney General Loretta Lynch has refused to have her lawyers undergo that training.

Of course she has.  Lying is too deeply embedded in the culture of the DoJ.

This is a mess, spanning administrations, and it can be cleaned up only with a wholesale removal of DoJ leadership down to middle management and the discharge of the lawyers ordered to undergo ethics training and who have not yet done so.  But that won’t happen in a potential Clinton administration led by a candidate who has promised to continue and extend Obama’s policies.

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