Jeff Sessions Puts an End to THIS Scheme That Funded Liberal Groups
Liberal groups will have to start looking somewhere other than the Justice Department for their donations. On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement prohibiting U.S. Attorney’s Offices from dispensing settlement money to the groups of their choosing – a practice that was abused during the Obama administration over and over again.
“Effective immediately,” Sessions wrote in a memo, “Department attorneys may not enter into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.”
Before the decision, the shady situation went something like this: The Justice Department would come to a settlement agreement with a plaintiff. Then, as part of that settlement agreement, the department would demand that funds go not just to the plaintiffs but also to outside, third-party groups that had nothing directly to do with the lawsuit.
As Breitbart reports, under Obama those groups included the immigration-activists La Raza, the National Urban League, and NeighborWorks America. These organizations have deep left-wing ties, and they were benefiting from an administration that thought nothing of awarding taxpayer money to partisan groups.
“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people – not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.
In 2014, Paul Larkin of the Heritage Foundation wrote a piece outlining why the practice was not in keeping with the principles of representative government.
“Decisions about how to disburse federal funds and whether any of those funds should be given directly to private organizations should not be made through a process that shrouds how those decisions are made and permits individual decisionmakers to rely on personal biases and predilections,” he wrote. “The Justice Department’s actions may or may not be defensible under the law, but they certainly do not give the appearance of having been made in a just manner or ensuring a just result.”
To be completely fair, both Republicans and Democrats have abused this system to shuttle money to the causes they prefer. That’s why both anyone interested in fair government should applaud Sessions’ decision, no matter how it might happen to affect their pet causes. The decision over who gets a taxpayer grant should not be made behind closed doors by the executive branch, and, furthermore, we shouldn’t be incentivizing the settlement of lawsuits in this way.