Federal Judge Halts Trump's Cop-Filled Law Enforcement Task Force

Johnny Nguyen 09:20

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, said the commission managed by William Barr can't release its report yet.

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Trump administration not to release a report by the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, saying the group that excluded civil rights leaders had been “far from transparent.”

Senior U.S. District Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a 45-page ruling finding that commission ― which President Donald Trump announced with fanfare at a police union ― had violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires that committees be “fairly balanced” in the viewpoints represented.

Attorney General William Barr said there was a need to hear from a “diversity of backgrounds and perspectives,” but the commission was full of law enforcement officials.

Last month, as HuffPost previously reported, an elected prosecutor quit one of the commission’s working groups because he worried that it was “providing cover” for a predetermined law-and-order agenda that “will only widen the divisions in our nation.”

Bates wrote the that commissions’s membership “consists entirely of current and former law enforcement officials” and that no commissioner “has a criminal defense, civil rights, or community organization background.”

“Especially in 2020, when racial justice and civil rights issues involving law enforcement have erupted across the nation, one may legitimately question whether it is sound policy to have a group with little diversity of experience examine, behind closed doors, the sensitive issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America today,” he wrote. 

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