First Attorney General Eric Holder announces plans to make aggressive use of what’s left of the Voting Rights Act in order to make up for what the Supreme Court took away. Now he’s instructing prosecutors to leave out key details when bringing cases against nonviolent drug offenders, in order to keep mandatory minimum laws from kicking in. Is the AG a politically nimble crusader, overstepping the bounds of his office to pursue his version of justice? Not exactly.
It’s true: gay-rights groups, a progressive church and other liberal organizations have received not-so-special attention from the IRS in years past, as well as more recently. It’s true that there’s no clear evidence that IRS staffers were ideologically motivated when they gave special scrutiny to Tea Party groups. It’s true that, by design, the IRS does its work largely independent of the White House—Obama couldn’t fire the people at the Cincinnati office if he wanted to. And yes: “social welfare” nonprofits need more scrutiny and regulation, not less—assuming they should even exist. Still.