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Jewish World Review August 10, 2000 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5760

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports

Who will stop Bill Lann Lee? -- PRESIDENT CLINTON has done it again. Last week, he thumbed his nose at the Constitution, Senate Republicans, and every individual who believes in equal opportunity by appointing Bill Lann Lee as head of the Justice Department's civil rights division.

So what, you say? Shouldn't Clinton have the prerogative to appoint whomever he pleases to top law enforcement positions? Not when the president circumvents the Senate's constitutionally mandated advice-and-consent role. Not when the appointment is timed for partisan exploits. And not when the appointee in question is more committed to defying the law than defending it.

Lee, a Chinese-American who formerly served as a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is one of the nation's most prominent supporters of racial quotas and preferences. In contempt of both the court of law and the court of public opinion, Lee aggressively advocates race-based affirmative action programs – even if it means ramming them down others' throats at taxpayer expense.

Liberal Asian-Americans activists and other minority leaders are elated by Clinton's installment of Lee, which the White House engineered last week during the congressional summer recess – and just as the GOP convention was ending in Philadelphia. As an Asian-American, I'm embarrassed that Lee has risen to such prominence by embracing discrimination in the name of diversity. As a conservative, I'm ashamed of the Republican Party's failure to stop Clinton from turning Lee loose on the nation.

Despite being rejected for Senate confirmation, Lee became "acting" attorney general for civil rights in 1997. Legal scholars say Clinton's maneuver was a blatantly illegal end run around the Constitution, which gives the Senate the power to advise and consent on major executive appointments. Moreover, federal law limits the tenure of interim appointments to 120 days, yet Lee filled the vacancy for more than two years – and, thanks to Clinton's latest act, will now serve until at least the end of this administration's term.


When asked what he wished his legacy at the Department of Justice to be, Lee told the Dallas Morning News: "I guess we would start with the physician's oath: I don't want to have done any harm." Guess it depends on the meaning of "harm." Lee, a lifelong proponent of forced busing, racially-gerrymandered voting districts, lower testing standards for minorities, and racial proportionalism in public hiring, education, and contracting, has wasted no time wreaking havoc in the legal arena:

He challenged implementation of California's Proposition 209, the voter-approved ban on racial preferences in government, despite a unanimous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the initiative.

He ignored Supreme Court decisions in pursuit of racial set-asides in public contracting.

He bullied several municipalities into entering consent decrees to adopt race and gender preferences in hiring.

One such consent decree, entered into by the Pittsburgh Police Department, was based on secondhand evidence gathered by Lee's former employer, the NAACP, along with the American Civil Liberties Union. Compliance, which includes hefty payoffs to the cultural diversity-affirmative action complex, has cost Pittsburgh upwards of $5 million so far.

When Lee tried to force the city of Torrance, Calif. to adopt racial preferences, a federal judge threw out the case and ordered the Justice Department to pay $1.8 million in attorneys fees for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Nevertheless, Lee lodged similar costly jihads against the cities of Garland, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio. Investigations are underway from coast to coast in cities including Buffalo, New York; Charleston, West Virginia; East Pointe, Michigan; Orange County, Florida; Prince Georges County, Maryland; Scottsdale, Arizona; and South Bend, Indiana.

Not a peep has been heard from GOP leaders. Why not? One Senate Judiciary Committee aide told reporter Michael Catanzaro: "If we try to deal with Lee on the issues, the Democrats and the media will go after us and play the race card." Republicans have avoided attacking Lee's reign because they don't want to be accused of racism.

This same kind of cowardly political calculation colored the Republican convention, where the only televised statement on affirmative action came from George W. Bush's good friend, retired Gen. Colin Powell, who essentially shares the same position as Clinton and Lee.

Compassionate? Hardly. Americans are paying a high price for the GOP cave-in to a stealthy quota king.

JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


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08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
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06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
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02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
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12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
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12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
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12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate