A Senate without Civil Rights

Panel pushes protecting minorities to the side to tend to anti-Obama obsession

The current unease and concern among minorities so prevalent throughout the country has lost its place in the Senate.
The current unease and concern among minorities so prevalent throughout the country has lost its place in the Senate.
Foto: Getty Images

@LaOpinionLA

SPANISH VERSION

Civil and human rights disappeared when the new Senate took office. For some, the issue is no more than semantics, but it actually entails much more. It is a clear signal of divergent priorities, and a nod to a conservative sector who believes that civil rights are not included in the Constitution and are the invention of activist liberal judges.

The stated reason to cut the words “Civil Rights” and “Human Rights” from the now-called Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution is that both terms are included in the Constitution, so it would be redundant to list them in the committee’s name.

This argument may appear useful for those who ignore the legal debates led by Texas Senator John Cornyn — who presides the subcommittee and is responsible for the name change — regarding civil rights. Knowing this fact, reality seems clearer.

To begin with, Cornyn is one of the legislators with the worst history regarding human rights in Washington. Lately, he stood out for shutting down a bipartisan agreement to reinstall federal oversight on states with a history of infringing electoral law, meant to correct a Supreme Court decision.

Additionally, when speaking about his subcommittee’s priorities, Cornyn only mentions watching over the Constitution and act against Obama’s supposed abuses of presidential power. No mention of civil rights.

Although the subcommittee is the division of the Judiciary Committee in charge of civil rights, such a priority has all but disappeared from the new Senate ruled by a Republican majority. The omission responds to the fact that their restrictive legal philosophy says that such rights are not rooted in the Constitution.

What has occurred with this subcommittee is another example of the ideological extremism prevailing among Washington Republicans and their Obama obsession.

The current unease and concern among minorities so prevalent throughout the country has lost its place in the Senate. This is yet another clear sign that Republican priorities contradict all their previous words attempting to reach out to those groups.

Their hypocrisy becomes apparent through their acts. Civil rights are more than a legal term, and they are threatened when ignored, as in this moment