What is the Obama administration exceptionally good at? Meddling and playing favorites.
Sure, there’s a long list of other things they have become known for, but they seem to actually enjoy those two. They especially enjoy playing favorites when it involves one of their special-interest darlings.
Too often, this administration has been caught using government resources, or agencies to reward their friends, and punish their enemies. Of course, this habit paints a lovely backdrop for the following:
There was an application for a building permit in Pittsfield Township, Michigan (Population, 35,000). In 2011, the elected officials weighed this against their Zoning master plan, and unanimously rejected the request. The land was zoned “Residential” and only small-scale schools were within the scope of the zoning plan. All of these reasons for denial were consistent with the will of the people who elected those officials.
So, they get the pressure groups involved. Michigan Islamic Academy (that was the school) goes to CAIR, who pledged to get the DOJ involved.
But wait… there’s more.
Earlier this month, the DOJ inserted itself into another municipal case. This one involved Des Plaines Illinois (a Chicago suburb). Here it was a request to convert an office building in a manufacturing district into a temple. The request was denied.
In both of those cases, the DOJ inserted itself to overturn the rulings of legally elected officials.
Duly-elected officials in a small town are responsible for — among other things — zoning decisions. They, rather than someone else, are elected to this specific purpose. They live in the area, are affected by decisions made there, and know the issues and people involved at a personal level.
The Federal Government was none of those things.
The DOJ frames this as advocating for religious rights of a group being violated.
(We’ve seen enough evidence of the this administration’s track record on Religious Freedom to call B.S. — the Romeike family; Hobby Lobby; and the Supreme Court unanimously ruling against their infringement of the Establishment Clause come to mind.)
No. CAIR swings a lot of weight in such cases. It portrays itself as a human rights group. But their practice seems to be that of bullies who, whenever rulings go against them, will initiate legal action as an end run to get the courts to do for them what elected officials will not. The strategy has even been given a name. It’s called “Lawfare Jihad”.
CAIR, while it hypes itself as a human-rights type organization, has a dubious history. (Something about its connections, including Hamas, are laid out here.)
Do we really want Federal Officials usurping local officials’ authority, invoking “compelling government interest”, just to appease special interest groups whose motivations are somewhat less than transparent, and probably not in the public interest?