Joe Biden’s proposed 2024 budget request for an additional $62 million for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has raised alarm bells among conservatives. This is the same DOJ that has been disproportionately targeting pro-life activists with Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) charges in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Vanita Gupta, the associate attorney general of the DOJ, made remarks at the Civil Rights Division’s 65th anniversary in December, admitting that the DOJ had been targeting pro-life activists through the FACE Act as a response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
She described the overturn of Roe v. Wade as a “devastating blow to women throughout the country” that took away “the constitutional right to abortion” and increased “the urgency” of the DOJ’s work.
The Biden Administration’s proposed budget increase is framed as reinvigorating federal civil rights enforcement, with the intention of “supporting police reform via pattern-or practice investigations, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.”
But conservatives are rightly concerned that this increased funding is simply a way of increasing the DOJ’s power to target and prosecute those who disagree with their political agenda. What’s more, this budget increase would essentially be a blank check for the DOJ to further target pro-life activists.
The FACE Act has been used to prosecute those accused of attacking abortion clinics, but its language also protects pro-life organizations under the term “reproductive health services,” as the DOJ has since reaffirmed. However, in 2022, the DOJ only charged pro-life activists with FACE Act violations.
The Civil Rights Division failed to charge a single pro-abortion activist with FACE Act charges in 2022, despite over 100 apparent pro-abortion attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches across the nation, according to Catholic Vote trackers.
It’s clear that this budget increase is an attempt to expand the DOJ’s power and influence and to further target those who disagree with Biden’s agenda.
This is an egregious misappropriation of taxpayer funds and a blatant attempt to use the DOJ to target those who disagree with the political agenda. Biden’s proposal is a blatant attack on free speech and a transparent attempt to silence those who oppose his agenda.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.