Left- & ACLU-Supporting Lawyer Said to Be Top Sessions Choice for Civil Rights

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) While liberals continue to push the narrative that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is too conservative for his position, a behind-the-scenes argument is brewing on the right about whether the rest of Sessions’s Justice Department will be conservative enough.

Left- & ACLU-Supporting Lawyer Said to Be Top Sessions Choice for Civil Rights

IMAGE: Voice of America

The biggest disagreement among conservative legal eagles involves Sessions’s pending choice to lead the department’s most controversial sub-department, the Civil Rights Division. The widely reported front-runner for the spot, California Republican leader Harmeet Dhillon, counts conservative superstars Laura Ingraham and (reportedly) Dinesh D’Souza among her staunchest supporters. However, plenty of other conservative stalwarts argue that Dillon is too liberal for the appointment.

Dillon was an ally of Ingraham and D’Souza three decades ago when they all worked on the conservative Dartmouth Review and pilloried the liberal college administration. She also has been active in the Federalist Society, the national organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers, and she helped lead the Trump campaign’s effort to massage the rules in his favor at last year’s Republican National Convention.

On the other hand, since her college and law school days. Dhillon has served as a board member of the San Francisco chapter of the liberal American Civil Liberties Union, and has spoken in favor of liberal pro-abortion laws and in favor of recognizing more American legal rights for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. She also donated to the campaign of California’s left-wing U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, when Harris ran for her earlier position of San Francisco District Attorney.

For those reasons and others, Paul Mirengoff of the well-known conservative blog Powerline has written two columns opposing Dhillon’s selection to head the Civil Rights Division.

“The Civil Rights Division must be headed by a staunch conservative,” Mirengoff wrote in the first one. “It simply won’t do for a former ACLU board member and Kamala Harris supporter with an obvious liberal streak to head the Division.”

In answer to that first column and other criticisms, Dhillon’s fellow Republican National Committee member from California, Shawn Steel, circulated a letter defending her conservative bona fides and belittling many of her critics as “holdovers from the Bush era” and characterizing the criticism of her as “smears.” Noting that Dhillon is a Sikh, he wrote that “in the California central valley, Sikhs are among our greatest allies. They are quite conservative and fiercely proud Americans.”

None of which, retorted Mirengoff, excuses the record indicating that “ideologically, she has played for both teams.”

Separately – and without mentioning Dhillon directly – some top conservative lawyers are circulating their own letter addressed to Sessions that stresses the importance of choosing a constitutional conservative to head the Civil Rights Division. It lists the division’s lengthy recent record of court citations for unethical behavior, accuses the division in recent years of “ideological rot,” and calls for a number of “strategic shifts” and “internal reforms.” The draft version of the letter (which hasn’t been sent to Sessions yet) urges support for voter-identification requirements and other means of ensuring the integrity of the voting process, while calling for race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws.

The latter issue refers to one of the biggest controversies in the early years of the Obama administration; one originally brought to the fore by the Obama Justice Department’s decision to drop charges in what effectively was an already-won case against two New Black Panthers accused of intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place. In the wake of that case, Justice Department employees reported that the Obama team had openly stated it would not apply civil rights laws in defense of white people victimized by black perpetrators, and would not enforce voter-integrity provisions in federal law because such laws don’t advance their goal of “increasing turnout.”

Those are just a few examples of the numerous times that the Justice Department and its Civil Rights Division came under fire in each of the past two presidencies – the Obama team criticized from the political right; the George W. Bush team blasted by the left.

For those reasons and others, Mirengoff’s Powerline colleague John Hinderaker weighed in over the weekend with his own column entitled “Memo to Jeff Sessions: It’s time to clean house.”

Hinderaker’s conclusion explains the sentiments so widely held on the right that both sides of the divide over Harmeet Dhillon almost certainly agree:

No swamp is more in need of draining than the Department of Justice, horribly corrupted by eight years of misrule. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has his work cut out for him. Bureaucrats and lawyers at DOJ will fight him every step of the way as he tries to reform the department.

The press will fight him, too–especially when it comes to efforts to restore professionalism to the Civil Rights Division. That division is now a cesspool of bias and incompetence, but reporters will imply that every effort Sessions makes to reform it is “racist.”

Sessions faces a daunting task, but he is the right man for the job. Conservatives need to be prepared to support him, aggressively, as he begins to clean the Augean stables of the Department of Justice.

Feelings obviously run high on these issues. The Wall Street Journal last year accused the Obama Administration of running “The Miscarriage of Justice Department,” and conservatives of all stripes don’t want Jeff Sessions’s tenure to be stillborn.

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  • Rick D.

    When I hear/see the term ACLU, my gut-level response is generally a negative one. However, if Dhillon has the support of Laura Ingraham and D’Souza, then she must be OK. Besides, appointing her will help Sessions get most of these pansy-a** liberals off his back so he will get more done.

  • Ardvark

    So putting a communist in charge of that section is a good idea? The ACLU is a clown show when it comes to anything close to civil rights!

  • Dixie Danger

    I love watching brainwashed, establishment voters make a comment…It is too funny. LOL

    • Rodney Steward

      What part of Dixie California are you from!!

      • Dixie Danger

        If I had Jerry Brown as a governor, I’d puke. Don’t live in Cali, I live in the Midwest.

  • Loving America

    As long as this Dhillion is the only liberal put on with the ACLU. ACLU is the Worst Bunch along side of the United Nations! No Way to Get Justice and they sure do not ever take a Conservative side! But I agree she will stop Mr. Sessions from having great complaints put on him! If she turns out to be another Lynch at Least Maybe Sessions can fire her!

    • Pat Murphy

      Since there is a chance that her ACLU background may taint her decisions, why take the chance? It probably would be problematic to get her fired once her foot is in the door.

    • Brady

      you think he has the b—-?

  • guest

    What’s up with Sessions?

  • Sylvia Avila

    I say clean house! need to get all the poison of the Obama Administration out! need fresh eyes and ears, especially now!

  • Edward Cibener

    Can it be? If she is what she is touted, she sounds like an excellent choice among the many sour choices of Trump so far.

  • regulus30

    SHE IS NOT THE RIGHT person; sorry Jeff; she is a cancer to revolution.

    • Obie Miller

      Since she works with the ACLU, that alone is reason enough to reject her!!!

      • wayne g dearry

        I agree 100%

      • regulus30


  • CaptTurbo

    Hmmm, is that wool being pulled over my eyes?

  • parthenon1


    • wayne g dearry

      I agree

  • richjack4

    From this article alone it is obvious that there must certainly be other well-qualified candidates for this position. When they speak of civil rights, they speak of minority whims at the expense of white rights. They assume white rights are separate from minority rights and thus, are not worthy of protecting. Big mistake. Position requires someone who is certainly not left leaning.

  • The duck

    She is a swamp animal, and alligator. alligators will not move on as long as there is food and water and lots of water. Drain that swamp Jeff.

    • wayne g dearry

      Right on

  • Freedomlover

    President Trump should ask Denish D’souza to take some important role in his Administration.

  • Harry Trawick

    The DOJ has got to be returned to the Rule of OUR Constitutional Law, Not led by PC beliefs and Far Left Drivel! Acts like refusing to prosecute black panther members for Voter Intimidation is not exceptable for the Top Law Enforcement Branch of the Country!

  • DrBarbara

    Is this more fake news? I’d like to hear straight from Mr. Sessions who he is thinking about choosing.

  • Devasahayam the Deplored

    How about insted of HK Dhillon, appoint Dinesh D’Souza — who actually is cognisant of laws!?

  • Raymond Miller

    No, No, No, absolutely not. We need to DRAIN the swamp and the DOJ is one of the biggest ones that need draining.

  • DUKE

    Donating to Kamala Harris’ campaign AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIES HER!!! Think about it!! NEXT. . . . . . .

  • Brady

    Man what is going on? This guy in that position, give me a break.

  • Brady

    I tend to agree, maybe Sessions will resign soon. At least with Christy you would know what side he’s on. Christy busted his a– working for trump. Now he’s trying to get out from under the bus. Which he should have been driving the bus .

  • Original Anna

    Maybe Sessions doesn’t know the ACLU is the communist party started by Stalin here in the states. Their first victory was to get Darwin in the schools and Christianity’s creationism out. The ACLU uses our own court system and judges to kill this country’s ethics and morals, to subvert capitalism and our American culture so that at it’s lowest point the ACLU and their progressive followers will change our gov’t into a communist gov’t and right now they are 3/4 of the way there thanks to Obama and Hillary and their eight years to make the changes for the ACLU. Also, the ACLU communist party gave Hillary millions of dollars to get elected and has contributed to her through the years. This woman was on the board of the communist party, please Sessions, use your head, keep her out of our gov’t. If you know something we don’t about the ACLU and it’s board members, please let us in on it.

  • libsarescum

    The ACLU is an anti-American organization that should be defunded.

  • How can she ever be considered,. She is an aclu liberal moron

  • HadEnough


  • jackel

    The ACLU is not an organization friendly to America nor conservatives. Anyone with ties to it is suspect, and just not to be trusted. We don’t need anyone who supports corruption; that is every where after Obama’s 8 years!!!!

  • bhndr

    What civil rights??? Trump and his fascist regime are intent on ending civil rights for everyone not white, male, and rich.

  • wayne g dearry

    He should have NOTHING to do with this scumbag ACLU–hate them with a passion

  • wayne g dearry


  • wayne g dearry

    We don’t need a wimp here but a shark will do

  • Name

    AG Sessions don’t be stupid by appointing a Nazi liberal.

  • ImOffendedTreatMeSpecial

    The Justice Department does not need members or supporters of the American Communist Lawyers Union.

  • ALR

    Mr.Sessions listen to the Amercan people…..DO NOT name Harmeet Dhilon for the Civil Rights Division job……….She loves the ACLU, one of the enemies of Mr. Trump Administration.

    • HairBare

      Well as an Alabamian in Sessions district I vouch he RARELY if EVER listened to or cared what WE had to say!! So ya good luck with that!!!

  • Dixie Danger

    Because it’s painfully obvious that you stand for nothing and will fall for anything! I could never understand Democratic or Republican voters…There is no true freedom or liberty in either party. BOTH sides want to push an agenda and ONLY agree with what suits their needs. It amazes me, how “sheepish” that both sides are. Not that I care for Bush Jr. or Obama too much, but people seem to forget, no one truly cares, until it IMPLORES their needs personally. America is about LIBERTY AND FREEDOM, which neither side practices.

  • Louie Rey

    I find that hard to believe. It doesn’t take the Attorney General of the United States to know what the ACLU stands for and where they’re coming from. In no way, shape or form does the ACLU fall within the guidelines of a conservative administration and so if anything I think this may be what’s now known as “fake news.”

  • Daniel Yingling

    The white male is the most target species on the planet when it comes to getting your civil rights trampled on. It has happened to me on numerous occasions and now that there is a new sheriff in town it’s time to make it clear that no should ever have their rights trampled on, period. They need a clear headed man for the job.
    Someone that will think before acting on emotion and do the right thing, not what’s politically correct or motivated by politics.

  • 123dave

    Administration is turning into a no-go. WTF? This isn’t what I voted for by a long shot. Sessions is already a big, big disappointment and it seems to only get worse. To get a SCOTUS is about all I can hope for out of this administration. I’m certainly done totally with repubs and trump isn’t far behind. The US is diminished more every day by individuals I once had trust in. Puck them all!