US Commission on Civil Rights to Investigate Civil Rights Enforcement Under Trump

Labor News

Catherine Lhamon speaks during the GLSEN Respect Awards in New York in May 2016. At the time, she headed the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. She now chairs the US Commission on Civil Rights. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Emma Brown on June 18, 2017.

The US Commission on Civil Rights voted Friday to investigate federal civil rights enforcement under President Trump, with the majority expressing “grave concerns” about the Trump administration’s proposal to cut spending and staffing on civil rights efforts at multiple agencies.

“Along with changing programmatic priorities, these proposed cuts would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination,” the commission, an independent watchdog created by Congress, said in a statement of concern approved on a 6 to 2 vote.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division would lose 121 positions, and its stated priorities do not mention fighting discrimination against LGBT people or people with disabilities, according to the statement, which also identifies deep cuts to programs at Housing and Urban Development, Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid for low-income people. …

The Washington Post 6/18

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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