New York Post, August 11, 2018
It’s been a rough year for the Southern Poverty Law Center — deservedly so. And it just got more difficult, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Now Sessions has ordered a review to ensure the Justice Department no longer partners with the SPLC and other groups that “unfairly defame Americans.”
Sessions acknowledged that the SPLC at one time “did important work in South”: As an Alabama prosecutor he worked with it to convict a Ku Klux Klan member who’d murdered a black teenager.
But nowadays, Sessions charged, it uses its hate-group designations “as a weapon” to “bully and intimidate” organizations of which it simply doesn’t approve.
Groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal foundation that specializes in religious liberty — and quite effectively: It has prevailed in the US Supreme Court nine times in the last seven years. Yet the SPLC has defamed ADF as a “hate group,” a label Sessions rejected by appearing before the group.
Sessions’ review is long overdue, and follows other government agencies that have backed away from the SPLC. It’s time for those who still merely parrot its smears to start taking a closer look.