Monday, July 31, 2006

US District Court Judge John Feikens misses on civil rights commission

The Honorable John Feikens wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in Thursday's Free Press supporting the Civil Rights Commission's investigation of alleged fraud by signature collectors for Michigan's Civil Rights Initiative.

The article, This is no time to weaken state Civil Rights Commission, makes its major point here:
".. the state Constitution directs the Commission to investigate alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin and to "secure the equal protection of such civil rights without such discrimination.

".. if complaints of discrimination are brought before the commission and its members believe them to be credible, they are obligated to pursue those complaints... To do anything less would be a failure to do the job they were appointed to do, and indeed a dereliction of their duty as public servants sworn to uphold the laws of Michigan and the United States."
Judge Feikens' bias, like the commission's, is in favor of affirmative action regardless whether it is warranted, achieves its purpose, is deleterious to blacks, or ultimately unconstitutional. His op-ed misapplies Article-1 Section II to petition signers claiming they didn't understand what they signed. But the real violation of equal protection and "civil and political rights" was committed by BAMN and the commission itself when they conspired to obstruct citizens' rights to exercise their constitutionally protected franchise to draft petitions, gather signatures, and shape their government.

In this specific instance the opinion itself is discriminatory because it seeks to protect the civil rights of one party at the expense of another, which is what affirmative action is all about--more discrimination. Worse, the opinion and the issue brought before the civil rights commission wasn't that the complainants were discriminated against but that they didn't understand what they were signing. It's unclear to what extent the state constitution protects ignorance or tempermentalism, but it clearly protects citizens' rights to amend the constitution by petition.

If being misled is a violation of civil rights politicians would never be allowed to speak or act. Democracy is necessarily caveat emptor, but we can correct mistakes at the ballot box or by petition when our elected candidates haven't the political will to do what citizens feel must be done.


  1. I believe your analysis of the Fiekens commentary is sound. Fiekens has been an advocate of reverse discrimination for nearly 40 years, at one judicial level or another, and has become totally myopic on the subject. He refuses to accept that the idea of "anti-discrimination" has morphed into something that has worked against the minority he - and we all - would like to see given more opportunities.

  2. "a strange and dangerous assumption that the commission should remain neutral ..."

    When Mr. Fiekens says something like this, it becomes clear that his understanding of discrimination is heavily biased.

    (sarcasm)Heaven forbid that a judge of anything should be neutral! How can we expect fair and honest decisions from someone who doesn't take a side? Where's the justice in a mediator who hears both sides of an argument without prejudice?(/sarcasm)

    Apparently Mr. Fiekens has decided that some people do not need justice. And the saddest thing of all, is that too many people agree with him.

  3. Now that I think about it, why do we have a commission at all? If there's a law then plaintifs can sue defendents for discrimination. It's how employees, ex- and potential, sue for discrimination and any number of other reasons our civil courts are jammed with.

    The mere existence of a commission to "investigate" allegations separate from the courts suggests partiality in favor of complainants.

    That type of impartiality should not be enshrined in a commission. The law was pass and courts established.

    The state constitution only required the legislature pass appropriate law. It's possible the state government may have overstepped its authority in creating a commission to investigate complaints--aiding one side over another. How much easier is it to bring suit, legitimate or not, when you've an entire state commission on your side to dig up evidence, subpeona witnesses, and issue press releases?

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