Attorney General Eric Holder
Still more White House officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, have ties to an effort funded by billionaire George Soros to push for a new, “progressive” U.S. Constitution.
WND previously reported how President Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, maintained extensive ties to Soros’ funding, particularly with regard to a movement that openly seeks to create a “progressive” consensus on what the U.S. Constitution should provide by the year 2020.
Now, it has emerged that Lisa Brown, Obama’s staff secretary, served as executive director of the Soros-funded American Constitution Society, ACS, a progressive legal organization that was behind the Constitution scheme.
Brown’s White House responsibilities include managing the flow of information, advice and decision-making between staff members and Obama.
Also, Holder has been closely tied to the ACS, serving on the group’s board of directors and even keynoting their 10th anniversary national convention earlier this month.
In 2008, Holder also keynoted their convention. At that event, he reportedly urged young lawyers to get involved in the liberal legal network, saying America would soon be “run by progressives.”
“The pendulum is starting to swing. America run by progressives. Really. It’s about to happen. So we’re going to be looking for people who share our values,” he stated, as captured in a YouTube video.
In April 2005, Sunstein opened up a conference at Yale Law School entitled “The Constitution in 2020,” which sought to change the nature and interpretation of the Constitution by that year.
The event was sponsored by Soros’ Open Society Institute and the Center for American Progress, which is led by John Podesta, who served as co-chair of Obama’s presidential transition team. Podesta’s center is said to be highly influential in helping to craft White House policy.
The Yale event on the Constitution was also sponsored by the ACS, which has been described as a group meant to counter the work of the Federalist Society, which has been at the forefront of the push for a more conservative judiciary since its launch in 1982.
The ACS is the main organization behind the movement to ensure a more “progressive” Constitution. It has received more that $2.2 million from Soros’ Open Society since 2002.
Brown, Obama’s staff secretary, wrote an entry on the blog for the “Constitution 2020″ conference at Yale Law School in which she decried conservative interpretations of the Constitution.
She wrote: “Conservatives have captured the intellectual initiative in popular and even much elite discourse. Their success in framing and communicating fundamental conservative principles has contributed to real legal and political change over the last two decades. Will we allow narrow and sterile conservative interpretations of our Constitution’s vital principles and protections to reshape our national character and control our daily lives? Our answer, on this weekend and on every day of the coming years, is a resounding No.”
Like Holder, Sunstein, meanwhile, has spoken at numerous ACS events. For example, he was a speaker at a November 2003 symposium by the American Constitution Society of the University of Chicago School of Law, where Sunstein was a professor.
But it was the 2005 Yale event led in part by Sunstein that has been described as jumpstarting the movement for a “progressive” constitution.
Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote in a 2009 New York Times Magazine piece about so-called liberal justice: “If this new understanding of legal liberalism can be traced back to a single moment, it was in April 2005, when the American Constitution Society and other progressive groups sponsored a conference at Yale Law School called ‘The Constitution in 2020.’”
New ‘Bill of Rights’
The Constitution 2020 movement has plotted a strategy for how liberal lawyers and judges might bring such a constitutional regime into being.
Just before his appearance at the Yale conference, Sunstein wrote a blog entry in which he explained he “will be urging that it is important to resist, on democratic grounds, the idea that the document should be interpreted to reflect the view of the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party.”
Sunstein has also been pushing for a new socialist-style U.S. bill of rights that, among other things, would constitutionally require the government to offer each citizen a “useful” job in the farms or industries of the nation.
According to Sunstein’s new bill of rights, the U.S. government can also intercede to ensure every farmer can sell his product for a good return while the government is granted power to act against “unfair competition” and monopolies in business.
All this and more is contained in Sunstein’s 2004 book, “The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’S Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever.”
In the work, Sunstein advanced the radical notion that welfare rights, including some controversial inceptions, be granted by the state. His inspiration for a new bill of rights came from President Roosevelt’s 1944 proposal of a different, new set of rights.
In his book, Sunstein laid out what he wants to become the new bill of rights, which he calls the Second Bill of Rights:
His mandates include the following:
- The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
- The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
- The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return that will give him and his family a decent living;
- The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
- The right of every family to a decent home;
- The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
- The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
- The right to a good education.
On one page in his book, Sunstein claims he is “not seriously arguing” his bill of rights be “encompassed by anything in the Constitution,” but on the next page he states that “if the nation becomes committed to certain rights, they may migrate into the Constitution itself.”
Later in the book, Sunstein argues that “at a minimum, the second bill should be seen as part and parcel of America’s constitutive commitments.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott