WHAT DOCUMENTS?

Jeff Sessions doesn’t want Americans to read these 24 government documents anymore

Obsession
"America First"
Obsession
"America First"

Late Tuesday afternoon (July 3), as most of Washington, D.C. was headed out of the office to celebrate the US’s Independence Day holiday, the Department of Justice issued a curious list.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds “24 Guidance Documents,” the DOJ’s 4pm press release said, adding that Sessions was “rescinding 24 guidance documents that were unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.” Sessions blamed “previous administrations,” for trying to “impose new rules on the American people without any public notice or comment period, simply by sending a letter or posting a guidance document on a website.”

Among other things, these documents provide guidance to homeowners, school admissions offices, law enforcement, and small businesses. They include an explanation of what a Supreme Court decision on racial diversity means to schools, an informal guide to preventing employment discrimination, and even a mortgage guide for homebuyers that encourages them to “shop, compare, negotiate!” The first seven refer to how juveniles should be treated by courts and in detention facilities.

This isn’t the first time Sessions has deleted guidelines issued by previous justice departments. Last December, he purged a trove of legal advice including a Ronald Reagan-era notice saying it was illegal to ship certain guns across state lines, part of his stated policy to purge what Sessions called “defacto regulations.”

The Department of Justice has already removed most of the items completely from its website, and there’s no longer even a historical record of what they said on US government websites. Quartz has downloaded copies of these documents from elsewhere and linked to them (with the help of the Campaign for Youth Justice, which supplied the first six items). Here’s the list:

  1. March 17, 2011 OJJDP Memorandum re Status Offenders and the JJDPA (pg. 83).
  2. October 20, 2010 OJJDP Memorandum re Status Offenders and the JDDPA (sic, pg. 129). A 2015 version is here.
  3. June 17, 2014, Revised Guidance on Jail Removal and Separation Core Requirements
  4. Disaggregating MIP Data from DSO and/or Jail Removal Violations: OJJDP Guidance for States, 2011. (pg. 81)
  5. OJJDP Policy Guidance for Nonsecure Custody of Juveniles in Adult Jails and Lockups Notice of Final Policy (pg. 8). A 2010 version is here.
  6. OJJDP Guidance Manual: Audit of Compliance Monitoring Systems
  7. OJJDP Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, Fourth Edition, 2009.
  8. BJA State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Guidelines, 2016 (no longer on the web)
  9. NIJ April 6, 2016, Dear Colleague Letter regarding additional topics and research questions of high priority and particular interest to the NIJ as part of its Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
  10. December 14, 2010 Looking for the Best Mortgage.
  11. August 6, 2015. FRB: Putting Your Home on the Loan Line is Risky Business
  12. April 30, 2006. Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination
  13. Approx. July 2009. Look at the Facts, Not at the Faces: Your Guide to Fair Employment. The 2011 version is here.
  14. May 2011. Refugees and Asylees Have the Right to Work.
  15. On or before February 12, 2003. Language Assistance Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance.
  16. March 1, 20011. FAQs About the Protection of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Individuals under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VI Regulations
  17. Draft Language Access Planning and Technical Assistance Tool for Courts, December 18, 2012.
  18. December 2, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Use of Race by Educational Institutions.
  19. Dec. 2, 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Postsecondary Education
  20. Dec. 2, 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools
  21. September 27, 2013 Dear Colleague Letter on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Higher Education After Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher I].
  22. September 27, 2013 Questions and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher I].
  23. May 6, 2014 Dear Colleague Letter on the Supreme Court Ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.
  24. September 30, 2016 Question and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher II].
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