United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions personally initiated an experienced federal hate crimes lawyer to help prosecute a man charged with killing a self-described transgendered teenage boy in Burlington, Iowa.
The case involved 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, shot to death on March 2, seemingly due to his gender identity.
Sessions' decision to send the federal lawyer made media headlines due to the fact that the Department of Justice rarely involves itself in local cases, unless the federal government views the case as significant.
And this certainly appears to be one of those cases, as the Attorney General recently gave a speech at the 2017 Hate Crimes Summit decrying violence against people based solely on who they are. He stated at the time:
Hate crimes are violent crimes. No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship.
Sessions sending a DoJ attorney to Iowa shocked many on the left, who've decried Trump's Department of Justice as “ordinarily transphobic.”
The New York Times, highly cited for covering the story, took a slight jab at the Attorney General, accusing the DoJ of fighting violence against transgendered people individually while still denying legal protections for them collectively by rolling back Obama-era policies that expanded the definition of sex-discrimination to include gender identity.
But others noted the move fits right in step with the Attorney General’s Christian faith.
Then again, to the New York Times, nothing will ever be good enough.