In December 2016, "The Daily Show" host Noah Trevor said of Donald Trump's cabinet picks:
“It’s almost like before he hires anyone, Trump Googles ‘opposite of,’ and then he just gets that person.”
This stands true for the president's recent nomination of Kenneth Marcus for the position of assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education.
He is notorious for abusing civil rights law by using it to suppress student criticism of Israeli government policies in colleges.
Marcus heads Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which aims to "advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote justice for all," but it doesn't promote justice for all.
The latest controversial Trump pick has a well-documented history of attacking the First Amendment right to free speech of people, especially students and faculty, who advocate for the rights of Palestinian people in the Middle East.
For instance, he filed Title VI lawsuits in response to any sort of pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses, primarily against campuses where students successfully passed BDS resolutions. BDS is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to exert economic pressure on Israel in response to its treatment of the Palestinians.
Almost all the complaints filed by Marcus were reportedly dismissed by the courts.
Protesters from National Students for Justice in Palestine attended Marcus' Senate hearing in order to remind the country of his long record of suppression of free speech.
Jewish Voice for Peace also released a statement, addressing his appointment:
“His tactics dilute the definition of anti-Semitism so much that it becomes useless and have contributed to widespread repression on college campuses, where students and faculty fear studying Palestinian history or advocating for Palestinian rights."
And it's not just Palestinian activism that Marcus opposes.
"As staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he opposed investigating violations of the rights of LGBT persons," according to Palestine Legal, an independent organization that works to protect the civil and constitutional rights of people in the U.S. for Palestine advocates.
With his new position, Marcus will now have legal authority to continue his suppression of civil rights in the education sector — all thanks to Trump.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters