Our dumbed-down debate over the Justice Department and schools

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GARLAND: The Justice Department has two roles here. We assist state and local law enforcement in all ways, and we enforce federal laws which prohibit threats of violence by telephone, by email —

CORNYN: Well you, as a longtime federal judge with the distinguished legal career — you understand that not every crime, assuming it is a crime, is a federal crime. Correct?

GARLAND: Absolutely.

CORNYN: And some of these things, unless there is some nexus to interstate commerce or to the federal government, they’re largely within the purview of the state and local law enforcement authorities. Correct?

GARLAND: I think you put that correctly. We have authority with respect to the mail, with respect to the Internet, with respect to —

CORNYN: Right. Well, let me give you an example. If somebody says to the school board member if you do that I’m going to meet you outside and punch you in the nose, is that a federal offense or is —

GARLAND: That’s not a federal offense.

CORNYN: I agree. I agree, and …

GARLAND: There’s nothing in this memo suggesting that it is.

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