Biden came into office at a particularly contentious time in American political history. His election victory was heavily challenged by his predecessor, and Trump’s supporters did their best to stop the certification of Biden’s election victory. Given these facts, it’s unsurprising that Biden’s presidency has seen further division of the political parties, and many believe that Biden himself is a key figure in that.

A Divisive Campaign

Biden’s campaign itself was divisive at the start of it, to those who see things conservatively. Biden ran on multiple leftist agenda goals, including expanding green energy investments, canceling student loan debt, more pandemic funding for ordinary people, and more. 

Source: Wikimedia/Kuhlmann

While many of these policies are more towards the center of the political spectrum in other Western countries, in America, they’re considered deeply leftist. In some circles, they might even be considered radical. 

The Left Radicalizing the Government

Many conservatives have used Biden’s political agenda, as well as the individuals that he’s chosen for key offices in the government, as an example of how the left is radicalizing government. While Biden has made a significant part of his platform and agenda the idea of bipartisanship, many Republicans seem content to point out the various ways that Biden and the left are growing increasingly “radical.”

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

The primary example of this radicalization, in conservative’s eyes, is the indictment of former President Donald Trump in four different jurisdictions across the country. Trump is facing 88 felony charges across his court cases, which range from business fraud and unlawful retention of government documents, to attempting to subvert a government proceeding and defraud the government. 

Unlawfully Targeted

Conservatives have claimed that Donald Trump’s legal woes are due to unlawful targeting by the government. Individuals like Marjorie Taylor Greene have blatantly said that Biden is targeting Trump because he is a political opponent, and that the legal arguments behind his indictments hold no water. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

This theory has been pushed by the man himself, Donald Trump. Trump has stated repeatedly that the legal cases against him are an example of a political “witch hunt,” and has said that Biden’s administration is one of the most corrupt in modern history for the way that they are allegedly hunting down a political opponent. 

The Republican Frontrunner

And it is true that Trump was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president, even before he won enough delegates to win the nomination from the RNC. The MAGA faction of the Republican party is loud and proud, and even moderate Republicans have given in to the far-right faction in an effort to stay in power. 

Source: Wikimedia/The White House from Washington

Trump’s popularity with Republicans is not the reason why he is facing indictment in four different jurisdictions, though. The legal system works independently of the political system, and though it’s an easy talking point, Trump has ultimately been charged with crimes because a grand jury was convinced there was enough evidence for an indictment. 

Bias in the Legal System

Just because Trump’s legal charges aren’t politically motivated, though, doesn’t mean that there isn’t bias in the legal system towards who is being charged, and how harshly they are punished when they are found guilty.

Source: Wikimedia/Donald J. Trump

An obvious example of this is when Black Americans are charged with crimes. Black Americans statistically are charged with crimes more often than white Americans, and when they are found guilty, they are charged with much harsher punishments than white Americans who are found guilty of the same crime. 

Biden Administration Legal Bias

The Supreme Court recently pointed out a disturbing pattern of a similar legal bias occurring, but with political views. Oral arguments in the case of Fischer v. United States saw Gorsuch and Alito discussing the Biden administration’s practices of selective prosecution of protestors and rioters.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

The case, brought by Joseph Fischer, rests on his contention that his actions during the January 6 Capitol riot should not be charged under “obstruction of an official proceeding.” He was also charged with assaulting police officers, and in his hearing, claimed that he wasn’t trying to obstruct or “impede” official congressional business.

A Wider Issue at Hand

Of course, his claim is entirely false, but Gorsuch and Alito were more interested in a wider issue at hand. Regarding the events of January 6, more than 300 of nearly 1400 January 6 defendants have also been charged with obstructing an official proceeding, and the justices were puzzled by some inconsistencies that could be seen in how Biden’s appointees applied the law.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler

The justices pointed out that it seemed as though disfavored defendants were charged through a wider scope of the law than individuals who identify as liberal. They stated that when people on the left, even including members of Congress, disrupt government proceedings, Biden and his officials look the other way. 

Questions from Gorsuch

“Would a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal courthouse qualify [as illegal obstruction]?” Gorsuch asked Elizabeth Prelogar, Biden’s Solicitor General. “Would a heckler at today’s audience qualify or a heckler at the State of the Union address? Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote qualify for 20 years in federal prison?”

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Senator Luther Strange

The examples used by Gorsuch are all events that have taken place at various times during Biden’s administration. The last point refers to Progressive Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who pulled a fire alarm before a key spending vote on September 30 of last year, and ultimately pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge. 

Distinctions Drawn

Bowman allegedly bragged about not being charged for obstructing House proceedings, though that’s what many believed that he had done with his actions. The mandatory mass evacuation of the building interrupted attempts to prevent a government shutdown. 

Source: Wikimedia/Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Prelogar attempted to draw distinctions between the January 6 defendants and the examples that Gorsuch used, but her arguments were confusing. Gorsuch pressed further, asking why “a mostly peaceful protest…that actually obstructs and impedes an official proceeding for an indefinite period would not be covered.”

Similar Questions From Alito

Alito asked similar questions, and Prelogar seemed to stumble in her responses. At one point, she said that for a criminal charge under the statute in question, “we would have to have the evidence of intent.”

Source: Wikimedia/Steve Petteway

However, the judges pointed out that a significant subset of January 6 rioters who were charged with obstruction of an official proceeding were unaware of the congressional proceedings, rather than intentionally trying to interfere with them. And yet, it seems that the Biden administration is punishing them particularly harshly.

Picking and Choosing Cases

The point in the justices’ line of reasoning is not necessarily that the protestors should face no consequences for their actions on January 6, particularly those who engaged in violence against the Capitol police that day. 

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler

Rather, the point is that the Biden administration appears to be choosing which cases to punish based on ideological reasons, rather than when and how to apply the laws against illicit protests. 

Evidence From the Past…And Present

There is some evidence for this in previous statements and actions that have been made by Democratic officials. In 2020, now-Vice President Kamala Harris called for a yearlong continuation of the violent post-George Floyd riots, while supporting groups that wanted to bail murderers from prison. 

Source: Wikimedia/The United States Senate

In the present, the Biden Justice Department goes out of their way to imprison innocent anti-abortion protestors, while allowing attacks on pro-life centers to go unpunished. The examples of the double standards of the Biden administration are countless, and this has left Republicans feeling as though the administration will target them for their mere existence, crime unseen. 

Time Will Tell

While it’s not yet clear which way the justices will rule when it comes to the current case before them, the points raised by Gorsuch and Alito are valid. While it’s true that all administrations prosecute based on their political beliefs, it seems that this is especially the case for the Biden administration. 

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Stokes

Only time will tell whether this will become a true problem. With the 2024 election upcoming, the time is ripe for political opponents and the opposition to be otherwise occupied. While it seems clear that Biden’s administration is focusing their attention on those who participated in the January 6 riot, absent those prosecutions, the range of their attention could be potentially limitless.