Bob Barr

Still, the Obama Administration cannot resist the urge to meddle. Its interest in Zimmerman began almost as soon as the incident occurred. In March 2012, for example, the Justice Department opened an investigation of the shooting, just days after the NAACP sent a letter to Holder calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. Although Holder wisely deferred to Florida prosecutors to handle the criminal case against Zimmerman, his Department offered federal resources to support anti-Zimmerman protests, to documents recently obtained by the public interest organization, Judicial Watch. This interference is an obvious conflict of interest to any supposedly unbiased, independent investigation.

Now that the state prosecution failed to prove Zimmerman guilty, the federal department once again is targeting an acquitted man for potential federal prosecution.

Neither President Obama, nor Attorney General Holder, may like or support self-defense laws such as Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute. And, they may disagree strongly with the local jury’s decision to acquit Zimmerman – that is their prerogative. But, neither of these positions provide an appropriate basis on which to invoke the vast power of the federal government in effect to overturn the actions of either the Florida legislature, which passed the Stand Your Ground law, or of the properly-constituted jury, which heard the cases for and against Zimmerman and acquitted him.

If the Department of Justice moves forward with a case against Zimmerman under the circumstance here, then the precedent will have been set for the federal government to use its power to override decisions of local prosecutors, judges and juries in virtually any criminal case imaginable, anywhere in the country, at any time.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.