The halls of an adjourned Congress are ringing with passionate calls to address the civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., which resulted from the lethal shooting of an unarmed black teen by police. The response of militarized law enforcement who view protestors as the enemy and the city as a war zone has become a particular focus. But, even if the cries are sincere, every congressional word or movement until November will reflect election maneuvering.
Democrats quickly staked a claim to the moral high ground. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) are prominent members of both the House Judiciary Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus. Along with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), they initiated a call for a congressional hearing on the use of excessive force by American law enforcement. The Republicans will almost certainly cooperate, if only because it would be impolitic not to do so. Moreoer, the hearing would be post-election and not necessarily lead to a change in law or policy.