By now, you have probably heard that the Department of Justice has shutdown due to a “lapse in federal funding.” Seems pretty outrageous huh. Especially considering all the controversy surrounding closing down parks that don’t receive any federal funds and spending money to block access to WWII memorials.
During the shutdown, “essential” government services continue. Before the shutdown began, each federal department came up with a contingency plan on what will be funded (essential) and what will not within their department. You can access the entire list here.
Here is where it gets interesting. If we go to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan, here is what they will fund. Go there then look at number 5.
Here it is again: Those related to “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” i.e., where there is a reasonable likelihood that the safety of human life or the protection of property would be compromised, in some significant degree, by delay in the performance of the function in question.
Uh. Wouldn’t shutting down violate this? Wouldn’t shutting down this site “compromise the safety of human life in some significant degree?” I believe the answer is yes. So what is going on here? Could the federal government really be this callous? Are they really going to violate their own procedures for what will get funded and what won’t?

Cross posted at


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