Despite a commitment to equal justice for all, public officials in the United States have instituted policies that either by purpose or effect discriminate unjustly on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. Such discrimination violates internationally protected rights. In the criminal justice arena, public officials also abuse their discretion by overstepping their authority, or by instituting policies that undermine the rule of law and deny justice to all parties, including victims of crime, witnesses, and the accused.