A federal commission had to postpone a vote on a report that criticizes the Justice Department’s handling of a voter-intimidation lawsuit Friday after a Democratic panelist walked out of the meeting in protest.
The draft of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report says that Justice tried to hide the extensive involvement of high-level political officials in the dismissal of the suit against members of the New Black Panther Party. The move, the report says, indicates that Justice’s Civil Rights Division is failing to protect white voters and is “at war with its core mission of guaranteeing equal protection (under) the laws for all Americans.”
The Justice Department has strongly denied the allegations in the report, which follows the commission’s year-long investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the 2008 incident. The Bush administration had filed the lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party members, but the Justice Department under the Obama administration dismissed most of the case.