Justice, Denied

The American Spectator

Under attorney general Eric Holder, the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is dangerously politicized, radically leftist, racialist, lawless, and at times corrupt. The good news is that it’s also often incompetent. This means the Holderites can bungle their leftist lawlessness so badly that even the most reticent of judges are obliged to smack them down.

The abuses by the Holderites are legion. They range from DOJ’s infamous abandonment of the already-won voter-intimidation case against several New Black Panthers to multi-faceted assaults on traditional standards of voting rights and obligations; from a growing list of lawsuits deliberately destructive of border security and citizenship laws to outrageously race-based bullying tactics; from efforts to undermine military discipline and state sovereignty on homosexual-related issues to the dangerous obsession with terrorists’ “rights” to the detriment of national security; and, finally, to the selection of judges openly contemptuous of the existing law-all while dedicated to a vision of judge-imposed “universal justice” based not on the text of American statutes but instead on the reigning cultural standards of coastal and international elites. While doing all this, the Holderites operate the least transparent DOJ in decades, treat congressmen and independent agencies with contempt, and claim breathtakingly spurious “privileges” against disclosure of public information.

This isn’t law enforcement and it isn’t justice, but instead is subversive of both.

The politically moderate blogger and law professor Ann Althouse, who voted for Barack Obama, wrote a reaction to a November 2009 Holder testimony before the Senate that could stand as a far broader condemnation of his qualities. Holder, she wrote, “is utterly pathetic here. Either he knows damned well what he’s doing and he’s lying or he’s outrageously unqualified for his job.”

The New Black Panther case, which concerns the attempts of two club-wielding gang members to intimidate voters outside voting stations in Philadelphia in the 2008 election, provides a perfect window into the modus operandi of the Holder Justice Department, one which has far wider implications than just the question of whether two crackpot thugs deserved to receive stiff sanctions for clear, unambiguous attempts at voter intimidation. How clear? Consider the words of Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project. He told me on September 17 that he had not delved deeply into the case, but had seen the videos and was generally aware of the controversy: “I thought that that definitely raised very serious questions about what was going on. I think that if people were doing the same things while wearing white robes and hoods, most other people would be outraged by it — certainly very concerned about the propriety of it.”

Well, of course. Yet all along, the question asked by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which conducted an in-depth study of the matter, was a bigger one: whether case was indicative of a broad policy change at DOJ. Whistle-blowing attorney J. Christian Adams told the commission it was, and he was backed to the hilt on September 24 by his former Justice Department colleague (and onetime ACLU stalwart) Christopher Coates in riveting testimony to the commission — and, long before that, backed in general terms by at least three other former DOJ officials.

What Adams, Coates, and the others say, and back up with a fair amount of strong circumstantial evidence combined with firsthand experience, is twofold. Their first charge is that the Holderites have consciously adopted a practice of refusing to enforce civil rights laws when the perpetrators are black (or maybe Latino) and the victims are white (or Asian). It’s a charge certainly in keeping with Holder’s own words to the Washington Post in 1996 that a black man’s “race defines him more particularly than anything else. Black people have a common cause that requires attending to.” Mr. Holder elaborated: “It really says that…I am not the tall U.S. Attorney, I am not the thin U.S. Attorney. I am the black U.S. Attorney.… There’s a common cause that bonds the black U.S. Attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person.”

No wonder the Obama administration rushed, just a month after taking office, to file a brief effectively on behalf of the city of New Haven, Connecticut, to defend its refusal to promote, on purely racial grounds, white firefighters who had by objective standards earned the higher positions. On the same day, the Holder Justice Department ordered Dayton, Ohio, to hire a specific number of black policemen and firemen-a racial quota, pure and simple. In an Alabama-based case in September, meanwhile, a federal judge ridiculed DOJ’s clumsy attempt to dismiss a challenge to the controversial Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act — which requires certain jurisdictions, and only those jurisdictions, to secure “pre-clearance” from the department for any change in voting procedures, even as small as moving a polling place from a school gym to the same school’s cafeteria. Federal district judge John Bates wrote that the Holderites were “unable to articulate any reason” for one of its positions, and that they could “point to no authority” for another contention. He blasted them for “fishing expeditions,” and wrote that a conclusion in their favor “would be absurd.”

Nothing, though, was more absurd than the Section 5 ruling by Loretta King-one of the chief racialists at DOJ and one of the major crusaders in favor of dropping the Black Panther case — that a black-majority town in North Carolina would not be allowed to hold nonpartisan municipal elections. Even though the majority of black precincts in this majority-black town wanted no party affiliations on the label, Ms. King decided, in effect, that the black townies in Kinston, N.C., were too stupid to know their own interests. If voters don’t know which candidates are Democrats, she ruled, black voters would be unable to elect their “candidates of choice” — who, by her definition, could only be Democrats.

Sixth Sense: Seeing Dead People…Voting

THE SECOND CHARGE made by Adams, Coates, and others is that DOJ voting rights official Julie Fernandes said in a section-wide meeting that the department would not enforce laws requiring removal of dead people and felons from voting rolls because those laws do nothing to help (Democratic) turnout.

Sure enough, the department dropped a long-running case against Missouri for the state’s failure to do just that. Not only that, but Adams-after resigning in protest from DOJ-took private action in September to sue (or threaten suits against) 16 states when DOJ itself would not do its job on this front. Adams explained at Pajamas Media:

South Dakota, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Indiana report in excess of a dozen counties with more registered voters than living people old enough to vote. Having more voters than living humans tells you something is wrong. In West Virginia, one county reported 113% of the voting age population was registered to vote….Ponce de Leon wasted his time looking for the fountain of youth in Florida-he should have gone to Maryland, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, or Tennessee. These states report that they didn’ t remove a single dead voter from 2006 to 2008. Some of the dead registered voters were resurrected on election day and cast ballots.

These are obvious signs of major violations, yet DOJ — completely in line with the alleged statements from Fernandes — refused to do its duty to enforce the law.

It also coincides with other indications that DOJ is bizarrely eager to help felons, a notoriously Democratic constituency, vote, while showing an extreme lack of enthusiasm for assuring the votes of military personnel, who, polls show, more often vote for Republicans. As the Washington Times editorialized on July 28 and several times thereafter, the department failed in numerous ways to ensure full implementation of a 2009 law mandating that states mail overseas military ballots at least 45 days before Election Day — in order to ensure time for delivery both ways, to and from often extremely remote locales.

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