Department of Injustice: “Don’t enforce the Voting Rights Act.”

July 9, 2010

I linked to this in an update to the previous post, but this really deserves a post of its own: In November, 2009, the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was told not to enforce the law regarding the integrity of voter rolls:

A lesser-known provision also obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:

  • “We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”

Jaws dropped around the room.

Yeah, I bet they did. What’s next, mandatory registration at all cemeteries?

No Cabinet officer has been impeached since Secretary of War William Belknap under President Grant. It will never happen under a Democratic Congress, but Eric Holder is a shining example of someone who deserves to be the next.

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Department of Injustice: compare and contrast

July 9, 2010

On election day in 2008, members of the New Black Panther Party engaged in a clear case of voter intimidation aimed at White voters:

While the Department of Justice brought suit against the Panthers in the waning days of the Bush Administration and obtained a judgment against the NBPP and its members, the Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the case with little explanation and to widespread shock and consternation.

Fast forward to the present: Johannes Mehserle, a White BART transit cop on trial for shooting African-American Oscar Grant, is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Given the facts of the case, the verdict was correct and justice was served.

So, of course, today comes the news that the Department of Justice, that same DoJ that dropped a clear case of voter intimidation, is going to investigate the shooting of Grant for possible federal prosecution:

The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent review of the Johannes Mehserle case in order to determine whether or not the shooting merits federal prosecution, according the department.

“The Justice Department has been closely monitoring the state’s investigation and prosecution,” the department said in a statement.

“The Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the FBI have an open investigation into the fatal shooting and, at the conclusion of the state’s prosecution, will conduct an independent review of the facts and circumstances to determine whether the evidence warrants federal prosecution.”

This is beyond ridiculous; it is the unequal application of the law, based on the ethnicity of the parties involved. Because career attorneys at the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ do not believe in prosecuting civil rights cases where the accused is Black and the victim is White, and because they now have political bosses who agree with them, the voting rights of White Philadelphia residents are no longer protected. But, make the accused White and the victim Black, and the CRD is all too happy to appease an angry mob and the leftist congresswoman stirring it up.

To be clear: I do not object to the verdict against Mehserle. I think the jury got it right and he should go to prison for his crime. I object very strongly, however, to the Federal government interfering in a state court proceeding in which the state properly exercised its police powers, simply because the administration wants to pander to one or another ethnic group. The opening of a federal investigation implies there’s a legitimate question whether the state court operated fairly, which anyone paying attention can see is not the case here. This is an insult to the court system of California and to the state as a whole, and a clear violation of the spirit of the 10th Amendment.

But, far worse, this is yet another example that Justice under Obama and Holder is not blind and is not applied equally to all, but that it varies according to the color of one’s skin. This goes against nearly a thousand years of Anglo-American jurisprudence and flies in the face of the words from our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”

Eric Holder and the entire Civil Rights Division should be hauled before a congressional committee to explain why one case is important and the other isn’t, and whether they believe that the rights of all citizens are deserving of protection regardless of ethnicity or skin color. And if not, why not.

It likely won’t happen until after November, but it will be enlightening when it does.

UPDATE: An Illinois congressman congressional candidate calls for Holder’s resignation over the NBPP case.

UPDATE II: In Florida, congressional candidate Allen West condemns Eric Holder for pursuing racially biased justice.

UPDATE III: Via Instapundit, the DoJ’s voting section has been told not to enforce the purging of dead or ineligible voters from voter rolls. Chicago-way politics goes nationwide!

LINKS: More at Hot Air, where Ed takes a more calm view of this than I.