Barack C. Calhoun, nullifier

November 20, 2014
Obama's inspiration

Obama’s inspiration?

J. Christian Adams, a former attorney with the Department of Justice, makes an interesting comparison in advance of President Obama’s expected Executive Order that would unilaterally rewrite our nation’s immigration laws. Writing at PJMedia, he argues that Obama has adopted the logic of John C. Calhoun, the antebellum South Carolina US Senator and vice-president to Andrew Jackson, that the states can nullify federal laws they disagree with.

Back then in the 1830s, President Jackson vigorously opposed Calhoun’s theory of nullification, and the resulting crisis almost lead to civil war. Now, Adams argues, instead of upholding the law as he is constitutionally bound, President Obama is about to claim the power of nullification for himself:

In announcing a lawless amnesty edict tonight, President Obama is our modern John C. Calhoun.

Elementary school civics class has taught the same thing for two hundred years: Congress makes the laws, the president enforces the laws, the judiciary interprets the laws. The reason this is so is because individual liberty thrives when government is hobbled by division of power. People live better lives when federal power is stymied.

When President Obama announces that he will be suspending laws to bless the illegal presence of millions of foreigners in the United States, he will have adopted the most basic philosophy of John C. Calhoun: some laws can be tossed aside because his ends justify the lawlessness.

Adams also compares Obama to King Charles I, who lost his throne (and his head) in a fight over power with the English Parliament. Others have made that same comparison, seeing the parallels in the struggle between the legislature and the Crown/Executive in 1640, 1689, and 1776. Now we’re in 2014, and another executive is declaring himself superior to the legislature, to have the power to act when it won’t do his will.

The question is, what will the legislature do in return to preserve the constitutional order?

I wish I knew.


Why do Democrats fight voter ID?

October 20, 2014
"I get to vote twice? Gee, thanks, pal!"

“No ID needed? Gee, thanks, pal!”

Writing at PJ Media, former DoJ election law attorney J. Christian Adams argues that it isn’t so much because they want to cheat (1), but that there are other, more subtle reasons. He describes three. Read the article for the first and the last, but I want to highlight the second:

2. Voter ID Opponents Have the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations.

Leftist opponents of voter ID truly think minorities are less able to function in American life. I learned this when a Department of Justice Voting Section lawyer opposed to voter ID told me he thought blacks were more likely to forget their photo identification than whites were. Their lives “were more disorganized,” he said. This is a lawyer currently still working in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. This is a perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

And it isn’t just one crank lawyer at DOJ. The plaintiffs challenging voter ID and election integrity laws actually hired an expert to testify in federal court in voter ID cases that blacks were less capable of functioning efficiently in a daily routine and photo ID laws have a disparate impact on them. The expert called this idea the “calculus of voting.” For example, they have to take the bus more. Taking the bus, naturally, makes it harder to get photo ID.

The plaintiffs argue that voting “is largely a product of habit,” and blacks, well, their habits just don’t brook any interruptions to their habits, so they argue.

This is another perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Opponents of voter ID are genuinely afraid that forcing blacks to get photo ID will impose a burden on them they just can’t handle.

This is a subset of the Progressive belief that modern society is too complex for the average person to handle, and so we need (in the early 20th century formulation) boards of experts to run the economy and manage social relations for us. Hence the Democrats’ eagerness, which has infected many Republicans, to hand off legislative functions to administrative agencies run by supposedly expert bureaucrats.

What Adams describes, though, is essential to the victim-culture that pervades the Left. Blacks and other minorities have so suffered from both blatant and structural racism that they simply can’t overcome life’s obstacles on their own, so they have to be excused from what would otherwise be a reasonable requirement. Never mind that one has to show an ID to write a check or board a plane.

It’s also blatantly patronizing and offensive toward minorities.

RELATED: Mr. Adams has written a book exposing the blatant racialism at the Justice Department, including its battle against voter ID laws. Also, for the dirty history of the Democratic Party on race, be sure to read “Wrong on Race.”

Footnote:
(1) Here’s I’ll disagree with Mr. Adams a bit. John Fund has written an excellent book on (mostly) Democratic election fraud, and the conviction of ACORN in Nevada, the probably fraud in the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election, and the confirmed fraud in the 2004 presidential balloting in Milwaukee all show that at least some Democrats and their allies on the left have a strong interest in benefiting from fraud.


Sunday Book Review: Injustice — exposing the racial agenda of the Obama Justice Department

November 6, 2011

Fundamental to the American system of self-government is trust on the part of the public that votes will be counted fairly, elections will be run fairly, and the laws protecting our right to vote will be applied equally to all. Absent that trust, the system cannot stand: a citizen’s vote will be seen as worthless, elections meaningless, and the law as a tool for oppression and tyranny. It’s the risk of the latter that J. Christian Adams, a former career attorney with the Voting Rights section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, wants to warn us about.

In “Injustice: exposing the racial agenda of the Obama Justice Department,” Adams asserts that, for years, leftists and liberals in the Voting Rights Section allied with and coming from what he calls the “racial grievance industry” have resisted enforcing the provisions of the Voting Rights Act when the victims are White and the oppressors are Black. To these attorneys, civil rights laws were meant to protect Blacks and other “national racial minorities,” not White voters. When Black and other groups corrupt an election, that’s merely “payback” for decades or even centuries of oppression by Whites — indeed, some lawyers of the Civil Rights Division feel they should facilitate this.

As Adams tells it, the problem goes back at least into the Clinton administration and becomes more of a problem under Democrats because they are generally allied to and supported by the various groups comprising the racial grievance industry, such as the NAACP and ACLU, among others. Under the Republican administration of George W. Bush, and contrary to the charges of “politicization” screamed by the Left, the political appointees at the DoJ who oversaw the career attorneys would either block ridiculous, unjustified legal action or force reluctant left-liberal lawyers to enforce the law in a race-neutral manner. They also made sure to hire attorneys of all political backgrounds — conservative, liberal, and non-political.

This all changed with the coming of Barack Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder: no conservatives have been hired since 2009, even though the Division has been greatly expanded. Indeed, left-liberal civil rights activism became a prerequisite even to be hired at the Civil Rights Division, and new attorneys were regularly hired from leftist advocacy groups. Leftist career attorneys were promoted to supervisory political appointments that gave them the power to set policy. Instead of political appointees being a brake on the racialist instincts of the career attorneys, they became their facilitators and enablers. As one leftist attorney told Adams when asked why he opposed suing in an obvious case of intimidation by radical Blacks directed toward White voters, “I didn’t come here to sue Blacks.”

Adams illustrates his charges of ethical corruption at the Civil Rights Division with specific examples. Among them:

  • Noxubee County, Mississippi, and its Democratic “boss,” Ike Brown, who with his partisans engaged in blatant electoral corruption to elect Black allies and disenfranchise Whites and those Blacks who wouldn’t play along.
  • The infamous New Black Panther Party intimidation case from Philadelphia in 2008, to which Adams devotes two chapters. Not only does he show the Holder DoJ throwing out a case it had won by default, but he also explores a possible explanation via a political payback to the NBPP for support given to Obama when he was an obscure candidate in 2007.
  • The case of the New Haven fire department, which radicals at the Department tried to force to promote Black firefighters over White and Hispanic candidates who had clearly done better on the promotion exams. This went to the Supreme Court as Ricci v. DeStefano.
  • Suing the city of Dayton to force it to hire Blacks onto its police force, even though those applicants had flat-out failed the entrance exams.

And there are many others, including shocking examples of unprofessional conduct, some of which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against DoJ attorneys.

Adams concludes with a chapter of recommendations to reform the Department of Justice, some as simple as a ban on political activity by DoJ staff (a limited one had been in place, but it was regularly ignored by leftist attorneys from 2008 on), others as radical as breaking up the Civil Rights Division and distributing its duties among other departments that could ensure professional, race-neutral conduct. While not all DoJ/CRD lawyers engage in racialist behavior, Adams makes it clear the problem is widespread and only massive reform will fix things. Naturally, we can’t expect these to be acted on by President Obama and AG Holder; if it is to happen at all, it will have to be under a future Republican administration.

“Injustice” is an important book, one that exposes how far the Civil Rights Division has gone from being a neutral enforcer of the law, to being a partisan of a racial spoils system that misuses the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts to pursue a racialist, radical leftist agenda. And he leaves us with a reminder and a warning: these same people will be supervising the 2012 elections.

As Adams writes, it’s up to us to keep our eyes open and call-out corrupt behavior whenever and wherever we see it, and to make sure real reformers come to power in 2013.

Summary: Highly recommended, appalling yet essential reading, but be prepared to get angry.

RELATED: Adams has also written about the DoJ’s, I kid you not, “secret internal redistricting plans to try to force states, counties and cities to maximize the number of black elected officials resulting from redistricting” — meet “Max Black.” He writes often for PJMedia and also blogs at the Election Law Center. If you have any concern at all for the integrity of our electoral system, you should put him on your reading list.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)