I ran across some further information today relevant to my article about the testimony of Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. He invoked Rule 11 (which sanctions meritless lawsuits) as one of the supposed reasons for dismissing the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case. Of the career lawyers in this case, there is only one who has been involved in a case in which attorneys’ fees were awarded against the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division (CRD) for filing a meritless case. Loretta King — who, Perez claims, made the dismissal decision — was one of the lawyers on record in Johnson v. Miller, a redistricting case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Not only did King lose that case, but both the Supreme Court and the federal district court severely criticized the CRD’s handling of the case, finding its practices “disturbing.” The district court found the “considerable influence of ACLU advocacy on the voting rights decisions of the United States Attorney General” to be “an embarrassment.” It was also “surprising that the Department of Justice was so blind to this impropriety, especially in a role as sensitive as that of preserving the fundamental right to vote.” The American taxpayer was forced to pay $587,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs that were awarded to the defendants to compensate them for an unwarranted lawsuit, one in which King and the other Justice Department lawyers “commanded” the state of Georgia, as the Supreme Court noted, to engage in “presumptively unconstitutional race-based districting.”