The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.
The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ
refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,
refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,
barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),
refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,
invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,
failed to provide a privilege log,
and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPP lawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)
Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that
A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”
A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)
DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.
There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.
Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.
The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.