Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eric Holder's DoJ being racist in civil cases involving whites?

This all goes back to the dismissal of the case against the Black Panthers who were clearly engaged in voter intimidation but was dropped by the Justice Department. Now its hard to get any sort of reason for it and Jennifer Rubin points out there is a pattern to this stupidity.

As to the reasons for the dismissal, some speculate that there was an effort to conceal more widespread voter intimidation or fraud which inured to the benefit of the Obama campaign. But there is perhaps something more basic and more far-reaching than that at work.

The liberal civil rights establishment and the left-leaning staff of career attorneys (a number of whom previously worked for or hope to work for the array of leftist civil rights groups) chaffed under the Bush administration. They vociferously opposed voter I.D. laws and resisted efforts to enforce portions of the Voting Rights Act which require states to clean up outdated voter rolls to eliminate the potential for fraud.

They grumbled when the administration pursued a civil rights case in Mississippi, U.S. v. Ike Brown. A former Justice Department lawyer explains: “Brown was the black head of the local Democratic Party who controlled the county, including the local election board, in a county that is majority black. He had his own local version of Tammany Hall. He was found guilty by a federal district court of engaging in blatant discrimination against white voters; case was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.” A line attorney pursued the case despite opposition by the then-section chief, Joe Rich. The former Justice Department attorney explains, “Other career lawyers refused to work on the case because they would not work on a case claiming discrimination by local black officials.”

And therein lies the most likely answer to the mystery as to why the Obama team would want to undo a victory in a high-profile civil rights case. The notion that civil rights laws apply to all citizens, and are not on the books merely to protect minority groups or to pursue white racists, is an anathema to the liberal civil rights establishment and their sympathetic partners in the Justice Department.

Another attorney familiar with the inner workings of the Civil Rights Division agrees with this take. He observes that Department staff “openly and proudly advocate for a different standard” depending on the race of the alleged civil rights violator. He contends that this view extends now up to the attorney general and to staff attorneys who “say it openly at the Justice Department when the topic of ‘reverse’ discrimination comes up.” He explains:

The half dozen of these cases the Bush Justice Department filed (and won) are loathed and criticized openly in the halls of the Department by so-called committed civil rights attorneys. Open contempt for these cases establishes one’s civil rights bona fides, especially to the new political appointees in the Civil Rights Division.

“The Department must refocus on the traditional mission of civil rights enforcement.” These are well-understood code words to mean federal law will not be used to bring cases against black defendants or institutions that discriminate against whites. … Sometimes these people express contempt for fair enforcement of the law to people who silently agree that the law should be enforced fairly, but don’t dare let anyone know they think it.

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