Posts Tagged ‘civil rights division’
May 22nd, 2013 at 7:57 pm
Ashton Right, Mukasey Off (Slightly)

I agree with Ashton that it is a bad idea — an awful idea — to have the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division investigate the IRS scandal. I also agree with Ashton that in the short run, the best thing of all is to keep letting Congress (and the press) investigate this outrage, and let the body politic be the judge. In fact, that’s what Andy McCarthy argues today at National Review Online, with superb reasoning:

The Framers would have been astounded at the notion that Congress’s responsibility to ensure the proper working of government could be delegated to an unaccountable prosecutor. The paramount question is whether the government is out of control, not whether some mid-level official (or even a higher official) can be convicted by a jury.

Indeed, I think there is some agreement between Mukasey and McCarthy: Mukasey’s main point was not about who would conduct the criminal prosecution, but that a “special counsel” would be a bad idea. I agree. Only if it is later decided to open a criminal investigation, says Mukasey, should it then be determined who best to conduct such an investigation. But as McCarthy writes, a criminal investigation makes it easier to keep things secret from the public. That’s the opposite of what good citizens should want right now.

As Ashton says (which makes it unanimous!), “Best for the House to continue exercising its oversight responsibilities until they find some smoking guns.” Or, I would add, until a situation that might develop where smoking guns seem likely to be found, but only a criminal investigation could show exactly where the smoke is coming from. (I hope that metaphor works.)

So, to review: Congress and the press, only, for the time being. A “special prosecutor,” probably never. On that, we all agree. The only place Mukasey goes afield is in who should conduct a criminal investigation if one finally is required. The Civil Rights Division? As Ashton says, perish the thought.

March 21st, 2013 at 2:19 pm
At The Hayride (Louisiana), More on Perez

MacAoidh, lead blogger at the Hayride in Louisiana, follows up my column today with a brilliant and detailed analysis of the state of play in the Bayou State with regard to shenanigans by Tom Perez and the Civil Rights Division concerning Louisiana’s voter rolls.

The Hayride explains that Perez has led  ”a frivolous and abusive lawsuit against the state of Louisiana under the Motor Voter law, in which a state where some 84 percent of eligible adults are registered to vote (4th in the nation) somehow doesn’t register welfare recipients to vote with sufficient vigor at the offices where public benefits are dispensed.”

The Hayride explains why making, uh, hay of this lawsuit and the Perez judicial nomination should be seen as “political manna from heaven” for Louisiana conservatives.

Well worth a read.

March 19th, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Civil Rights Commissioner Slams Labor Nominee Perez

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who did yeoman’s work in helping expose the racialist agenda of the Holder Justice Department and especially its Civil Rights Division under Thomas Perez, has now come out with a scathing letter expressing serious reservations about Barack Obama’s nomination of Perez to be Secretary of Labor.

Kirsanow writes that the nomination “merits extremely close scrutiny by senators from both parties, for several concerns about Perez’s record as head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice transcend partisanship and ideology.”


The Civil Rights Division refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories pertaining to the substance of the [New Black Panther voter intimidation] case. The Division also failed to provide witness statements for 12 key witnesses and refused to respond to 22 requests for production of documents. Further, DOJ barred two Civil Rights Division attorneys from testifying before the Commission (the two later defied the Department and testified at considerable risk to their professional careers). The Department refused to turn over a number of requested documents, asserting a variety of specious privileges. In response, the Commission requested a privilege log, i.e., a list of those documents DOJ maintained were protected by privilege and therefore not subject to production. DOJ failed to produce such a log.

After a lawsuit finally forced production of the log, the record was such that,

As Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia diplomatically stated in his opinion, DOJ’s internal documents “appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony [before the Commission] that political leadership was not involved” in the decision to dismiss the NBPP case.

After detailing even more concerns about Perez, Kirsanow concluded: “All of these things should be of tremendous concern to all senators, regardless of party, when considering the president’s choice of Thomas Perez for labor secretary. They should, at minimum, be the subjects of extensive questioning of the nominee.”

The battle over Perez’ nomination promises to be very contentious, indeed.

extremely close scrutiny by senators from both parties, for several concerns about Perez’s
record as head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice transcend
partisanship and ideology
April 24th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Holder’s DOJ Continues Racialist Practices with Lawsuit Against Jacksonville Fire Department
Posted by Print

As has been chronicled at length here at CFIF, one of the hallmarks of Eric Holder’s Justice Department has been its insistence on injecting race into the public square as often as possible. And one of the areas where this has played out in department policy has been in the DOJ’s repeated threats to crack down on police and fire forces for what it claims are racially discriminatory employment practices.

In 2009, for example, the New Haven, Connecticut, Fire Department threw out the results of a standardized test aimed at measuring candidates’ suitability for promotion when the number of African-American candidates who passed was deemed insufficiently high. The department was motivated in part by fear of a Justice Department lawsuit — a fear that proved to be well-founded when the DOJ filed suit against the state of New Jersey the following year because white test-takers had a higher passage rate (89 percent) than black (73 percent) or Hispanic (77 percent) candidates in an exam for police promotions.

Neither of these cases featured allegations that the tests or the promotion processes were inherently racist. Rather, they simply rested on the DOJ’s notion that unequal outcomes are inherently unjust; that the fact of disparate results was sufficient, in and of itself, to reveal systemic injustice.

So far, the results of DOJ pressure have been mixed. The New Haven firefighters whose successful test results were thrown out took their case all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices ruled in their favor, 5-4. In New Jersey, however, the DOJ’s bullying tactics won the day, with the state agreeing to revise the exam and issue back pay to minority officers (many of whom resented the feds’ “help”).

Yet that inconsistent track record isn’t keeping the department from going at it again. This time they’re taking the show to Jacksonville, Florida. Per a DOJ release from yesterday:

The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville, Fla., alleging that the city is engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination against African-Americans in its fire and rescue department in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The lawsuit challenges the fire department’s use of written examinations for the promotion of firefighters to four ranks – Lieutenant, Captain, and District Chief, all in the suppression line, and Engineer…

The United States’ complaint alleges that the examinations impact African-American candidates in two ways.  First, African-American candidates for promotion to the four positions pass the examinations at significantly lower rates than white candidates.  Second, even those African-Americans who pass the examinations are rarely promoted because the fire department selects candidates for promotion in descending rank-order based primarily upon each candidate’s written examination score and African-American candidates score significantly lower than whites.

Notice that there’s nothing in there that any fair observer could characterize as bias. Rather, the complaint is, in essence, that the Jacksonville Fire Department is too objective.

As the police officers in New Jersey noted in the piece linked above, even a successful outcome for the DOJ will not have the effect of helping out minority officers, whose qualifications will now be called into question on the basis of de facto affirmative action.

If the feds really wanted to help out, they would examine the underlying causes of why the tests exhibit racial disparities in the first place. Could it be that America’s public schools — rotting as the result of the influence of teachers unions — have disproportionately failed minority communities? Could it be that the social pathologies subsidized in perpetuity by the welfare state have thwarted upward mobility in poor neighborhoods?

Answering those questions, of course, would require some real soul-searching. And it might also require giving up the notion that good intent is sufficient to make Democrats the perpetual guardians of America’s minority communities, no matter what kind of havoc their policies wreak in reality. But that’s a level of introspection we shouldn’t expect from this Administration. In Eric Holder’s DOJ, it’s easier to just file a lawsuit and assume that the other guy’s a racist.

December 19th, 2011 at 10:36 pm
Eric Holder Self-Destructs
Posted by Print

Here at CFIF, we’ve spent months chronicling the confluence of incompetence, deceit, and political opportunism that is Eric Holder’s Justice Department, whether it takes the form of the Fast and Furious scandal or the administration’s transparently partisan staffing of the department’s Civil Rights Division. Now, without a coherent counterargument, the Attorney General is essentially pulling the fire alarm. From the Daily Caller:

Attorney General Eric Holder accused his growing chorus of critics of racist motivations in a Sunday interview published in the New York Times. When reached by The Daily Caller Monday morning, the Department of Justice provided no evidence to support the attorney general’s claims.

Holder said some unspecified faction — what he refers to as the “more extreme segment” — is driven to criticize both him and President Barack Obama due to the color of their skin. Holder did not appear to elaborate on who he considered to make up the “more extreme segment.”

“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, according to the Times. “Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

Funny, it seems to me that making the political calculation that Mexican lives are expendable for an ill-defined policy goal is a pretty good working definition of racism. So too is deciding that voter intimidation that would land white belligerents in jail shouldn’t be held against the New Black Panthers. What Dr. Johnson once said of patriotism is now true of allegations of racism — they’re the last refuge of a scoundrel.
June 3rd, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Hiring Bias at DoJ

The rot in the Obama/Holder Justice Department, especially in its Civil Rights Division, is a particularly important topic to me, and a big sore spot (as well as a threat to the constitutional order).

Thus I was particularly aghast to see the New York Times the other day run a truly bizarre story attempting, somehow, to show that the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice has been wonderfully de-politicized by the Obamites.  The story is bizarre because the facts cited within the article show precisely the opposite.

Here’s how the NYT (via reporter Charlie Savage) frames the story:  “Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has reversed a pattern of systematically hiring conservative lawyers with little experience in civil rights, the practice that caused a scandal over politicization during the Bush administration.” The Times then goes to great lengths to explain that those hired by the Obama team came from law schools with higher “ranks” than did the Bush hires (“more selective law schools,” in another description), and that those hires had far more “experience in civil rights.”


Having a “background in civil rights” is a self-defining criterion — as defined by the Left.  As the story itself explained it, the definition of “civil rights” experience is self-limiting, because it encompasses (only) “traditional civil rights organizations with liberal reputations, like the American Civil Liberties Union or the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.”

Of course, all sorts of right-leaning organizations also are concerned with civil rights, as are lawyers in private firms who fight against absurd actions by these liberal groups that purport to be in favor of “civil rights” but that in conservative understandings actually undermine civil rights.  If one defines “experience in civil rights” as encompassing only lefty versions of civil rights, then, of course, more Obamite hires will show such “experience” on their resumes. But that does NOT mean that they are the only ones who have done legal work dealing with civil rights issues.

Here are the key facts, dutifully reported by the Times but buried and spun so that the real import is hidden:

At the same time, there was a change in the political leanings of organizations listed on the résumés, where discernible. Nearly a quarter of the hires of the Bush group had conservative credentials like membership in the Federalist Society or the Republican National Lawyers Association, while only 7 percent had liberal ones.

By contrast, during the first two Obama years, none of the new hires listed conservative organizations, while more than 60 percent had liberal credentials. They consisted overwhelmingly of prior employment or internships with a traditional civil rights group, like the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Look at that again. Not one single new hire for a “career” position by the Obamites had any prior conservative associations. Not one. If that isn’t a sign of true politicization, nothing is.  There is quite literally no way that an apolitical hiring practice could fail to snag at least a single conservative, from 120 hires, in a nation that is majority center-right and with a very large conservative plurality.

If the establishment media had an ounce of intellectual integrity — yeah, I know, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride — then this report would be treated as a major scandal.

This topic merits far lengthier exposition and discussion, but for now suffice it to say that a Civil Rights Division that absolutely excludes conservatives is a sign of viewpoint discrimination that itself should trigger a civil rights investigation — and investigation into the Civil Rights Division itself, one which ought to take some real scalps, starting with that of flagrantly dishonest division chief Thomas E, Perez.

Meanwhile, in sad news that further indicts the DoJ, Hans von Spakovsky writes that whistleblower Christopher Coates, with a tremendous amount of terrific “civil rights experience,” effectively has been hounded out of the Justice Department that he has served with great distinction for nearly two decades.  This comes after he first was, in effect, banished from Washington, all for the sin of trying to enforce laws against racist New Black Panthers to the letter of the law.

Today at the Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz was referring more to the terrorism-related actions/inactions of DOJ than to the other Civil Rights Division problems when she wrote that a good Republican candidate for president “would do well to give time and all due detail—the material is rich—on the activities of the Justice Department under President Obama, the most ideologically driven one in U.S. history. He would make the connection between the nature of this Justice Department and the president’s view of the American nation.” But her advice applies across the board, including and especially to the Civil Rights Division.