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Exclusive Excerpts From New Black Panther Case Investigation Report

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is set to consider a draft report of its investigation tomorrow. Some details of the report have been leaked to PJM.

by
Hans A. von Spakovsky

Bio

November 18, 2010 - 8:34 am
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The facts support Adams and Coates. The Obama administration has not brought a single case under the NVRA, and even dismissed a pending case that was filed during the Bush administration.

The evidence uncovered by the Commission, despite the lack of cooperation and active obstruction by the Justice Department, showcases:

… a Civil Rights Division at war with its core mission of guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for all Americans. … [Based on the testimony] the current conflicts extend beyond policy differences to encompass allegations of inappropriately selective enforcement of laws, harassment of dissenting employees, and alliance with outside interest groups, at odds with the rule of law.

The Commission’s report also makes plain the contempt the Justice Department shows for the rule of law, and its apparent belief that it does not have to comply with federal statutory requirements. It’s bad enough the Department refused to provide requested information and documents to the Commission despite a statutory mandate requiring the Department to “cooperate fully” with the Commission. But on top of that, it ignored legally issued subpoenas. As a former Justice Department lawyer, I can assure you that if an individual refused to comply with a Justice Department subpoena, the Department would do everything in its power to have that person jailed or found in contempt by a federal judge.

The Department even refused to provide the Commission with a log of the documents it was withholding, something that even a private party is absolutely entitled to when the Justice Department withholds evidence based on some asserted privilege. Of course, the Department did provide such a log to Judicial Watch. But that was only because Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit in federal court, and Justice could not risk being found in contempt by a federal judge. Justice had no such fear in the Commission’s investigation because the Commission must rely on the Justice Department to enforce its subpoena! As the Commission concluded, the Justice Department had “an inherent conflict of interest.”

This report was scheduled to be approved on October 29. But former Pelosi aide Michael Yaki, one of the Democratic commissioners, walked out of that meeting to kill the quorum. He held a press conference in the Commission’s hallway denouncing the report, continuing his efforts to help the Obama administration cover up its wrongdoing at the Justice Department. Sources tell me Yaki is maneuvering behind the scenes to convince President Obama to appoint him as the new chairman of the Civil Rights Commission when the current chairman’s term expires in December. Yaki seems to believe that helping the Obama administration bury the report of the Civil Rights Commission will help achieve partisan goals.

Hopefully, enough of the other commissioners will be at the November 19 meeting to maintain a quorum even if Yaki goes through his usual delaying tactics. And this report is not necessarily the end of this investigation. The new incoming majority in the House of Representatives should take over the investigation of the Civil Rights Division and the New Black Panther case through its oversight function. The Justice Department will have a much harder time defying Congress the way it ignored the Commission on Civil Rights.

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Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department. He is the coauthor of the book “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk”.
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