Get PJ Media on your Apple

Rule of Law

Shirley Sherrod’s Attack on Breitbart’s Lawyer-Client Privilege

August 29th, 2014 - 10:52 am

In a pleading filed in federal court in the lawsuit brought by Shirley Sherrod against Andrew Breitbart (and now his widow), Shirley Sherrod is trying to pry privileged attorney client communications from Breitbart News.  The communications involved legal advice given by Larry Solov to Andrew Breitbart in the wake of publication of stories relating to Shirley Sherrod’s speech to the NAACP. Sherrod is the former Department of Agriculture official fired after it was revealed that at one time she intended to withhold benefits from a white farmer because he was white. Sherrod filed a defamation lawsuit against Breitbart and substituted Andrew’s widow Suzy after his death in February 2012. (Links here, here and here).

In seeking to justify the forced disclosure of Solov’s emails, Sherrod has referred to the false allegation that Tea Party demonstrators opposed to Obamacare used racial slurs while yelling at members of the Congressional Black Caucus during a Capitol Hill demonstration.    (You can read the full memorandum here.)

Moreover, Defendants assert that the Blog Post stemmed from events in Washington. As Defendants explained at length in their Motion to Dismiss, the Blog Post was written in the “context of [a] months-long and very loud public clash between Tea Party conservatives and the NAACP[.]” Dkt. No. 22 at 20. They claim that this clash began during a four-day rally in Washington, D.C. at which Tea Party members were alleged to have hurled racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Id. at 17. Defendants have made the Washington, D.C. events a lynchpin of their motivation for publication.

Sherrod wants Breitbart to be forced to disclose communications between attorney Solov and Breitbart employees related to the publication of the Sherrod speech.  Solov is a Harvard law graduate and litigated case for years before joining Breitbart.

You can read the Breitbart legal response here.

Sherrod is being represented pro bono by Kirkland and Ellis, a large lawfirm that donates significant time to other left wing causes, most recently failing in attempts to block North Carolina election integrity laws, and also has represented a Nazi concentration camp guard and German companies which used slave labor.

 

While the beheading of one of their own has journalists suddenly very concerned about the threat of Islamic terror, some were sounding the alarm for years.  The rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) fulfills the predictions of those who just three years ago were mocked for using the term “Caliphate.”   The rise of the Islamic State also represents an existential threat to the survival of Israel.  The threat is not as easily contained as the previous existential threats to the Jewish state.

On September 9, 2014, at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, some of the nation’s leading authorities on Islamic terror will hold a Israel Security Summit.  Participants include Lt. General Tom McInerney, Lt. General Jerry Boykin, former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen and Tom Trento. The event will be moderated by Allen West.

Here is the flyer for the event.

horowitz_prisoners_cover_8-23-14-1

Ten pages into David Horowitz’s new book Take No Prisoners: The Battleplan for Defeating the Left (Regnery, 2014), I realize putting dog-ears on pages with important quotes for this review is hopeless. I’ve placed a dog-ear on every page. By the end, the whole book might be dog-eared.

If there was a single book to add to the swag-bag for the attendees at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Take No Prisoners is the book. Not only is the book helpful in understanding the modern political battlespace, as Horowitz makes clear throughout, the delegates who will be in Cleveland are sorely in need of help.

Many still think elections are won or lost because one side has better ideas than the other. Election losers convinced that they had better ideas harbor all sorts of excuses for their loss — the media, economic earthquakes, silly character attacks.

Recall in 2012 the relentless and unopposed effort to define Mitt Romney as beholden to the richest of the rich, out of touch with most Americans. Republicans delivered wet noodle complaints that the attacks were “class warfare” and “divisive.” Horowitz:

These were weak and whiny responses, all too familiar from previous Republican campaigns. Common to both was failure to address the specific charges . . . The term “class warfare” is a polite way of discussing a real problem, namely leftist agendas in national politics. But politeness protects others – in this case, opponents who are busy defaming you as mean spirited and selfish. . . it fails to hold your adversaries accountable for what they have actually done and are likely to continue doing if elected.

And what of the zinger that Obama was “divisive?” Horowitz:

Complaining about “divisive politics” is not only futile, it is incomprehensible. Elections are by nature divisive. They are competitions between winners and losers. They are about defeating opponents. Why wouldn’t they be divisive??

The strongest part of Take No Prisoners, is how Horowitz matches his skill as a word-smith with real campaign choices. Every Horowitz book is characterized by brilliant writing, and sharp word choices. Take No Prisoners is about how Republicans have dropped the ball on writing the national narrative, and how they can get it back by crafting words and tactics that counter the left’s mastery of the process.

Many in the GOP and conservative movement might not like the taste of Horowitz’s medicine. A party raised on the primacy of ideas and policies will feel uncomfortable with the smashmouth suggestions in Take No Prisoners. I’ve heard the complaints — ‘we don’t want to become them’ — a complaint more convenient when the threats to liberty were less advanced. It’s also a complaint that misses the mark as a matter of fact:

Behind Republican failures at the ballot box is an attitude that reflects an administrative rather than political approach to election campaigns. Republicans focus on policy proposals rather than electoral combat and the threat posed by their opponents. Administrative politicians are more comfortable with budgets and pie-charts than with the flesh and blood victims of their opponent’s policies and ideas. When Republicans do appeal to the victims of Democrat’s policies, those victims are frequently small business owners and other job creators – people who in the eyes of most Americans are rich.

At the root of this strategic mistake is the belief among many Republicans that the two parties still share the same goals, but have divergent ways to get there. News flash: Democrats like John F. Kennedy and Scoop Jackson no longer exist. The Democrats have been taken over by messianic progressives seeking to craft the world in their own image. “Republicans do not hope to change the world. They are too mindful of the human catastrophes that have been brought about by those who do,” the former Communist Horowitz writes because he knows it all too well.

As a result of this attitude, conservative’s emotions are not inflamed as progressives’ are when confronting those with whom they disagree. The conservative instinct is to search for common ground and to arrive at practical measures to address public problems. That is why they take a lot of time explaining to voters how their proposals might work. But by the time they reach them, many voters are not listening.

This may be the central dividing line between the establishment and the Tea Party — a division Horowitz notes is more a question of tactics than goals.

I regularly encounter this aversion to the fight, despite the fact I receive emails and expressions of thanks from lawyers across Holder’s Justice Department. Lawyers trapped inside DOJ are filled with gratitude that I (and a few others) aggressively shine a light on Holder’s misbehavior and radicalism. Some GOP alumni of the DOJ grumble that it hurts the institution or goes too far.  But the good people still trapped inside a radicalized Justice Department, who see the disappearance of standards which governed the place for decades, are thankful. Even leaders of the Department of Justice during the age of Reagan are on the side of sunshine, not in the camp of those giving Eric Holder quarter. Horowitz didn’t name his book Take no Prisoners by accident.

Capture

Horowitz’s prescription: 1) Put the aggressors on defense. 2) Throw their victims in their faces. 3) Start the campaign now because they already have.

Horowitz dissects the left’s machine — not just the electoral tactics from the 2012 election and the inadequate GOP response, but the interplay between narrative, words, tactics, and ultimately questions involving race.

Pages: 1 2 | 43 Comments»

I joined Megyn Kelly on Kelly File this week to talk about Eric Holder going to Ferguson.  I later noted that Holder’s swift appearance in Ferguson was driven by two things: 1) dividing people on the basis of race to take sides inappropriately, and 2) stoking turnout for the mid-term elections for Democrats.  The issue is never the issue with this crowd.  The issue is power,  getting it, using it, and keeping it.
YouTube Preview Image
In the interview, I noted that Holder has kept a race card in wallet for decades, a literal race card.  Megyn asked “what?!” and I didn’t have time to get into the details.  Below is an excerpt from the first two pages of my book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department It describes the rancid racialist attitude Holder brings to his job, and the race card he really keeps in his wallet.  From Injustice:

For much of his life, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. carried around something peculiar. While most people keep cash, family photos, and credit cards in their wallets, Holder revealed to a reporter in 1996 that he keeps with him an old clipping of a quote from Harlem preacher Reverend Samuel D. Proctor. Holder put the clipping in his wallet in 1971, when he was studying history at Columbia University, and kept it in wallet after wallet over the ensuing decades.

What were Proctor’s words that Holder found so compelling?

Blackness is another issue entirely apart from class in America. No matter how affluent, educated and mobile [a black person] becomes, his race defines him more particularly than anything else. Black people have a common cause that requires attending to, and this cause does not allow for the rigid class separation that is the luxury of American whites. There is a sense in which every black man is as far from liberation as the weakest one if his weakness is attributable to racial injustice.

When asked to explain the passage, Holder replied, “It really says that … I am not the tall U.S. attorney, I am not the thin United States Attorney. I am the black United States attorney. And he was saying that no matter how successful you are, there’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person.”

Has anyone ever asked Holder what exactly is the “common cause” that binds the black attorney general and the black criminal? More important, what should the black attorney general do about this common cause? Should the black criminal feel empathy for the black attorney general, or more likely, do the favors only flow in one direction?

Holder’s explanation of Proctor’s quote offers some key insights into our attorney general’s worldview. First, being “more particular” than anything else, skin color limits and defines Americans—in other words, race comes first for Holder. Second, despite Americans’ widespread belief in trans-racial principles such as individual liberty and equal protection, blacks are expected to show solidarity with other blacks. And third, black law enforcement officers are expected to show this solidarity toward their racial compatriots, including toward black criminals.

It may seem shocking to hear these racialist views ascribed to America’s top law enforcement officer. But to people who have worked inside the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, these attitudes are perfectly familiar. In fact, Holder’s revelation is small stuff compared to the racial fanaticism and leftwing extremism that pervade that division.

The rest of Injustice documents that racial extremism.

 

PJ Media has been covering the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division for years.  This is the unit that will be investigating the shooting in Ferguson and deciding whether to charge the police officer with civil rights crimes.

PJ Media had to sue Eric Holder to obtain the resumes of the lawyers he hired to populate this unit. No wonder.  The “Every Single One” series at PJ Media revealed that all of Holder’s attorney hires were leftists, some even with a history of anti-police activities.  Read the detailed biographies of the lawyers here.

Why does it matter that the DOJ unit that will investigate the Ferguson police is stacked with leftists and ideologues?  Because anti-police biases of lawyers in this unit have resulted in gross prosecutorial misconduct against police officers.

United States District Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued this blistering 129-page opinion documenting prosecutorial misconduct by DOJ lawyers seeking to convict New Orleans police officers of civil rights violations.  These lawyers are still employed by the Criminal Section at the Civil Rights Division. Hans von Spakovsky has this summary of the rage directed at the DOJ from the bench.

Trying to figure out what the prosecutors had done sent the court “on a legal odyssey unlike any other.” But that legal odyssey led the judge on September 17 to grant a new trial to the New Orleans police officers.

It is the first time, according to Judge Engelhardt, that federal “prosecutors acting with anonymity used social media to circumvent ethical obligations, professional responsibilities, and even to commit violations of the Code of Federal Regulations.” The 129-page order, which details the misbehavior of the Louisiana DOJ lawyers and the Civil Rights Division’s Dobinski, is appalling reading. And it isn’t just that Dobinski was a high-level Justice Department lawyer who was posting anonymous blogs about the trial.

She also encouraged other anonymous bloggers, who “repeatedly posted vigorous pro-prosecution statements strongly condemning the defendants, their witnesses, and their entire defense.” To make matters worse, Dobinski was the supervising “taint” attorney assigned to the New Orleans case.

PJ Media covered Dobinski’s misconduct here, here and here.  As Holder moves forward in Ferguson, keep the documented misconduct of his lawyers in mind.

Karla Dobinski

Karla Dobinski

 

“Obama’s DOJ Puts Nixon to Shame”

August 10th, 2014 - 8:30 am

Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund sit down with Ginni Thomas in this interview about the Justice Department’s brazen lawlessness.  “This administration always wants to expand the boundaries of government control over citizens. . . .  Other Presidents may look at [Holder] and say, I can get away with this.”

Ginni Thomas’ full interview is here.  My review of Obama’s Enforcer at PJ Media is here.

Fund notes that Holder’s lawlessness is exposing some constitutional flaws whereby the Congress doesn’t know how to reign in a lawless Attorney General.

I was on Fox and Friends about the IRS targeting church sermons. 

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Eric Holder’s Voting Section has become a fully integrated wing of the Democratic National Committee.  It is skilled at generating headlines and mobilizing voters, but not so skilled at actually helping minorities get elected.  Zachary Roth has this piece over at MSNBC containing grumbles that the Holder DOJ is afraid to sue and do hard litigation against localities under the Voting Rights Act.  A comparison with the Bush administration’s voting rights record demonstrates that even the MSNBC broken clock is right twice a day.

Under Eric Holder, the Justice Department has adopted a headline-grabbing model of voting rights enforcement.  The cases are attention-grabbing.  They are designed to mobilize voters ahead of an election.  And winning doesn’t matter as much as generating headlines and mobilizing minority voters.  It is a community-activist model of law enforcement.

Consider South Carolina voter ID.  The Justice Department lost in its efforts to block South Carolina’s identification law.  But that didn’t matter because the Obama re-election campaign won.  Holder and the DNC launched an integrated campaign to scare black voters, and a sleepy base was mobilized in 2012.

Now contrast that headline-grabbing loss with Eric Holder doing nothing for black voters in Fayette County, Georgia.  That’s right, nothing.  The NAACP had begged for the Justice Department to do something about an all-white county board.  Holder did nothing.  Instead, the NAACP was forced to go out and slog through litigation to demonstrate a discriminatory election plan, ultimately winning under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Tough litigation is no longer the model at the Holder DOJ.  As I posted at my blog:

Under the Bush administration, the Voting Section wasn’t afraid of hard tough litigation against localities: Euclid, Lake Park, Osceola, and others. There wasn’t much glory, but the cases resulted in minority representation. Under Holder, the Voting Section has barely brought any litigation, and when it does, it is aimed at headlines. The Voting Section avoids tough slogs. It steps in as amicus or interested parties after someone else has done the heavy lifting like the NAACP. Under the Bush administration, the Voting Section did the heavy lifting. Under Obama, it’s all about perceptions and faculty lounge agendas. So Roth turning to Hebert exposes a methodological shortcoming of the Holder DOJ, notwithstanding the bitterness between personalities of the parties. This DOJ won’t sue Galveston because it is afraid to sue localities. It’s after bigger, cheaper, lower risk fish.

The Holder DOJ goes after targets that even when the DOJ loses, the DOJ and the DNC win. Exhibit South Carolina. DOJ lost the Voter ID fight, but mobilized a base ahead of the 2012 Presidential election. Suing Galveston Texas has no political payoff. If the DOJ lost, it would be a real loss. The current DOJ only pursues headline grabbing win–win voter mobilization cases.

So let’s meet some of the minority elected officials who owe their election to the tough litigation brought by the Bush Justice Department.  I’m keen to learn if the Holder DOJ can point to a single success story like these in six years.

Meet Zelma Carver, member of the Georgetown County (SC) school board.  She was elected after litigation which I helped bring in South Carolina challenging the at-large school board in the county.

Zelma Carter

Zelma Carter

Meet Dr. Arthur Lance.  Dr. Lance was one of our witnesses in United States v. Georgetown County.  After the case was resolved, he was elected to the board.

Dr. Arthur Lance

Dr. Arthur Lance

Now let’s travel to Osceola County (FL), another local government where the Bush Justice Department wasn’t afraid to pursue Voting Rights Act claims that achieved real results, not just headlines.  Meet Kevin Soto, school board member.

Kevin Soto

Kevin Soto

The Bush DOJ also sued the Osceola County Commission under the Voting Rights Act, resulting ultimately in the election of John Quiñones.

John Quiñones

John Quiñones

Now let’s journey to the city of Euclid, Ohio.  The Bush Justice Department sued Euclid for having an at-large election system that wiped out minority political representation.  Because of this litigation, Stephana Caviness and Kandace Jones were elected to city council.

Jones (L) and Caviness (R)

Jones (L) and Caviness (R)

These are just a few of the success stories from the Bush DOJ in getting hard concrete results in voting litigation, and not just headlines.  As far as I can tell, the Holder Justice Department can’t point to a single success story.  There are no photos.

Pages: 1 2 | 7 Comments»

Imagine if the conservative media had to include every fact that makes liberals look good in every story that makes liberals look bad. What if attorney-client privilege didn’t exist for lawyers providing advice to conservative publications? Imagine if those contacted by a conservative journalist were dragged into depositions by a liberal plaintiff. Imagine if the liberal plaintiff subpoenaed writers for conservative publications who covered her case.

These actions would be a way to silence and chill the increasingly powerful conservative media, and it’s exactly what is happening in former Obama political appointee Shirley Sherrod’s lawsuit against Andrew Brietbart’s widow and radio talk show host Larry O’Connor.

Last week I was forced to give a deposition in Shirley Sherrod’s defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. The deposition took place at Kirkland and Ellis’s posh “litigation center” in Washington, D.C. The drink selection at the litigation center was expansive.

IMG_20140728_091622

 

 

 

 

Shirley Sherrod is the former Department of Agriculture official who said on camera that she once wanted to deny benefits to a white farmer because of his race. After that doozy, Sherrod said she later decided that race shouldn’t be a factor in giving out benefits. When Sherrod said that she intended to deny benefits to a white farmer, folks in the NAACP audience laughed.

Noble stuff.

One of the topics Shirley Sherrod’s lawyers wanted to know about in my deposition is who controls the comments to articles here at PJ Media.

Sherrod’s lawsuit is premised on a dangerous idea: when conservatives speak about liberals, they shouldn’t be allowed to quote the liberal saying disgraceful things unless they quote the liberal also saying nice things. Supposedly, Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart.com didn’t publish enough of the nice things Sherrod said, and thus Sherrod sued Andrew and Larry O’Connor (a Brietbart.com editor).

Let’s call it the not-enough-nice-context theory of defamation. They don’t teach it in law school, yet.

aaSherrod’s defamation theory is dangerous to the free press. When Sherrod said that she intended to discriminate against white farmers, that was a stand-alone story, period. Nothing else that followed mattered. It showed that no race is free from bad actors, white or black.

The stand-alone story of black on white discrimination runs counter to the well-worn critical race theory dogma that some are incapable of racialism or racism.

Sherrod’s defenders falsely claim the video Andrew Breitbart aired was “heavily edited.” What they really mean is that video of Sherrod saying things that make her look good wasn’t aired alongside video that made Sherrod look bad.

The reaction of some in the NAACP audience to Sherrod’s comment that she intended to discriminate against a white farmer is another stand-alone story. Instead of gasps of moral shock, the video reveals laughter. It’s a story worth telling regardless of Sherrod’s subsequent racial redemption.

But it’s not a story those who support the NAACP want to have told. Andrew Brietbart wanted it to be told. Andrew said that the Sherrod story was, in part, about the NAACP needing to clean up disorder in the NAACP house before they accused the Tea Party of racism.

It is true that Sherrod’s story is also a story of redemption. Later in the video, Sherrod said that she realized that race shouldn’t be a factor in providing benefits.

Great. But that’s the postscript after her big racialist reveal. When and where the story of redemption is placed is the central question behind the Sherrod defamation lawsuit.

Pages: 1 2 3 | 53 Comments»


The Freedom From Religion Foundation has reached an agreement with the IRS.  This time it isn’t the Tea Party, it’s churches.  I went on with Megyn Kelly to talk about the IRS agreement with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the coming targeting of churches for speaking to theological issues.