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Great Scott, What Is the Florida Governor Thinking?

February 20th, 2015 - 7:34 am

Florida Governor Rick Scott has opened the door to illegal aliens voting in Florida elections. He has decided that Florida will not appeal a ruling that limited the state’s ability to remove illegal aliens and non-citizens from Florida’s voter rolls.  Even Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi opposes Scott’s abandonment of the appeal.

But do non-citizens and illegal aliens actually vote in Florida elections? Yes, hundreds of times, and more. Meet Yvonne Wigglesworth. Wigglesworth was but one of hundreds of non-citizens found by local news media investigative reports as having voted in multiple Florida elections. Wigglesworth is not a citizen.

John Fund writes:

Indeed, in 2012 the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, Fla., reported that it had found at least 100 individuals in just one county who had been excused from jury duty because they were not citizens but who were registered to vote. Many had also voted in at least one election.

If Rick Scott doesn’t appeal a lower court ruling that says illegal aliens can’t be removed from the voter rolls before an election, it means illegal aliens and non-citizens will continue to vote in Florida elections. Remember, the presidency was decided in Florida by a few hundred votes. Florida has effectively chosen the last two Republican nominees.

Again, Fund:

It should have been a no-brainer for Governor Scott to appeal the “absurd” Eleventh Circuit Court ruling to the Supreme Court. He had the sole power to decide the issue. In a press release announcing the decision, his office claimed he had everything under control: “Florida is in an excellent position to conduct fair elections. … We will never stop working to eliminate fraud and abuse and make further improvements when they are needed.” Hogwash. It’s as if Governor Scott had decided to tie both his hands behind his back and then declared he was fully prepared to box a ten-round fight. Florida officials are gobsmacked over Scott’s decision not to appeal. So are national experts.
Fund notes that the decision may be driven by a desire to be politically correct and a young, naive, and frightened new staff that is unsophisticated in matters of rough politics. Whatever the reason, Scott’s decision threatens the integrity of future Florida elections, and should be reversed. He has until March 4 to change his mind.
It will also be interesting to see if any effort is made by Florida law enforcement officials, and even Eric Holder’s Justice Department, to prosecute any of the hundreds of demonstrable non-citizens who violated state and federal law by voting in Florida. If a lack of voter roll cleaning is combined with a failure to prosecute, we’ll know that the good things Scott did during his first term are being undone by a frightened retreat in the face of election lawlessness.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has introduced legislation which would have the effect of placing all of Virginia’s election laws under Justice Department oversight, and Virginia isn’t the only state that would fall into federal election receivership.

Sensenbrenner’s bill, H.R. 885, is co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and multiple members of the Congressional Black Caucus. It revives federal control through the Voting Rights Act over every state election law change. In 2013, the Supreme Court’s Shelby County vs. Holder decision struck down this power as an outdated and unconstitutional relic from a half-century ago.

Texas would also fall under immediate federal control if Sensenbrenner’s bill passes.

Other states well on their way to federal oversight include Ohio, Florida, New York, and California. States such as Louisiana would also fall under immediate federal control. (The text of H.R. 885 is here.)

Sensenbrenner and other far-left organizations argue that federal control over state elections is necessary to protect voting rights. Yet other parts of the Voting Rights Act are still in effect banning race discrimination, and were not touched by the Supreme Court.

Attorney General Eric Holder has claimed that federal control of state elections is necessary because voting rights are “under siege.” Yet Holder’s Justice Department hasn’t filed a single Voting Rights Act case in two years, and has only brought a handful in over six years, far fewer than the Bush administration brought during the same time period. If voting rights are under “siege,” thus justifying federal control over state elections, Holder doesn’t seem to be doing much about it besides advocating for expanded federal power over states.

In the last Congress, Rep. Sensenbrenner, a large number of Democrats, and a small number of Republicans introduced H.R. 3899. H.R. 3899 was identical to H.R. 885. The bill died in 2014, thanks to the opposition of Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and the presence of many Judiciary Committee members who hail from states that would be threatened with renewed federal control over state election laws. These members included Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Last March, Rep. Sensenbrenner was caught on hidden camera at a hometown town hall by James O’Keefe demonstrating that he did not understand details of his bill — including the fact it would exclude white voters from protection.

Sensenbrenner caught by O'Keefe at a Town Hall

Sensenbrenner caught by O’Keefe at a Town Hall

The bill reverses Shelby County, when the Supreme Court ruled that the “triggers” of the 1965 Voting Rights Act had become obsolete in 2013. The old triggers used turnout data from the Goldwater-Johnson, Nixon-Humphrey, and Nixon-McGovern races to determine if a state was covered for federal oversight. Using these triggers, sixteen states were covered in 2013 — including New Hampshire, South Dakota, Michigan, and New York as well as South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and Mississippi, among others.

Sensenbrenner’s bill creates revived triggers. Here’s how it works: If a state has five Voting Rights Act violations in a fifteen-year span, including one violation by the state, all election laws at every level of state and federal government would have to be approved by the attorney general of the United States to ensure they are free from racial discrimination.

Before Shelby, Eric Holder used this power to block election integrity laws like citizenship verification in Georgia, changes to early voting days in Florida, and voter identification laws in Texas and South Carolina. Beyond these high-profile cases, in lesser cases this federal power was routinely used to advance the interests of left-wing groups like the ACLU and NAACP, sometimes to such a degree that federal courts imposed sanctions on Justice Department lawyers for abusing the oversight power.

Sensenbrenner’s bill does nothing to mitigate this history of abuse of power. (I filed a brief to the Supreme Court in Shebly as amicus detailing how this abuse of power has manifested over the years.)

Using Sensenbrenner’s proposed new triggers, Virginia would fall under federal government oversight immediately for every election law change under his bill.

Virginia satisfies Sensenbrenner’s new triggers. Remember, under Sensenbrenner’s proposal, one statewide violation and four violations by any local or county government trigger federal oversight, including past administrative objections by the attorney general. Five strikes, and you’re in.

Here are the cases which would capture Virginia for Justice Department control:

One: The Justice Department objected to a redistricting plan in Northampton County in 2003. Strike One.

Two: The Justice Department objected to a redistricting plan in Cumberland County in 2003. Strike Two.

Three: The Justice Department objected to a redistricting plan in Pittsylvania County in 2002. Strike Three.

Four: The Justice Department objected to another Northampton County redistricting plan in 2003. Strike Four.

Five: Virginia has a recently decided statewide case arising out of 2012 congressional redistricting. In Page vs. Virginia State Board of Elections, a federal three-judge panel found that Virginia violated the Constitution when it drew a redistricting plan to create minority black congressional districts.

Presto — Virginia would fall under federal control, and the Department of Justice bureaucrats would leverage federal power over every election in the state. Virginia faces this perverse outcome: a plan created black-majority congressional districts so that the Justice Department would approve the plan, then a federal court finds (after the Shelby ruling struck down the DOJ power) that creating those black-majority districts violates the law, and that violation will be used to place Virginia back under federal control.

Virginia has suffered constitutional whiplash, and Sensenbrenner’s bill would keep it going.

But it’s even worse for Virginia. Just before the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby, Virginia was only partly covered by federal oversight. Some counties were in, and some counties were out. If Mr. Sensenbrenner’s bill becomes law, then every single town, city, county, and school board in Virginia will be under Justice Department control for election law changes. The state will be covered also. This is a state that elected Doug Wilder as governor, an African-American.

Ironically, proponents of federal control cited Virginia to the Supreme Court as a state which had local jurisdictions escape federal oversight by bailing out. They pointed to their escape as showing that the law was not overly onerous.  Sensenbrenner’s bill would deliver a cruel reversal of that bailout history.

In the last Congress, some Republicans from states on the cusp of federal control, such as Ohio, were cosponsors of H.R. 3899. As of now, they are not cosponsoring Sensenbrenner’s latest push to reverse the Supreme Court and revive federal control over state elections. Only six other Republicans have now joined Sensenbrenner’s effort to expand federal power.

Far-left advocates of Sensenbrenner’s bill are demanding a hearing to build momentum behind the effort. The better choice is to let Mr. Sensenbrenner’s bill quietly die in this Congress the same way it died in the last Congress.

Obama and Holder Cry Wolf on Voting Rights

February 5th, 2015 - 3:36 pm

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder know how to scare minority voters.  In the State of the Union, Obama spoke of “too many” Americans being denied the right to vote.  He couldn’t name any.  Afterwards, Holder told a Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Justice Department that the “right to vote is under siege.”  If the right to vote is truly under siege, as they claim, Holder’s Justice Department sure hasn’t done much about it.

The Justice Department’s own website reveals either that Obama and Holder are crying wolf about this siege against voting rights, or they aren’t doing their job to protect the right to vote.  A glance at the list of DOJ Voting Section litigation shows that Justice Department lawyers took an extended sabbatical in 2014 – not filing a single case to protect minority voters under the Voting Rights Act.

If the siege were real, they should have brought lawsuits to stop the siege, yet they didn’t.

The last case filed by Holder’s Justice Department to fight the “siege” against minority voting rights was in September 2013.  That’s seventeen months Holder did nothing to stop the “siege” on voting rights.  Not since the fall of 2013 has a case been filed to address this purported crisis imperiling the right to vote.

The record before 2013 was even worse.

From 2009, when I filed United States v. Lake Park, the Department of Justice under Holder didn’t file another case under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act until 2013, and then only to attack voter ID.  (Section 2 is the ban on racial discrimination in voting.)

Eric Holder took a multi-year slumber while the “siege” raged.

When they claim the right to vote is under siege, they darn well better show they are doing something about it, else it looks like the president and attorney general are crying wolf, which of course they are.

It’s not for a lack of money either that they’ve done nothing.  The Voting Section at the Justice Department effectively doubled in size when the Supreme Court struck down a part of the Voting Rights Act that mandated that every state and locality get Holder’s approval for any election law change in sixteen states.  When the court ruled in June 2013 that the standards for capturing these sixteen states were hopelessly, and unconstitutionally, outdated, half the staff in the Voting Section suddenly had nothing to do.

Were there staff cutbacks?  Did the Justice Department do what any business making an obsolete product would do?  Of course not — this is the government we’re talking about.  Instead, Obama’s budget asked for $103,000,000 more for the Civil Rights Division while slashing funding for the FBI.  Holder’s budget request is asking Congress to fund 179 new lawyers for the Civil Rights Division!

Paging Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John Culberson (R-TX, aka Holder’s #1 target) and Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY).

The actual litigation record of the Obama-Holder era of voting rights enforcement since 2009 demonstrates that the president and attorney general are crying wolf about a voting rights “siege,” or they aren’t doing anything about it.  As I’ve written with Hans von Spakovsky, the only area where Holder’s voting rights enforcement record excels is cooking up the numbers to appear they are doing more than they are.

Despite puffery and bluster to the contrary, Obama’s record of bringing cases to protect voting rights is a joke compared to the vigorous and industrious record of the Bush Justice Department. Obama’s record is all talk; Bush’s record was all action.

But talk is the new measure of success in this administration.  I saw firsthand the change in philosophies after the inauguration in 2009.  The age of Bush was about bringing and winning cases anywhere a case could be proven.  The Obama version of voting rights enforcement is to hold meetings, group discussions, more meetings, and an occasional case every few years, all the while convincing your gullible supporters you have resurrected the Voting Rights Act  because voting rights are under siege.

A seventeen-month slumber betrays the lie. A four-year period of inactivity says the Holder’s siege is fiction.  Otherwise Holder could have fought the siege with Section 2 lawsuits.

This lie is especially ironic considering that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pam Karlan is now overseeing the Voting Section.  Karlan, oft mentioned as a Supreme Court possibility because of her rabid liberalism, was a frequent and dishonest critic of the Bush administration’s civil rights enforcement.

Pam Karlan

Pam Karlan

Karlan published demonstrably false scholarship when she wrote at the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy:

For five of the eight years of the Bush Administration, [they] brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own except for one case protecting white voters.

As I noted in 2013, Kalan’s scholarship “is demonstrably false; any visit to the DOJ website demonstrates this. . . . Yet the record shows that cases were brought under the Voting Rights Act to protect non-white racial minorities in all eight of the eight years of the Bush administration.”

I contacted the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy about her false scholarship and they said it is up to the author to correct the author’s mistakes.  So far, Karlan has not done so.  Like President Obama and her boss Eric Holder, Karlan suffers no consequences for her dishonesty about voting-rights enforcement.

Instead of issuing apologies and corrections, Holder and Obama and their partners in the permanent race agitation industry have gotten busy agitating.  Getting caught exaggerating never slows them down.   They’ve badgered people like Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA, aka Holder target #2) and demanded meetings from the House GOP whip after it was revealed that over a decade ago he spoke to a crowd not acceptable to the permanent race agitation industry.

Tops on the agenda was to guilt Scalise into supporting restored federal-approval power over state election law changes that the Court struck down in Shelby County.

Scalise will certainly get an earful of Holder’s phony “siege” rhetoric and the president’s claim that too many are being denied the right to vote.  But Mr. Scalise need only look at Holder’s record of inactivity to see that the siege must not be terribly potent.

Instead, Scalise should ignore those who cry wolf.  He should demand answers about why the calls to resurrect federal oversight of state election law changes are built on a lie.  Scalise might talk to congressmen from Ohio who, in the last Congress, cosponsored legislation to resurrect this federal oversight yet were never told that the legislation would capture their own state of Ohio to be placed under DOJ control.

Once upon a time, the civil rights movement held the moral high ground.  Then it became the civil rights industry.  Sadly, today that industry is built on fear, phony rhetoric, and falsity.  President Obama and General Holder are crying wolf about threats to voting rights.  They want to renew federal power over state elections and to keep their political allies in the government fully employed.  They must believe Americans will believe anything.

The ISIS Death Cult

February 4th, 2015 - 3:54 pm

The video of ISIS barbarians burning to death a Jordanian pilot sure makes one empathize with Israel. Thirty years ago, Israel was an oasis of sanity surrounded by nation-states essentially hostile but essentially tamed.  Now, Israel is surrounded by an exploding movement of bloodthirsty ISIS murderers.  Contrary to what President Obama would have you believe, the I in ISIS doesn’t stand for International.

What is exploding around Israel in the Middle East is now a modern death cult.  Only in a culture as warped and backwards as the Middle East could a video of a human being burned alive in a cage attract supporters.  Yet the American left wailed about Abu Ghraib for months.

Yes, yes, America is better than that. We’ve heard it all before. Tool around the internet a bit and you’ll find the voices most critical of Abu Ghraib seem to have little to say about the growing ISIS barbarity in the Middle East.

That’s because they are incapable of outrage against evil unless they can brand it as American.

What is exploding in the Middle East is a death cult filled with adults who have never morally evolved past the strange child who plucks the wings off of flies.  It is a death cult from the Middle Ages.

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When Saint Pope John Paul II and his successor Francis speak relentlessly of a “culture of life,” many only hear the issue of abortion.  But we are seeing through the barbarity of ISIS that a culture of life means much more.   It is a linear promise that extends from arguments for life in the United States to moral barriers to the ISIS barbarity.

Some say that the actions of ISIS are in literal accord with the teachings of Islam.  Others, including the last two presidents, aggressively disagree.  I am no Islamic scholar, but if the teachings of Islam can support the barbarity against the innocent by ISIS in the slightest way, the world is in for a wicked future.

Yet when Obama makes the obligatory condemnation of ISIS barbarity, it is reminiscent of President Jimmy Carter making the obligatory condemnation of the Soviet Union.  The words are there, but little else.

The Jewish people have endured what happens when a death cult acquires the means of mass extermination.  After this unique horror ended, the Jewish people were given a homeland, surrounded by enemies unwilling to accept their presence.  It forever puzzles me that wherever the Jewish people may be found, wicked and bloodthirsty people seek to do them harm.

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The steady stream of videos showing the innocent being burned alive or their heads sliced off with a hunting knife is nothing less than a Satanic bloodlust.  It is no accident that these murderers have graduated to fire.  Expect more of the same until the civilized world gathers itself to oppose them in effective ways.

What should concern everyone who places value on life and religious freedom is that the murderers are not lunatics.  They are calculated, savvy and entirely convinced they are following the commands of their religion.  If they continue to attract adherents in the Middle East, and even in east London or Paris, the world is in trouble.

Missing the Mandate Inside the Beltway

January 19th, 2015 - 8:22 am

What the 2014 midterm election means might depend on where you spend most of your time. If you spend most of your time inside the Beltway, the midterms mean voters want the Republicans to govern. Inside the beltway, the election means voters want gridlock to end, and Republicans should work with Democrats to make Washington work. It’s the syrupy (and catchy) new McDonald’s ad where donkeys hug elephants, and lumberjacks give bouquets to trees.

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But to Republicans outside the beltway, the mandate from 2014 is much different, and much simpler. The voters who sent huge GOP majorities to the House and retook the Senate had one central message: stop Obama.

Republicans gained huge majorities in 2014 because patience with Obama has worn thin. Six years of lawlessness, government overreach, and a dangerous foreign policy that may have been designed by the same person who designed the McDonald’s ads have exhausted the patience of Americans outside the beltway.

The question heading into the State of the Union this week is whether the Republican Party listens to the whispers inside the beltway or the loud, clear mandate from the rest of America.

To help the GOP understand the meaning of the 2014 midterms, a guiding policy document has been provided by conservative leaders (myself included), appropriately called the Mandate. The terms of the Mandate are simple, and reflect the views of the voters who put the GOP in leadership:

Stop the President’s promised “Fundamental Transformation” of the country,

End Executive branch overreach.

Restore Constitutional balance of power among the three branches of government.

Bring an end to the perennially unpopular Affordable Care Act.

Stop the President’s Executive Amnesty initiatives.

Hold the Executive branch accountable for its myriad abuses of power and its national security failures both foreign and domestic.

Put the interests of the United States of America first among nations.

These are the issues that resonate with a broad cross section of Americans. Whether or not the Republicans have the fortitude and skill to implement this mandate is the test of this Congress.

For example, the interests of the United States are being challenged all over the world by the threat of Islamic terror and nuclear-armed states. The response of the Obama administration? Cut terrorists free and give Iran more time.

Obama ignores the law to fundamentally transform the nation by allowing millions of illegal aliens to stay in the United States. The response by the GOP remains uncertain.

Obamacare is harming Americans and intruding on constitutional rights. Will Republicans “fix” parts, thus ensuring permanence to the disaster, or will Republicans lay the rhetorical and legislative groundwork for full repeal?

Regarding executive abuse of power, will the investigative committee press for answers on the most egregious abuses of power by the administration, or will it redirect its energies into learning why the government pays too much for paperclips, or producing “committee reports” sure to be read by many many dozens of people outside the Beltway?

The next two years will say a great deal about the Republican Party. Does the GOP understand Obama’s march through the institutions and the fundamental transformation he has undertaken? Does it have the understanding to stop and reverse it? Or has the GOP ceased being the party of Reagan, becoming content simply to govern rather than advance the cause of liberty? The answer to that question is easy to figure out, depending on how the Republican Party uses the mandate they received just two months ago.

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Paris Massacre: Seven Questions and Facts

January 7th, 2015 - 5:10 pm

I am not sure what I can add to the horror in Paris that folks like Andy McCarthy, Ben Shapiro and Ed Driscoll haven’t already said.  But a few things come to mind.

1. Gitmo Works.

We learned today that Paris barbarian Cherif Kouachi was sentenced some time ago in France for terrorist recruitment.  He got a whopping three years, and all but 18 months were suspended.  It seems the Gitmo model is the better model.  Not surprisingly, President Obama is obsessed with shutting it down.  Indefinite detention or life detention without any chance of release seem the better punishments for terrorists.  The recidivism rate among these young male jihadists is beyond our measures.  It’s time that they are put behind bars, forever, when they are caught.

2. Islamic Evil Is Rising.

Barbarians who believe they are acting consistent with Islamic teaching are an existential threat to civilization now and in the foreseeable future.  We’ve heard this so often since September 11, that it is easy to lose sight of the civilizational struggle that reawakened in Iran in 1979.

Are the barbarians in Paris acting in accordance with Islam, or contrary to Islam? Does it really matter? They will tell you they are acting in accordance with Islam.  They will mouth prayers from that religion as they kill.

Unfortunately, this civilizational friction between the west and Islam has ebbed and flowed across the centuries.  It is nothing new.  Islam threatened the gates of Vienna and the Crusades reached the Holy Land.  Anyone who thinks history stops is delusional.

There is one and only one answer to this: reformation.  Islam must reform the same way Christianity reformed and matured centuries ago.  The strained attempts by some to claim Christians have a similar theological justification for violence against non-Christians are purely delusional.  King John does not represent Christian theology of the last few centuries (not that anyone on the left understands this).

3. Evil Is Rising and the Alarm Is Ignored.

It is natural to downplay any gathering storm.  Nobody wants to believe the future could be bloodier than the past. The future is always under control, until it isn’t.

How many more beheadings, schoolhouse massacres, exploding airplanes, exploding cafes, threats, stabbings, mutilations, vengeance murders  and bloodbaths will it take to awaken the good and mighty in our civilization? Will the cold-blooded execution of a Paris policeman do it? I doubt it.  Nothing else has.

Churchill experienced the frustration of having a decade of warnings ignored by the media, the British public and even his own Tory party.  It took a calamity for the alarm to be heard. In the West in 2015, even calamity seems inadequate.

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Former Virginia Governor and convicted felon Bob McDonnell has converted his public policies supporting automatic felon voting rights into his effort to avoid federal prison. In federal court filings running many hundreds of pages, McDonnell has submitted hundreds of letters from individuals seeking leniency from United States District Judge James R. Spencer. These letters repeatedly cite McDonnell’s support for automatic felon voting rights.

Spencer is set to sentence McDonnell on January 6. He faces upwards of 10 years in prison for his public corruption convictions.

During his term as governor, McDonnell overrode the wishes of the Virginia legislature and initiated a policy to automatically restore felon voting rights. Restoration of felon voting rights is a top priority of Democrats because felons empirically vote for Democrats by overwhelming proportions. Apart from the partisan benefits to Democrats, automatic restoration of felon voting rights has numerous policy problems, including the fact that an individualized (instead of automatic) review of a felon’s restoration of rights application ensures a more fair process. (PJ Media covered McDonnell’s adoption of Democrat/George Soros felon voting objectives here, here and here.)

Under federal sentencing guidelines, McDonnell may submit letters regarding his character to help him avoid prison. A review of the hundreds of pages of letters by PJ Media include many heartwarming stories of McDonnell’s character, including his trip to New Orleans to help rebuild after Katrina. They also include a touching story of McDonnell reaching out to the family of a young runner who died during a race.

McDonnell drives a Ferrari

McDonnell drives a Ferrari

But the hundreds of letters also provide accidental context to the prosecution’s case against McDonnell as well as insight into the political traits of the former governor.  The letters are mostly from political appointees of McDonnell, campaign staffers, political donors, recipients of appointments to state boards, political figures and others who received favors from McDonnell over the years. McDonnell was convicted of using public office for personal gain. The hundreds of letters are intended to help McDonnell avoid federal prison.

A deep strain of incredulity also runs through the letters. Numerous authors plainly doubt the validity of McDonnell’s conviction. One such author in denial is Dorothy Jaeckle, an elected official in Chesterfield County.

McDonnell “is in no possible way a felon,” Jaeckle wrote to Judge Spence.  On September 4, 2014, McDonnell was convicted of eleven felony counts by a jury.

Jaeckle

Click to enlarge.

The letters also reveal that McDonnell took private positions defending President Obama when many of his Republican attorney’s general colleagues voiced opposition to President Obama.

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George Stinney was not “exonerated”

December 22nd, 2014 - 5:13 am

Death penalty foes are making much of some unconventional legal process in South Carolina related to an execution seventy years ago.  The 1944 conviction of 14-year old George Stinney was set aside by a South Carolina Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen.  Stinney was convicted and executed for the murder of two girls in 1944.  Stinney is the youngest person executed in the United States.

Death penalty foes are forever in search of the innocent who was executed.  It helps their narrative that the death penalty is inherently flawed.  In the case of George Stinney, it helps their narrative that the death penalty is inherently flawed, and racist.

It is the media coverage, however, on the South Carolina ruling that is flawed.  Nearly all of it presents the court’s decision as if it reviewed the evidence and “exonerated” Stinney of the murder.  The court did no such thing.  This blog has a more detailed description of the procedural posture of the case.

In short, the movants were seeking to have Stinney’s guilty verdict vacated because the police didn’t use procedures which became constitutional minimums decades after the 1944 trial.  For example, the Supreme Court recently ruled that minors cannot be executed.  Thus, Stinney’s 1944 execution would have been invalid under 2014 procedural rules.

The movants filed a Writ of Coram Nobis.  This writ seeks merely to set aside the conviction, not exonerate the defendant.

That pesky fact doesn’t stop blogs like Wonkette from blasting the headline: Judge Exonerates 14-Year-Old Black Boy 70 Years Later. Execution Harder To Reverse.

Wonkette is in familiar territory being wrong.  Stinney was not exonerated.  He was not found “innocent.”

These errors help fuel a favorite left wing narrative, one heard in places like Ferguson: the criminal justice system is illegitimate and structurally racist.  Stinney, they would have readers believe, was an innocent child framed for the murder of white females by a racist southern system.

stinney

No articles I’ve seen make mention of the fact that Stinney was heard threatening to kill girls before girls were, indeed, killed.  One eyewitness also saw Stinney talking to the victims in the same place he made threats to kill other girls.  (Watch the video of an eyewitness who heard Stinney’s threat to kill girls.) This inconvenient fact provides strong circumstantial evidence of murderous intent.  Moreover, few of the articles mention that Stinney made three separate confessions to the murder.  Sure, crow about Gideon all you want.  But Gideon only became the law 18 years after Stinney was convicted.  Nearly every criminal conviction in the history of the United States before 1962 is subject to being vacated under this theory.

When you learn that the evidence of Stinney’s threats and his three confessions were introduced as evidence at trial, the conviction doesn’t seem quite so outlandish.  The execution of a 14-year old does not conform to modern jurisprudential standards, but the law doesn’t operate to review convictions 50, 70, 100 years in the past using modern standards.

Perhaps South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson will appeal.  I doubt the South Carolina Supreme Court wants to see a parade of litigants seeking to reverse the criminal convictions of thousands of relatives long dead.

Wickedness has darkened this season of lights in Brooklyn.  It is no surprise or accident that a ghoul like Ismaaiyl Brinsley bathed himself in messages of hate, racial division and anger and then chose to destroy lives.  But Brinsley wasn’t alone in his racially soaked hatred of the police.

For starters, a mob has Brinsley’s back.  This seemingly disconnected mob has been on the prowl in the months since America learned of Ferguson, Missouri.  They’ve smashed up windows of banks in Berkeley, burned up bakeries in Ferguson, and looted, burned, shot, robbed and killed across the nation.  But such mobs are really never disconnected, are they?

When a mob led by Al Sharpton chants on the streets of New York City they want “dead cops,” people should expect dead cops.  The clapping and laughing at the crime scene in Brooklyn as well as the happy-it-happened racialist venom on Twitter leave no doubt that the mob has Brinsley’s back.

Brinsley

Brinsley

Three years ago, we saw similar mobs rampage across London after a police officer used legal and justified deadly force against a drug-dealing gangster who likely was armed. To the London mobs, Mark Duggan’s race explained the police use of deadly force.

Fire, just as in Ferguson, was the London mob’s favored weapon. The London mob burned down dreams and destroyed lives, as Brinsley did in Brooklyn. The House of Reeves in Croydon, a furniture store which survived even Hitler’s blitz seventy years earlier, burned to ash.

But fire returned to London and accomplished what even Hitler couldn’t.

House of Reeves Burns in 2011

House of Reeves burns in 2011

Unfortunately, the line separating mayhem and a peaceable kingdom can be a thin one indeed.  Across the tide of time, the destruction and violence of the wicked is a far more common human experience than what we in the West have come to expect.

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Attorney General Eric Holder has issued an edict, through a memorandum, that cross dressing and transsexualism is now protected under federal civil rights laws which were designed to protect women from sex discrimination. Existing federal law provides no statutory support for treating cross-dressers and transsexuals as the law treats female victims of discrimination.

This means that the Justice Department could now, for example, consider the decision by a school or church to not hire a transvestite as a violation of federal law.

Holder ordered that the Department of Justice will stop making arguments in litigation suggesting that transgender people are not covered by Title VII, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in employment.

Holder’s memo says that “sex” under Title VII doesn’t only now pertain to sex discrimination. To Holder and his army of DOJ lawyers, federal law now prohibits discrimination based on transgender status, including discrimination “because an employee’s gender identification is of a particular sex, or because the employee is transitioning, or has transitioned to another sex.” The memo says that “the Department will no longer assert that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex does not encompass gender identity per se (including transgender discrimination).”

DOJ lawyers have enormous power to bring civil rights cases against entities ranging from local government to school districts. The DOJ must also defend the federal government against discrimination claims brought by federal employees. In lawsuits involving federal employees, DOJ has in the past advanced the sound legal axiom that Title VII does not provide protection for transgender workers.

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Holder bases his edict on a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling that transvestites and transsexuals are protected by federal law from discrimination against their cross-dressing gender-switching behavior. A ruling from the EEOC has no jurisprudential effect and no binding authority on the Department of Justice. Had the case been decided by the Supreme Court or another federal court of appeals, Holder’s decision would have had more merit.

The EEOC is not entitled to deference, and certainly no deference on a ruling so far outside the law. The Holder Justice Department has bullied school districts that prohibited boys in high school from dressing in drag as part of a school dress code. In New York, one male student came to school dressed in a mini skirt, stilettos and a pink wig. As I described in Injustice, Holder’s DOJ took action:

The school district was forced to pay the transvestite-child $50,000, pay for counseling services with a psychiatrist specializing in “gay, bisexual and transgender youth issues,” hire an expert to review the school’s “gender expression” programs, and hire a second expert to conduct annual training on “gender identity and gender expression” discrimination. In short, the DOJ rolled the school district. Obviously, the school district’s lawyer, unlearned in the lawless proclivities of the Civil Rights Division, recommended this complete capitulation and settlement terms far beyond what the law required. The final consent decree appears to contain only one provision requested by the school district: an agreement not to mention any employee’s name. Then again, perhaps that’s the best that can be hoped for when the plaintiff is largely inventing the legal rules.

Over 200 Democrat legislators think it requires an act of Congress to change discrimination law so radically, and they are right. That’s why H.R. 1755 was introduced in Congress with scores of co-sponsors. That’s how our legal system works. The fact that this bill was introduced, and has not passed, highlights the lawlessness of Holder’s edict.  When someone wants to expand protected classes under civil rights laws, Congress passes a new law. That’s how it works in America. But in the age of Obama, lawlessness is the quicker, more expedient way to impose the views of the outvoted minority onto the rest of the country.