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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Molly Moran has been named as acting head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Some biographical information.

Moran was serving as Eric Holder’s Deputy Chief of Staff. The Washington Post reports that Moran has been “overseeing, among other things, the department’s voting rights lawsuits.”

Note that Eric Holder has picked a political appointee, his Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing voting lawsuits. No wonder there seems to be so much politics involved with Justice Department election decisions. Now that Moran is in place as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, expect a more seamless chain of politicized command over election litigation. Moran will have enormous power over the mid-term elections.

We also know that the taxpayers sent Ms. Moran on a lovely jaunt to New Zealand during the federal government sequester.  Before law school, Moran worked for Congressman Tim Roemer (D-In.).  After law school, Moran represented corporations defending against mass tort claims, a history sure to call into question her authenticity among the rank and file at the Civil Rights Division.

One former Department of Justice political appointee in the Bush administration said Moran’s lack of civil rights authenticity is a defensive play by Holder. “This is a hey lefties, please don’t screw things up politically for me (like the Education move to block charters in Louisiana) – at least be subtle in your left wingerey.’ pick.”

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I’ll be on with Megyn Kelly tonight on the latest in the IRS scandal. Did you know that the IRS is working with atheist groups to rebrand theology as politics? Not surprisingly, the First Amendment takes a hit. 9 EDT time on Fox News.  Bryan Preston has more at PJ Tatler on the atheist deal with the IRS.

IRS Beltway Clown Show on Kelly File

July 25th, 2014 - 9:11 am

I visited the Kelly File last night on Fox News with Megyn Kelly. The segment provides an excellent summary of the IRS flip flopping and lies. Here is the video from Fox News Insider:


Liberal groups already enjoy a tremendous structural advantage over conservative groups in terms of foundation support, bricks and mortars institutions and a steady pipeline of youngsters eager to shape mankind to their own image. There’s another often overlooked advantage enjoyed by the left: big law firms donating thousands and thousands of hours to help leftist causes far outside of the American mainstream.

There is no counterpart donation of time and money for conservative causes. Big Law’s ideological “lawfare” completes the architecture for attacks on election integrity laws, springing free Al-Qaeda terrorists and even suing conservative new media pioneers like Andrew Breitbart.

Legal work donated to these causes is called pro bono representation. Once upon a time, pro bono representation was provided to those who could not afford a lawyer after finding themselves in dire straits. Imagine a widow with children being sued by a landlord in an eviction lawsuit. Law firms, acting out of a sense of charity, might donate time to the widow to help her avoid eviction.

In the case of Andrew Breitbart, however, that script is flipped. Lawyers for the monster Big Law firm Kirkland and Ellis are representing Shirley Sherrod against Andrew Breitbart’s widow, for free. After Andrew died, these lawyers substituted Suzy Breitbart in a defamation case brought against Andrew.

Unlike the poor widow of yesteryear, the person receiving the free legal representation is Shirley Sherrod. Remember her? Sherrod is the former Department of Agriculture official caught on camera saying she denied a white farmer the full measure of benefits she could have given him (before later describing a moment of redemption when she rejected a racialist approach to her job). Unlike the poor widow, a farming collective associated with Sherrod’s family was the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar windfall settlement from the very same Agriculture Department.

sherrod

In the same settlement, Sherrod and her family even received $150,000 for pain and suffering in the racial discrimination case against the USDA even when she admitted on camera she briefly intended to engage in racial discrimination against a white farmer while employed by the same USDA.

The irony apparently wasn’t shameful enough for Sherrrod’s lawyers to decline her case against Andrew Breitbart.

Yannucci (L) and Jones (R)

Yannucci (L) and Jones (R)

So enter Kirkland & Ellis lawyers Thomas Yannucci and Michael D. Jones. Sherrod’s morally bankrupt litigation against a widow by Kirkland and Ellis lawyers (working for free) isn’t the only example of pro bono work at the firm. A glance at the Kirkland and Ellis pro bono portfolio reveals a stark degree of ideological homogeneity.

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Katie Pavlich’s new book, Assault and Flattery (Threshold 2014), flips the script on the creaky old War on Women narrative of the left.   Her book would be a welcome addition in campus gender studies programs, where it would do the most good in rebutting the industrial-size narrative about the oppressed role of women and how Democrats bring deliverance.

Naturally, nobody in any gender studies program will be adding Assault and Flattery to the lists of required reading for “Gender, Sexual Violence and Empire” or the “Harlots, Dandies and Bluestockings” classes this fall at Harvard.  (Yes, weep aloud, as they really exist.)  That’s too bad, because Pavlich’s book lays waste to the false narrative that the modern feminist movement, working hand in hand with the Democrat Party, does any good for women.  Quite the opposite is true.

Pavlich provides example after example where the Obama administration has mistreated female federal employees, most obviously, choosing to pay them far less than male counterparts.

aNot many books start with a warning. Assault and Flattery does:

Due to the vulgarity of many Democratic Leaders as well as the so-called women’s rights groups that defend them, this book contains language suitable for mature audiences only, or at least those with strong stomachs.

Pavlich doesn’t disappoint, taking on David Letterman’s jokes about statutory rape and Bill Maher’s demeaning characterizations of women — narratives surely absent from gender studies gripe sessions on campus.  Pavlich particularly roughs up a left-wing Hollywood culture that will take a back seat to no one in treating women like objects.

But a chapter entitled “Barack Obama: the Most Anti-Woman President Ever” makes the book worth the read.  She details the inside story of women enduring employment in the Obama administration.  Not only are they paid less, they are treated badly.  “I felt like a piece of meat,” Obama’s former communications director said in describing the atmosphere inside the White House. The book goes on to describe the harassment of women employees by Obama political appointees.

This narrative usually remains bottled up and ignored.  Gender studies programs, ABC’s White House reporter Ann Compton and any outlet on the left ignore these inconvenient and messy narratives.

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