On July 13, the Department of Justice blew an opportunity to put to rest the issue of whether they are willing to enforce the Voting Rights Act in a race-neutral fashion by objecting to a request by a proven discriminator to further discriminate. I wrote about this pending request at Pajamas Media. At the time I noted:
Bottom line, if this Justice Department was truly interested in enforcing the law in a race-neutral fashion, they could stop Brown’s discriminatory scheme for the cost of a postage stamp. A simple objection letter would prevent him from implementing a practice Judge Lee already has found to violate the law. Any other choice by Holder this week, other than an objection letter, will broadcast DOJ’s disdain toward equal enforcement of the voting laws.
The reason they did not resolve this with a postage stamp, and send an objection letter, is because they do not want whites and Asians, when they are the discriminated-against minority, to be protected under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Sadly, the Department did not object to the submission and therefore refused to protect the white minority in Noxubee County in the least costly, most powerful way possible — a simple letter objecting to the proposal. Why? Because it is high heresy to include discriminated-against whites within the protections of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. This attitude is common knowledge within the voting section.
On July 12, it silently sent a “no determination” letter, effectively a cop-out against using Section 5 to protect the white minority in Noxubee County. I am told by a news outlet that the supposedly transparent administration played hide the ball for almost 24 hours, not providing the letter to the public.
There’s more. On July 13, it filed a motion to extend for a few years a remedy in the civil court case the Bush administration brought in 2005 and won in 2007. The order seeks to extend the remedy until after the next presidential election. This means the Department will never have to roll up their sleeves and monitor what Ike Brown, their political friend, is doing in Noxubee.
Amazingly, the Department is also seeking an order from the federal court to prevent Ike Brown, the discriminator, from making any more inconvenient submissions to the Obama Justice Department which might reveal the hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Simply put, they are asking the court to prohibit Brown from sending any more submissions under Section 5. Not only would this go beyond the powers of the court to order, it is a naked play to avoid facing the issue of unequal enforcement for the remainder of the first, and maybe last, term of the Obama administration. If Brown can’t file submissions to the DOJ, the DOJ won’t have to take the side of the white victims. This is unnecessary and shamefully transparent.
Don’t forget, this court effort is the relic of a Bush administration case. It’s one thing to file a motion in a successful case the previous administration brought and won; it’s quite another to bring cases of the same sort in the future. There is next to no chance this Justice Department will bring these voting cases, even though they exist.
This unnecessary request to prevent Ike Brown from making any further submissions will allow the Department to conveniently avoid any public litmus test of their attitude about who is protected by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. If Brown can’t make any more submissions to the DOJ, then the DOJ won’t have to confront the issue of whether his victims are protected under Section 5. This is one of the most novel forms of “prior restraint” I’ve ever seen.
I wrote in my previous Pajamas Media piece that it would be intellectually disingenuous to both issue a “no determination” ruling on the submission while at the same time filing a federal court motion to deal with the substance of the submission. Here’s why. The no determination letter said that Brown can’t make the submission because he doesn’t run the elections after he was temporarily stripped of that power. It isn’t ripe for him to submit the rule, they say. Yet he will regain that power. And worst of all for the DOJ, they now are marching into court claiming the issue is ripe for the court to decide. Yikes.
Simply put, the Department is trying to dodge the central issue of whether they will use Section 5 to protect a white victim in an obviously clumsy way. Many sycophantic media will no doubt trumpet this as proof positive that the DOJ will protect the white minority in Noxubee. But if you consider the fact that this is the most contorted, most expensive way possible to do it, you’d see that the real motive is to avoid expanding Section 5 to protect a white or Asian victimized minority. What happened to all those “resource concerns” we’ve heard so much about?
The media should plainly ask Attorney General Eric Holder: Does the voting section consider the whites in Noxubee County to be protected under Section 5? Will the voting section conduct a Section 5 analysis in these circumstances? Let me predict the Department’s answers: no and no. They just will avoid answering the questions, and if they do answer, they will not answer with candor, for they know the firestorm that would erupt.
This is another one of the issues which former Section Chief Christopher Coates would have much to say if the Department would only allow him to comply with the subpoena from the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The vigor with which the Department is resisting his appearance should give you a clue about what his testimony is likely to be.
It is also noteworthy that this action occurred only after significant media attention to the DOJ’s unwillingness to enforce the law in a race-neutral fashion. I have spoken with many individuals in Noxubee County, and DOJ interest first appeared only on July 1 — six weeks after Ike Brown’s submission and four days after Pajamas Media published the story on the unwillingness to enforce the law equally. For six weeks, there was silence until Pajamas Media exposed the story. The court filing is a defensive play that would have never occurred otherwise. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the interest in pursuing this course of action was only in response to the outrage their unfair policies have sparked around the nation. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we should recognize it for what it is: the good that comes from sunshine exposing corrupt policies.
Above all, the Department continues to refuse to enforce Section 5 in a race-neutral fashion. It was unwilling to object to a scheme of Ike Brown to block access to the polls which a federal court has already found to be illegally motivated by racial intent. Yet it still blocks Georgia’s efforts to ensure that non-citizens are not on the voter rolls. As I wrote in a previous piece, the Department is abandoning law abiding citizens and abetting wrongdoers in many of these decisions.
For now, the Department has deployed a strategic feint that allows it to avoid the core issue of equal enforcement, carries enormous risk if the judge does not agree, and costs a whole lot more than that postage stamp for the objection letter they never sent.