July 16, 2010

EDITORIAL: Racialist Justice at the DoJ?

By now, the default judgment about the Barack Obama-Eric H. Holder Jr. Justice Department is that it discriminates intentionally on the basis of race. By the precise definition used in the American Heritage dictionary, the department is racialist.

The Justice Department hasn’t seriously contested the accusation of racialism. Recently resigned whistleblowing attorney J. Christian Adams has made credible charges, backed by at least five former colleagues, that the department’s Civil Rights Division has adopted a policy of refusing to enforce civil rights laws on behalf of whites victimized by minority perpetrators. Mr. Adams cited an incident from November in which Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes openly stated it was departmental policy not to enforce parts of the federal motor-voter law that involve cleaning up dead and ineligible voters from poll registries. Another former department attorney, Nicole S. Marrone, has written that Ms. Fernandes previously discussed that law in explicitly racial terms.

To such a specific allegation of lawlessness, the Justice Department’s response has been dead silence. No specific denial of the accusation. No statement that the department would not tolerate such lawlessness. No investigation. And when The Washington Times asked directly on Monday about the Fernandes statement, Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler responded with boilerplate that neither affirmed nor denied the statement.

The Justice Department’s behavior here runs the risk of delegitimizing the entire civil rights and voting apparatus, which would be a disaster. But if “civil rights” becomes a synonym for “helping Democratic constituencies only” then disaster is what it will be.

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