September 25, 2010


A veteran Justice Department lawyer accused his agency Friday of being unwilling to pursue racial discrimination cases on behalf of white voters, turning what had been a lower-level controversy into an escalating political headache for the Obama administration. . . . The rare spectacle of a Justice Department lawyer publicly rebuking the department’s leaders came amid heightened legal and political fallout from the case. The commission is to issue a report on the matter next month, and an internal probe by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is pending. . . .

“We had eyewitness testimony. We had videotape. One of them had a weapon. They were hurling racial slurs,” Coates said. “I’ve never been able to understand how anyone could accuse us of not having a basis of law in this case.”

I guess this story has officially broken out of the blogosphere now. I’m not sure that attacking the Civil Rights Commission is a smart response by DOJ.

Related: Hans van Spakovsky: Time for Change: Gov’t Must Address Lawlessness Uncovered by Christopher Coates. “Unless senior officials at Justice take steps to repudiate such policies, they will destroy public confidence in the legitimacy of the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement of voting rights laws, and its stewardship of the election process. If Fernandes and King have the views described by Coates, they should resign or be fired. And Perez has a responsibility to explain why he misinformed the Civil Rights Commission and why he took no steps to investigate problems Coates identified to him.”

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