Newly confirmed Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke is a thoroughly modern woman. She could never have been confirmed even during the Clinton administration because of her racially-soaked radical worldview.
But these are revolutionary times, where skin color has gained newfound importance in a way we haven’t seen since June 1964 when segregationists chased civil rights marchers down the streets of St. Augustine, Florida.
If you think the comparison doesn’t work, then you haven’t been paying attention, or you are watching too much MSNBC.
I suppose everything old is new again. Content of character is out. Color of skin is in.
And thus Clarke squeaked by this week on a 51-48 vote to manage the most powerful division of the Justice Department.
The Civil Rights Division has its tentacles in every single aspect of American life – schools, jails, elections, hotels, mortgages, movie theaters, church sermons, bathrooms, computer software, rent rates, service animals on planes, pool chair lifts, mental hospitals and forcing police departments to adopt radical policing policies. I left 100 other topics off the list.
And now, another racialist radical is in charge in the division where I was once an attorney.
Clarke is no ordinary racialist radical, though. She brings a reputation for being racially greedy. I have some personal experience with her on this point.
In 2007, I was working on what would become the Voting Rights Act case of United States v. Georgetown School Board. I was one of the lawyers who spent many days in South Carolina investigating violations of the Voting Rights Act. Georgetown had a voting-age black population of 34 percent but the at-large elections for school board resulted in no blacks ever being elected to the nine at-large seats. While there is no right to proportional representation, in theory, blacks could conceivably have won three of nine seats.
Regardless, they had none, and in a school district where the students were almost majority black, this created a system that stoked discontent and lack of responsiveness. No matter how you feel about these sorts of lawsuits, it was the law under the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act—an amendment even Strom Thurmond voted for.
The plan adopted in a DOJ settlement agreement created three majority-black districts out of seven (two seats remained elected at large) where it was likely a black preferred candidate would be elected.
Back to Clarke’s racial greed. The DOJ team got wind that Clarke—representing the NAACP—was shadowing the DOJ lawyer interviews in the field with local African-American stakeholders, disrupting the progress the DOJ was making and urging locals to hold out for four or more black seats. Four seats out of seven (or nine) would have been well in excess of the general proportion of the black population. Clarke wanted more black seats than the law would allow and was willing to disrupt a settlement that created three black seats where none had existed before.
I highlight this instance of racial greed not as a mere anecdote, but rather as a warning.
Sometime, soon, the Justice Department Voting Section will be on the prowl looking for counties or school districts to sue. You might be a lawyer representing them (call me). In the past, even under Democrat leadership, the DOJ has largely been fair and sought only minority districts that could be supported by the law. Expect Clarke to jettison compliance with the law, because she takes it all personally, and it is all about skin color.
Attorney General Merrick Garland defended Clarke, calling her a “person of integrity” who has views in line with his own.
Garland hasn’t spent much time around her. Lawyers at the Voting Section who worked with her characterize her as a brutish and uncouth racial activist. She seethed racial animosity toward whites (who were not liberals) and Southerners. If there is any consolation, she is viewed as “no Tom Perez or Vanita Gupta” in the lawyering department. She’ll leave that to the hundreds of brighter lawyers who work in the Civil Rights Division.
The FBI made a serious mistake when it failed to interview her former husband prior to her confirmation. The police came to Clarke’s house no fewer than six times for domestic abuse. Had they done so, the Senate would have learned who made those 911 calls. (Don’t look for that story at Google because they are hiding it. Here’s a link.)
Much has been written about how Clarke invited black racist anti-Semites to speak at Harvard. Meow. That was indeed in college and she never disavowed it. I was more concerned about her criticism and sabotage of the Justice Department’s voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party, another case I worked on.
Clarke poked around the Voting Section, asking anyone who would listen about when the Panther case was going to be dismissed. Recall that the incoming Obama officials spiked most of the case. Clarke was pleased because she doesn’t want the Voting Rights Act to be used against black defendants.
Her opposition to the Panther lawsuit wasn’t an isolated event. Clarke also opposed the lawsuit by DOJ against Ike Brown, a black Democratic Party official who became the first African-American found liable for violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A court found that he manipulated and canceled the valid votes of white voters in Mississippi and allowed defective absentee ballot votes of black voters to be counted. He also engaged in a ballot-harvesting scheme that is documented page after page by the United States District Court and is required reading for anyone who actually wants to know what voter fraud looks like.
Clarke didn’t want anything to happen to Brown. She didn’t want the Justice Department to bring the case.
It’s even worse. Expect Clarke to give preferential treatment to liberal activist groups making FOIA requests to the Civil Rights Division. Why? Because she used to get the same express service herself. Don’t expect Judicial Watch to get the same treatment. As I documented in my book Injustice:
The NAACP’s Kristen Clarke made particularly revealing requests, such as the one she sent by email late on the afternoon of June 17, 2009. Hunting for whatever Louisiana was telling the DOJ about a submission under Section 5, she asked for “any information provided by the State of Louisiana in connection with Submission No. 2008-3512 between January 1, 2009 and this request.” She wanted to know Louisiana’s official views, particularly since the NAACP was so engaged in the matter. As Clarke reminded Justice, the “NAACP Legal Defense Fund submitted a Comment Letter in connection with this submission.” At 6:59 a.m. on June 19, Clarke got just what she wanted, by email no less.
One of the most lawless things that Clarke did at DOJ was cook up a crazy objection against Alabama. This should be a warning to Senators like Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) who want to return power to Clarke to reject state election changes.
Under a now-dormant portion of the Voting Rights Act, the bureaucrats at the Voting Section had power to reject or approve every election change in sixteen states. The Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated the triggers that decided which states were subject to this obligation. Nevertheless, when Clarke was there, the law was alive. Again, from Injustice.
[The DOJ Voting Section] sent a letter to Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor warning that Alabama could not enforce a 1994 law because it had not been submitted to the DOJ for preclearance under Section 5. The statute in question required felons to submit to a DNA test as a mandatory precondition to applying to the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles for a restoration of civil rights, including the right to vote. Part of a nationwide effort to build up DNA databases, the program was facilitated by Congress through federal legislation and through DOJ-administrated federal grants to states.
Clarke was behind the Alabama shakedown, trying to stop the state from collecting DNA from prisoners, using a provision of the Voting Rights Act. Again, Injustice:
[The DOJ] letter was based on a legal memorandum received from deputy Gilda Daniels (now a law professor teaching critical race studies) and from Kristen Clarke. The memorandum cited a New York Times article on voting rights that quoted Pryor’s views of the Alabama statute as well as a critical report by the Sentencing Project, a group that lobbies against felon disenfranchisement laws.
Only through the intervention of Hans von Spakovsky, then counsel at DOJ, was this lawless shakedown stopped.
Expect more shakedowns to come, and even more if the power to reject state election laws is returned to the Justice Department. Giving Kristen Clarke that power would be like giving a toddler a weapon.
Clarke also fought against DOJ deploying assistant United States Attorneys at the polls in the 2008 election, a bipartisan practice that occurred under both Clinton and Bush. This was designed to document problems, deter fraud, and ensure that voting rights were protected.
Clarke’s opposition to federal lawyers observing an election should serve as a warning that this thoroughly modern woman wants nothing to do with ensuring the integrity of our elections. She has other priorities, and it isn’t the content of your character.