The PJ Tatler

Former ACLU Lawyer Set to Head DOJ Civil Rights Division

Justice Department sources tell PJ Tatler that former ACLU and DOJ lawyer Mark Kappelhoff has been tapped to head the powerful Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Here is Kappelhoff’s full resume, which reveals he spent a whopping three years in the private for-profit legal sector in the 26 years since he graduated from law school.

This news follows the embarrassing defeat in the Senate of Obama’s failed nominee Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division.  Adegbile was deemed too radical by both Republican and Democrat Senators, so much so that he received the support of only 47 Senators in his confirmation vote. (Read John Fund’s excellent accounting of the Adegbile debacle here.)

Adegible came from the most radical strains of the modern civil rights industry.  Kappelhoff’s pedigree is less radical in comparison, at least by civil rights group standards.  His experience has been less directed at the most radical components of the modern civil rights industry agenda and directed more at issues like human trafficking.

Nevertheless, Kappelhoff is no stranger to the news or readers of PJ Media.  Hans von Spakovksy has this piece discussing outrageous prosecutorial misconduct and slanderous allegations in Hawaii which occurred while Kappelhoff was still at the Justice Department.

Kappelhoff also appears in my book Injustice in a number of places, including this one describing his nifty little campaign against the New Hampshire Republican Party from his DOJ perch:

Here’s a similar example: Mark Kappelhoff, who nearly maxed out his contributions to Obama, was the head of the Criminal Section inside the Civil Rights Division during the 2008 election. One could easily forgive a person for lacking confidence in his neutrality. Kappelhoff, who according to Christopher Coates was worried that the Ike Brown case would upset civil rights groups, had been a strong proponent of stretching the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 241 to include a criminal prosecution against James Tobin and other Republican phone bankers in New Hampshire. The statute involves conspiracies to deprive citizens of civil rights, and to Kappelhoff, that included making phone calls to help Republican candidates. Kappelhoff was a zealous salesman of this flimsy legal theory before several courts and a jury embarrassingly quashed it.

Eventually the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the statute the DOJ used to prosecute Tobin was not even “a close fit” to his behavior. After tossing out the conviction, DOJ lawyers re-indicted Tobin, this time for lying to federal prosecutors, but the federal court dismissed the charges as a vindictive prosecution. The New Hampshire Republican Party, however, was nearly bankrupted by the case. It was left with only $736 in the bank after the DOJ carnage, a mere third of Kappelhoff’s generous contributions to the Obama campaign.

There are plenty of other appearances in the book.  It will be interesting to see the reaction of Republicans in Congress to a partisan like Kappelhoff being appointed to head the DOJ Civil Rights Division.  Stay tuned.