Friday, October 1, 2010

Pajamas Media Alleges Justice Department Motor Voter Bias

Former voting rights lawyer tells Fox News Hispanic DOJ official's policy is racial

Two top Justice Department voting lawyers have recently testified that dismissal of voter intimidation lawsuits against New Black Panther Party members were racially motivated.

One of them told Fox News that a Hispanic female in a top job told a room full of officials that since a certain section of the “Motor Voter” law, which compares voter registration lists with those of driver licensees, does not add voters to the rolls, the department is not interested in enforcing it.

Julie Fernandez, a politically appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General who is in charge of enforcing Section 8 of that law, which deals with purging “deads, duplicates and ineligible” voters, told an estimated 50 voting division lawyers in a meeting at the department's Washington, D.C., headquarters that she did not want to see any such suits in litigation, according to J. Christian Adams.

Mr. Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer who is now a media contributor to Pajama Media, told a Fox News correspondent “You cannot find any Section 8 cases under this administration.”

In terming the lack of prosecution and the dismissal of suits already won by default and by judgment as racially motivated, Mr. Adams said, the actions of Attorney General Eric Holder “raises serious questions about the department's enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.”

He originally made headlines when he told the network that the Justice Department had dismissed a suit won by default against Missouri voting officials because in a dozen counties the rolls show more registered voters than there are voting age citizens. Attorney General Eric Holder made the decision to dismiss the suit after Secretary of State Robin Holder, a Democrat, announced she was running for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Kit Bond.

In a suit with identical circumstances, Indiana officials agreed to purge the names of ineligible and dead voters from the lists of registered voters.

Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department's Civil Rights Division, testified last Friday that the dismissal of a voter intimidation suit against the Black Panthers in Philadelphia was a “travesty of justice.”

In a video, one of the members of the New Black Panther Party is seen brandishing a nightstick and blocking the entrance to a polling place.

The Department of Justice also dismissed a similar suit in Houston.
A former campaign manager for Robert Kennedy and a civil rights activist, Bartle Bull, said “I watched the two uniformed men confront voters and attempt to intimidate voters. They were positioned in a location that forced every voter to pass in close proximity to them. The weapon was openly displayed and brandished in plain sight of voters.” As the two men attempted to interfere with the work of the polling place workers, Mr. Bull said, he heard on them tell a white poll observer, “You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”

A legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation and a former counsel at the Department of Justice, Hans A. Spavosky noted in an opinion piece written for “The Wall Street Journal” that the department is charged with “securing the integrity of the voter registration process...In just the first five months of this administration,” he wrote in June, “Justice seems to be moving as fast as it can to defeat that charge.”

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