Politicization of the DoJ, squared
posted at 12:15 pm on October 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
How patronizing can the federal government get? Try to follow the reasoning in the latest intervention by the Department of Justice in electoral law, which negates a community’s right to opt for non-partisan races in its local elections:
Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.
The Justice Department’s ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their “candidates of choice” – identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.
The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want.
Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters’ election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here.
Bear in mind that this DoJ also dropped charges against the New Black Panther Party activists that intimidated voters in Philadelphia after the DoJ had already won the cases. Now, somehow, stripping off party affiliations in local elections — which most American communities do — represents a bigger threat to electoral integrity than thugs threatening people outside a polling booth? This DoJ has a curious sense of priorities when it comes to protecting voters.
Or perhaps not so curious. The intervention explicitly aims to ensure that Democrats win local elections, which at least has the refreshing sense of honest corruption. Democrats screeched when George Bush had the temerity to replace political appointments for US Attorneys that he had politicized Justice. What the hell is this, then? Holder has deliberately intervened into an area where the federal government has no jurisdiction — local elections — and did so explicitly to boost the Democratic Party.
If we actually had a Congress, why, this administration might be in serious trouble over this.