Video: DOJ lawyer who quit over voter-intimidation case speaks

posted at 4:24 pm on June 30, 2010 by Allahpundit

Remember the viral video from election day 2008 of Black Panthers blocking a polling place in Pennsylvania? Meet J. Christian Adams, the DOJ attorney responsible for prosecuting them. He brought suit and, thanks to the Panthers’ refusal to answer the charges, obtained an order of default against them. All that was left to do was to enter a judgment and proceed to sentencing — except that, at the last minute, Adams’s supervisors told him to dismiss the case (which, I emphasize, he’d already won). That decision piqued the curiosity of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (the conservative-controlled Commission on Civil Rights, as lefty bloggers are quick to emphasize), which issued subpoenas to the team of DOJ lawyers who’d prosecuted the Panthers; the DOJ told the lawyers to ignore the subpoenas, thereby placing them in legal jeopardy for refusing to testify. That was the last straw for Adams, who resigned from the Department last month and started talking publicly about the case, first in an op-ed for the Washington Times over the weekend and then on Monday in a long post at Pajamas Media about double standards practiced by the DOJ in voting rights cases. So what’s his theory for why the case was dropped? Simple: Compensation for historical injustices. After more than a century of black voters being intimidated at the polls, it just wouldn’t seem fair to prosecute a black group for voter intimidation:

Contrary to the views of some conservatives, racial discrimination still exists. A black motorist pulled over by the police is likely to have a different experience than a similarly situated white motorist. Without question, some apartment complexes and dining establishments still treat blacks differently from whites. The Department of Justice’s undercover housing testing program demonstrates this fact over and over again…

Americans have the right to know, however, whether or not this administration harbors hostility towards a race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws. The firsthand experience of many within the Justice Department leaves no doubt about this insidious attitude.

Some activists may claim this is much ado about nothing. This view is shortsighted: it is hard to imagine what would erode support for the civil rights laws more than the idea that many of us aren’t protected. Equal enforcement of the law vests all of us in the mission of equality. Protecting everyone seems a small price to pay for civil rights organizations to preserve the popularity of their agenda. Failing to protect everyone only fuels hostility to their agenda.

Here’s what I don’t get. If the DOJ really was intent on exacting “rough justice” for voter intimidation suffered by blacks, why would it pick the Panther case, of all cases, to illustrate that? They already had a default on the books and, as Adams says, it’s one of the most flagrant cases of intimidation that you’ll ever see. And the Panthers are a small, fringe group, so political fallout from prosecuting them would be minimal. The smart play would have been to follow through on the prosecution and use it as a high-profile example of the very evenhandedness that Adams claims is lacking, and then quietly look the other way at other cases of voter intimidation involving black defendants if/when they arise. Even assuming the worst motives here, the way they played this seems bizarre.

Adams is scheduled to testify before the Commission on Civil Rights on July 6th. Stay tuned.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Obama and Holder: racist? Probably.

Ricohoc on June 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM

That’s my whole point here: They could have prosecuted these morons and it would have cost them nothing politically to do so.

Allahpundit on June 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM

…Krauthammer pretty much brought this same point up on the panel tonight. It really seems like a risky move was made here when there was very little politically on the line for the White House.

…..These hearings coming up could be damaging for Holder who has already made many mis-steps.

…..the Obama administration is having to do so much lying and spinning just to get their talking points out to the sheep that still believe what they have to say, I can’t wait to see how they spin this.

Baxter Greene on June 30, 2010 at 7:10 PM

So what’s his theory for why the case was dropped? Simple: Compensation for historical injustices.

It’s more than “theory” in J. Christian Adams’ case. He was in the Civil Rights Division of DOJ and saw the refusal by liberal staff lawyers to prosecute cases against black defendants and white plaintiffs. The refusal by liberal, ideologue lawyers was justified by them as balancing the scales for past injustices. Question: when are the injustices going to be balanced and who will decide?
Quote from Adams’ article in PJM:

During a deposition I did of a black elected official in Noxubee, he agreed that racially discriminatory behavior against whites occurred:

“But you got to understand,” he admitted saying, “now it’s payback time.”

Payback time. How do you like that logic?

ExpressoBold on June 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Several thoughts:

as Adams says, it’s one of the most flagrant cases of intimidation that you’ll ever see.

and on video, that we will now see over and over!
2.NBPP present at every polling place in 2012? I just placed my order for a new Flip camera. Don’t leave home without it.
3. Jane59 – Sorry , don’t buy that for a second. Megyn Kelly repeatedly strikes me as the smartest person in the room. Why is it that conservative leaning women strikes the most fear into the Left?

humdinger on June 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Oops, I did that wrong… Sorry. I posted my comments as the link. You can just click on that. I am still learning how to post things here. I read Hot Air daily (multiple times), but don’t post often.

squeek71 on June 30, 2010 at 7:45 PM

I may have been to harsh in a few comments on Holder. I still contend his moral fibres are missing.

Holder is a sock puppet for Obama and Rahm and King Hussein tell him what to do.
Every appointment by king Hussein swears they will do as told. King Hussein places loyalty and obedience far above competance. Holder admits he doesn’t read the law.

seven on June 30, 2010 at 7:49 PM

This runs so against the liberal media narrative which is why they ignore it. Without FOX, nobody would touch this which is why FOX is hated….and most watched.

RobCon on June 30, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Should we be filing absentee ballots this November?

rosewaning on June 30, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Don’t forget that Malik Shabazz is on the White House visitors’ list. Of course, the White House said that it was a different Malik Shabazz… Not the New Black Panther one… The link is to an article at Big Govt. about the visitors’ list.

squeek71 on June 30, 2010 at 7:42 PM

He’s being paid and ordered to keep quiet. Just like he and thousands like him were paid to get black voters to the polls in 2008 and keep white voters away in majority black precincts. If the DOJ had not dropped the case, Shabazz was going to squeal about the whole operation.

Never forget that the ONLY reason Barack Obama is President is because of a massive turnout of black voters in key states. If black turnout had been the same as in 2004, John McCain would be President today. You can look it up.

Anyone who thinks that happened just because millions of people who had never voted before in their lives suddenly decided to vote because they were inspired by Barack Obama – I have a bridge to sell you.

rockmom on June 30, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Yet Holder claims that it’s Americans who are afraid to talk about race. In all likelihood, they avoided prosecuting this case namely so that Obama could avoid the sticky situation of prosecuting blacks in a black vs. white scenario. Why is it only Fox and Washington Times that will let this guy come forward with his story? Rhetorical question.

Seixon on June 30, 2010 at 9:03 PM

The other DoJ lawyer on the civil rights commission who objected to the department’s dismissal of the Black Panther case was relegated to another position in South Carolina. The man had a sterling ethical background re civil rights issues.

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2010 at 9:42 PM

I wrote about this scandal this weekend. Here’s the link to my comprehensive post.

LFRGary on June 30, 2010 at 9:56 PM

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Coates is the one that was transferred to South Carolina.

The other issue that was bandied around re this case was that the Voter Rights Act was put into place to safeguard minorities, that it was not intended to protect the voting rights of whites.

Ironically, Coates was a vigorous prosecutor on behalf of blacks and other minorities whose voting rights were jeopardized. He fought a well-known case in Mississipi over such an issue.

Powerlineblog and NRO have quite a bit archived on the Black Panthers’ case and on Coates’s transfer out of the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ after this case.

Holder and the two other career political appointees need to face some hard questioning under oath.

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Is it not possible, too, to see the presence of those baton-wielding New Black Panther Party activists as a threat to black voters at that polling place to vote the “right” way?

Supporters of candidates who pass out literature at the polls have to stand a certain distance away from the polling place entrance. Why aren’t those NBPP subject to those rules?

FWIW Historically the Black Panthers have deeps ties to the Nation of Islam.

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Here is a site for keeping track of ACORN and its major players in all of their guises:

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Adams is scheduled to testify before the Commission on Civil Rights on July 6th. Stay tuned.

Okay, but if you want to find out what he says, don’t stay tuned to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, NYT, WAPO, LAT…

drunyan8315 on June 30, 2010 at 11:03 PM

This is the money quote from the Washington Times piece:

Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it “payback time.” Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.

Isn’t this an open invitation for the Panthers, La Raza, or any other minority group to use intimidation at the polls to further their aims? This cannot stand. I urge anyone who has the time and a video camera to volunteer for poll-watching duty this, and every, November.

****Caution: community-organizer at work.****

hillbillyjim on July 1, 2010 at 8:34 AM

LFRGary on June 30, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Nice piece.

hillbillyjim on July 1, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Maybe a remedial driving course is in order. LOL!

bopbottle on June 30, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I just have a bit of a lead foot. Never had a wresk though… *Knock on wood*

And I have never gotten a ticket for over 20 over the speed limit, and the only times I ever got one over 15 was when I was in my early 20’s on road trips and just speeding way too fast. Typically, my tickets are 10 miles over. Most I was speeding, but I can recall several that make my blood boil because the cop was just making up lies or was an idiot and couldn’t read his numbers very well.

In Texas, there are a lot of speed traps, you will be driving in the country and in about 50 ft the speed limit drops from 70 to 35. If you don’t see that speed limit sign early, you have to squeel the tires just to make sure you are not speeding.

jeffn21 on July 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM

In Texas,

jeffn21 on July 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM

This wasn’t for speeding but:
Uvalde TX, 1994, 3am on a Wed morn, coming back from the C-store. 2 stop lights not more than 200 yards apart.
1st light is red for 15 minutes.
Never did turn green. So I ran it.
Next light.
Red for almost 10 minutes before I decided to run that one.
2 miles later a cop pulls me over on the small empty road outta town for running them.
I loved living in TX.
But the cops SUCK.
At least they did then.

Badger40 on July 1, 2010 at 9:51 AM

After more than a century of black voters being intimidated at the polls, it just wouldn’t seem fair to prosecute a black group for voter intimidation

“After more than a century of black voters being intimidated by Democrats at the polls, it just wouldn’t seem fair to prosecute a black group for voter intimidation”

And of course, this kind of revenge is the stupidest of all. Deliberate injustice is wrong, plain and simple.

If I’d been confronted by a couple of dumbass NBPP thugs at a polling place, I’d say “You know what? I was going to vote for Obama, but you’ve changed my mind.”

disa on July 1, 2010 at 7:03 PM