DOJ sources tell WaPo: Yes, racial politics are being played in the Civil Rights Division

posted at 8:57 pm on October 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

A blockbuster, Breitbart calls it. Remember J. Christian Adams and the New Black Panther Party voting rights case? Thanks to Adams, the DOJ pursued a civil action against two Panther members for intimidating voters outside a polling place in Philly in 2008. The Panthers didn’t contest it and the DOJ won a permanent injunction — only to then drop the charges, seemingly inexplicably. Adams and a colleague claimed that the Department backed off because they didn’t want to pursue voting rights actions against minority defendants. DOJ higher-ups denied it. The Civil Rights Commission started investigating, and they eventually started splitting over what happened too.

Finally, at long last, WaPo decided to try to figure out what happened. Who’s right? Adams in asserting that there’s institutional resistance to using voting rights laws — which were, after all, passed in response to white abuses against blacks — against minority defendants? Or the higher-ups in insisting that the Panther case had nothing to do with race but merely with weak evidence? WaPo’s verdict:

In recent months, Adams and a Justice Department colleague have said the case was dismissed because the department is reluctant to pursue cases against minorities accused of violating the voting rights of whites. Three other Justice Department lawyers, in recent interviews, gave the same description of the department’s culture, which department officials strongly deny…

Civil rights officials from the Bush administration have said that enforcement should be race-neutral. But some officials from the Obama administration, which took office vowing to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, thought the agency should focus primarily on cases filed on behalf of minorities.

“The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around,” said one Justice Department official not authorized to speak publicly, referring to the white Alabama police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters such as Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia…

Three Justice Department lawyers, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation from their supervisors, described the same tensions, among career lawyers as well as political appointees. Employees who worked on the [Ike] Brown case were harassed by colleagues, they said, and some department lawyers anonymously went on legal blogs “absolutely tearing apart anybody who was involved in that case,” said one lawyer.

“There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting section’s job to protect white voters,” the lawyer said. “The environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive awards and you will be ostracized.”

Adams wrote about the Ike Brown case for Pajamas Media here and here. It was brought in 2005 and marked the first time a voting rights action had been pursued against a minority defendant; as WaPo says, “Adams later told the civil rights commission that the decision to bring the Brown case caused bitter divisions in the voting section and opposition from civil rights groups.” Which is to say, apparently the institutional hostility to these actions inside the Civil Rights Division pre-dates Obama and his appointments. That’s how entrenched it is. As for the Panther case, WaPo reaches no formal conclusion but between those brutal quotes and the fact that legal experts are at a loss to explain why charges would be dismissed in an action where a default judgment had already been granted, you can draw your own conclusion. (Other officials told them that Holder was aware of the case but that the decision to drop the charges didn’t come from him.)

Not only am I amazed that they published this, I’m doubly amazed that they did it 10 days before a giant midterm. This is a “week after the election” story if ever there was one. Exit question: Second look at WaPo?


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Typical White newspaper.

SouthernGent on October 22, 2010 at 9:00 PM

No 2nd look at WaPo.

Red State State of Mind on October 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Somehow I think Darrell Issa might be calling upon Mr. Holder in the near future to explain all this to America.

Chris of Rights on October 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Coming to a Congressional investigatory committee near you soon: Congressman Darrell Issa.

He’s got subpoena power and he’s not afraid to use it.

amerpundit on October 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM

The Philadelphia thing was a test case, try out, practice session, shark bump to see if it was a feasible tactic to use in the future on a larger scale.

They’re prepping the battle field for 2012. There are no limits. See Arizona and Washington state voter registration drives.

Skandia Recluse on October 22, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Very courageous of WaPo, publishing at 3:30 on a Friday at the same time as the largest classified document dump in US history.

Infidoll on October 22, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

Why, as long as HotAir posts the crucial information whats the point.

fourdeucer on October 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM

But some officials from the Obama administration, which took office vowing to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, thought the agency should focus primarily on cases filed on behalf of minorities.

Racism. Plain and simple racism. NPR to get on this in 5, 4, 3, 2, never.

rbj on October 22, 2010 at 9:07 PM

No sh*t, Sherlock. Anything new to report?

petefrt on October 22, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Not much of an October surprise. Maybe if this were 2012. But for a mid-term, a revelation that a black president’s administration is – shockingly – pursuing a black agenda isn’t going to sway many voters. I don’t think.

angryed on October 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Everyone of those lawyers who has ‘ethical’ problems enforcing the laws EQUALLY should have their asses fired!

GarandFan on October 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

Um….like what? Switch from litter box liner to bird-cage bottom?

Tim_CA on October 22, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

I’m sure they’re only printing it now because they know it will just die on the vine. No one will pick this up and make it national.

JavelinaBomb on October 22, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

Definitely!
I’m trying to paper train a new puppy.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on October 22, 2010 at 9:18 PM

The only second look at WaPo comes from my cat’s derrière.

Electrongod on October 22, 2010 at 9:22 PM

I’m doubly amazed that they did it 10 days before a giant midterm

On a friday…

ninjapirate on October 22, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Who knew leftists and democrats were racist?

Inanemergencydial on October 22, 2010 at 9:25 PM

No second look at WaPo. The whole thing reads like they were doing their best to whitewash it, but the corroboration of Adams by other attorneys inside DOJ Voting Rights just couldn’t be gotten around.

I do wonder about the timing though. Maybe they think someone else is going to go public with a similar story soon? Otherwise, why put another ding in their clients’ (the Democrats) already dented jalopy?

novaculus on October 22, 2010 at 9:26 PM

“Second look at WaPo?” No, not really. The lame-stream media always does this. One or two killer stories per year, buried on Friday, no follow up, just enough to point to when they guest lecture at Columbia School of Journalism, to prove how fair and balanced they are. Never mind those nattering nabobs of negativism on Fox and Hot Air.

FalseProfit on October 22, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

More like those reporters better take a second look at their reume`s and make sure they are up to date! Maybe they figure after the reaction that NPR is getting about Juan they will get away with this, not for long they won`t.

bluemarlin on October 22, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Everyone of those lawyers who has ‘ethical’ problems enforcing the laws EQUALLY should have their asses fired!

GarandFan on October 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM

They should lose their liscense to practice law as well, att he minimum anyway.

bluemarlin on October 22, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Nope. WaPo burned their bridges…and they all fell down. They still shill for Obama. One story out of thousands won’t make a difference.

Their credibility is crap.

capejasmine on October 22, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Maybe they’re getting tired of being in the tank for this administration. Any self-respecting journalist should be following hot stories.

WaPo used to be a contender. Remember Deep Throat?

Are those days over, or can you still investigate a story, you DC tarts?

disa on October 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Another straw in the wind, and by itself not a very large one at that!
The question is not about a 2nd look at WaPo, but rather about a broader look at Obama and his Progressive cabal. When is someone going to start looking at the totality of this haystack and calling it by its real name. This is nothing less than a corrupt and bigoted fascist regime with a smiley face plastered on its mast head. They are the modern scions of Il Duce and Bull Connor all wrapped into an Orwellian nightmare that will sooner or later abandon the veneer of cultured civility and turn to blatant oppression, just like their progenitors.
Sometime very soon, we’re all going to get a much clearer view of the despotism hidden behind the thin veil of benevolence. It always works that way! Always!!

Lew on October 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Howard Kurtz gave WaPo a second look and walked away…

d1carter on October 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Not only am I amazed that they published this, I’m doubly amazed that they did it 10 days before a giant midterm. This is a “week after the election” story if ever there was one.

–AP

Maybe not so amazing, given the timing of the next shoe:


FTA–The clash between the black nationalist and the white lawyer has mushroomed into a fierce debate over the government’s enforcement of civil rights laws, a dispute that will be aired next week when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unveils findings from a year-long investigation.

Barnestormer on October 22, 2010 at 10:02 PM

This story “broke” weeks ago when Adams ignored his superiors to answer a subpoena. So what is the fuss about — the fact Wapo decided to run the story? Aren’t we validating the dead-tree media by suggesting the story didn’t really happen until one of them reported it?

rrpjr on October 22, 2010 at 10:04 PM

I had no idea the WaPo was this racist.

greggriffith on October 22, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Maybe, just maybe the WaPo just jumped on the Hillary for 2012 bandwagon which may soon be parading through your neighborhood.

bindare on October 22, 2010 at 10:12 PM

whoa. This is just further evidence that leftism is a cancer that merely came to full fruition under obama. It has been percolating under the surface for a long time with long tentacles into these gov’t divisions. This is terrible. I knew Adams was right from the get go.

ted c on October 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Defund the DOJ?

Iblis on October 22, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

Not hardly. Once in a great while they do their job properly and you want to single them out for praise? Save the flattery for the media outlets that daily fight against the prejudice and lies that WaPo spews for hundreds of pages a week.

snaggletoothie on October 22, 2010 at 10:58 PM

From the article:

Interviews and government documents reviewed by The Washington Post show that the case tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department that persist today over whether the agency should focus on protecting historically oppressed minorities or enforce laws without regard to race.

The fact that this statement didn’t seem too troubling to WaPo shows how much trouble our country is in.

hawksruleva on October 22, 2010 at 11:09 PM

On this page there are THREE different anti-Scott Bruun Ads being run by the leftist democrat party. THREE?? Seriously Hot Air, do something about the way you allow ads to be run on your page.

flyfishingdad on October 22, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Sounds like the DoJ Civil Rights Division needs to be re-named to the DoJ Special Rights Division

AZfederalist on October 22, 2010 at 11:37 PM

If you want to dismantle the public school system, then by all means make that argument, but if you want to create another government handout for unhappy parents who want to send their kids to private schools, I’ll pass. A non-refundable tax credit, maybe, but a voucher program is just another wealth redistribution program that disproportionately weakens the public school.

Dan Minardi on October 22, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Dude, it’s an opportunity — click on them all! It costs them money for every click (if I understand how the ad revenue for those ads works). Targeted ads cost more and the ones you are seeing are definitely targeted based upon web page content. My guess is that the “civil rights” words are what triggered the ad selection.

AZfederalist on October 22, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Sounds like Adams et. al. have a strong “hostile work environment” case. There are double standards. We have the tools that the left brought us. Let’s use them to level the playing field.

liberty0 on October 22, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Change it’s name. It’s been outed as the Department of Injustice.

unclesmrgol on October 23, 2010 at 12:17 AM

I never “First Looked”! Much like The LA Times I would look at it while a bum wiped my car window with it and not a second longer. I’m not gonna give props to a newspaper for DOING WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO!

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com/

HotAirExpert on October 23, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Second look at WaPo?

yeah…Hardly my beta bro.

This is pure self-preservation and bet-hedging. They see which way the winds are blowing, and don’t want to be toppled in the hurricane; like th eNYTimes and other liberal rags.

Oh, to be sure, the WaPo will still border on Pravda level propaganda in favor of the darl lord Obamus; but there will be some modicum of balance heretofore not seen in their colums…

I love the smell of the dying MFM in an election year; it smells like,,,VICTORY!

RocketmanBob on October 23, 2010 at 1:05 AM

I guess they don’t care that these are real people being affected by their idiotic policies.

scotash on October 23, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Congress will investigate. This will not end well for the administration.

AshleyTKing on October 23, 2010 at 1:19 AM

Allah:

Not only am I amazed that they published this, I’m doubly amazed that they did it 10 days before a giant midterm.

Giant red font on Drudge regarding wikileaks Iraq fiasco:

GREATEST DATA LEAK IN MILITARY HISTORY!

I think Wapo knew exactly what they were doing.

DaveS on October 23, 2010 at 1:21 AM

I’ve been thinking about that black panther Philly thing. Considering that the black vote went well over %90 for Obama who were they hoping to intimidate? Then it occurred to me that national offices weren’t the only races on the ballot that day. Were they hoping to influence local races? Were there any black panthers on the ballot for locally? I haven’t heard a single detail of the actual investigation, so does anyone else have any information?

DFCtomm on October 23, 2010 at 1:30 AM

“There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting section’s job to protect white voters,” the lawyer said.

Silly me, I thought it was their job to protect ALL voters.

….

Silly white me.

Hawkins1701 on October 23, 2010 at 1:53 AM

SECOND LOOK AT WAPO?

AP, you’re asking WAY WAY TOO MUCH! WAPO is nothing but a socialist propaganda newspaper. I have forgiven it as a liberal rag, but a socialist? NO FORGIVENESS.

TO WAPO GUYS: FOR CHRISSIE’S SAKE, IT’S TIME TO GIVE UP THE NAME “WASHINGTON”. Use MARX, LENINGRAD, STALIN, MAO ZEDONG, OR ANYTHING THAT SUITES YOU WELL.

BUT NOT WASHINGTON ….

THE GUY’S A FIGHTER AND A FREEDOM LOVER AND WILL NEVER SUCCUMB TO WAPO’s COWARD ANTICS!

TheAlamos on October 23, 2010 at 2:05 AM

Of course. With obama and his cronies it is nothing but race. He’s the most racially divisive president we’ve had since Wilson.

Blake on October 23, 2010 at 2:33 AM

The BLT DOJ … cute.

tarpon on October 23, 2010 at 6:10 AM

The WaPo has writers and editors who cannot understand the federal budget cycle… this is their ‘home turf’ and they can’t get it right.

The bent of the WaPo is bad enough that one single, solitary piece is not a glimmer of hope but an anomaly. It will soon be buried by the WaTimes and WaExaminer just as soon as they can get the rights to the comics the Postie currently runs. Without Garfield, Sherman’s Lagoon and Get Fuzzy there is no reason to buy the Post.

ajacksonian on October 23, 2010 at 6:36 AM

The article basically distilled it down to the parts. So there isn’t a sense of the crime committed. This is a tactic taken when you KNOW you are wrong, but just want to dish it out in small pieces to influence the jury into giving you a slap rather than FIRING E. Holder.

moyeti on October 23, 2010 at 7:37 AM

Coming to a Congressional investigatory committee near you soon: Congressman Darrell Issa.

He’s got subpoena power and he’s not afraid to use it.

amerpundit on October 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Time will tell. Isn’t he the one that has already suggested working with dems recently? Or maybe I heard wrong?

JeffinOrlando on October 23, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Holder still thinks we are a “nation of cowards” and treats us accordingly.

J. Christian Adams is the mostly unsung hero in all of this. Holder didn’t expect anyone to stand up and do what is right. He expected to intimidate the department into backing down and keeping quiet. That’s how the bully/coward scenario usually plays out.

Thank you, J. Christian Adams.

Fallon on October 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I dunno that WaPo deserves a “second look”. Let’s not forget that there are Democrats out there who believe they can recreate Clinton’s second term success by standing aside and allowing a Republican Congress. If the 2012 vote were held today… Obama’s a goner and they know it.

Murf76 on October 23, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Barnestormer on October 22, 2010 at 10:02 PM

I think Barnestormer has it figured. The meeting where the report was to be considered was postponed from Oct.22 to the 29th. WaPo waited until the final moment to do this story. They weren’t going to do anything until the CCR report forced their hand, so they were going to go with it on the same day the report was supposed top come out. But the meeting got postponed.

My guess is they have a bootleg of the report, and they think others do too. So they went with it, even though the official report won’t get out publicly until next Friday.

novaculus on October 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

PS-

I was a little worried about this report, because several appointments to the commission expire in December, and Obama will appoint enough new commissioners to control the commission thereafter.

Looks like the current majority is making sure the report comes out before Obama people can squelch it. Good deal. I can hardly wait to see the report.

Coming only a couple of days before the election…

novaculus on October 23, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Here’s a prediction: Should the Repubs gain control of both the House and the Senate ( I know, not likely) ,
Holder will decide to spend more time with his family. I certainly wouldn’t claim to understand rules and regs regarding congressional investigations, but my guess is that Holder could not withstand such.

humdinger on October 23, 2010 at 12:04 PM

We need a 2010 Voting Rights Act to protect all voters regardless of race!!! Hello Congress??

TN Mom on October 23, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Although the Washington Post article maintains a scrupulously neutral tone, the evidence it presents is intensely damning to the Justice Department. Given the source of this article, charges that Adams earlier made have been given mainstream certification. Yet, this story seems to be causing little stir, as evidenced by the low number of comments posted here.

I fear that the release of this article on Friday and the fact that even conservatives have not widely embraced and publicized it means it will not have “legs.” It should, because this story is large enough that it should result in the dismissal of Holder and a wholesale housecleaning at the Justice Department with charges being filed against several for obstruction of justice.

ptolemy on October 23, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) should have a field day with Holder.

J_Crater on October 23, 2010 at 12:29 PM