There are some serious issues with the Department of Justice and I don’t just mean the lawsuit against Arizona. The main stream media has effectively dodged and buried this story and the previous events leading to the testimony of Christopher Coates to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights taken on September 24. It seems more than a coincidence to me that Stephen Colbert was called to testify at the same time in front of congressional members. Colbert’s testimony was successful in eclipsing the media attention on Coates for a good twenty-four hours, however it did not slip by the armies of bloggers nor FOX news.
For those of you who are not aware of Christopher Coates and what his testimony was about. This is article is a brief run down of what is going on here and why you, as a voting citizen, need to be concerned. There is a lot of injustice at the Department of Justice happening. Some of it hidden and some of it in plain sight, if we dare to look at it.
The term racism is thrown around like a hot potato carrying leprosy these days. Racism and racial discrimination have both lost their truest meanings but this case brings them back and puts them front and center before us. What is most troublesome, as this testimony highlights, is this isn’t just happening at local levels but at the highest point of our political and judicial system. Our election process and ability of every citizen to cast their vote is prized and modeled around the world. One outstanding characteristic of this system is that it is supposed to be completely race-neutral, but with this testimony we see that is not the case in some areas of the country and it is being completely ignored – on purpose. That process is now having its flaws exposed and those who would influence outcomes brought out into the light for all of us to see.
Coates Testimony implicates that there is an atmosphere existing at the Department of Justice of racial bias and hostility in enforcing sections of voting laws, specifically but not limited within, the Civil Rights Department and Voting Rights Section. Coates testified that he was subpoenaed to appear to testify regarding the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case but the DOJ officials instructed him not to comply with it. The New Black Panther Party (NBPP) case included the dismissal of charges against three of the four NBPP members with the fourth under a protective injunction for the fourth. This decision, according to the DOJ and Obama Administration, was taken by one Loretta King, who was appointed by Obama to be acting AAG for the Civil Rights Division. Ms. King had shown her bias to be clear in her instruction to Coates in Spring 2009 not to ask applicants who applied for positions with him if they would be race-neutral in their pursuit of cases dealing with enforcement of the VRA. Coates goes futher and states that the election of Obama brought with it several appointees to the DOJ and CRD that held hostile views of equal enforcement of the VRA.
The attack on the VRA is not limited to just within the DOJ but also extends to Kristin Clarke of the NAACP Legal Defense fund, who made no bones about her opinion of the CRD choosing to move forward in the Ike Brown Case. The United States vs Ike Brown as setting the tone for the NBPP dismissal according to Coates’ testimony. In Fall of 2008, Clarke spent quite a bit of time calling down the CRD for this action even though it was already ruled on. She was noted to have pressed for the dismissal of the NBPP case and inquired to an african-american attorney not related to the case within the CRD if it was going to be dismissed or not. It is noted in his testimony that the NAACP-LDF and the appointees to DOJ and the CRD were of close associations and that the pressure brought to bear by the NAACP-LDF in combination with the existing hostile atmosphere by the appointees led to the dismissal of the NBPP case. Coates also asserts it was his belief that the NBPP case was a direct retaliation for the Ike Brown Case filing and that the message being sent was that the filing of similar cases like Brown and The NBPP would not be continued by the Obama Administration.
What was even more damning was the testimony that “Ms. King, Mr. Rosenbaum, Mr. Kapplehoff, Ms. Clarke, a large number of people who work in the Voting Section and the CRD, and many of the liberal private groups that work in the civil rights field believe, incorrectly but vehemently, that enforcement of the protections of the VRA should not be extended to white voters but should be limited to protect racial, ethnic and language minorities.”
Further on in his testimony, Coates indicates that Julie Fernandez, appointed in Summer of 2009 by Obama to the post of Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, was also complicit in establishing the atmosphere of what would and would not be pursued in voter cases. Ms. Fernandez made it clear that the Obama Administration was only interested in bringing cases to trial that were “traditional types of section two cases that would provide political equity for racial and minority language voters”. According to Coates, everyone at that meeting knew that meant no more cases like Ike Brown or NBPP. In November 2009, Fernandez also stated the Obama Administration was not interested in the list of maintenance issues in section 8 of the NVRA, but only in the issue of voter access. This implies that the Obama administration via the DOJ/CRD is enabling voter fraud by purposefully not pursuing the compelling of the states to remove ineligible voters from their lists as part of the section 8 maintenance.
The clear bias and manipulative measures at work here are alarming. Even further is the appointment of these individuals like King and Fernandez with clear intent by the Obama Administration. The NBPP case is a travesty of justice and has shredded the integrity of our voting laws. Those who have pointed to ACORN, SEIU, Organizing for America, and similar groups perpetrating voter fraud or using intimidation tactics, that were called racists or nuts for having done so now have their vindication in Coates testimony. This series of events has possible deep repercussions, both for the voters of America and for this administration, should tangible documentation arise from the allegations made in this testimony. The existence and integrity of fabric of this nation as a democratic republic is being unraveled by a corrupt knot in the DOJ that leads to an even bigger one in the White House.
UPDATE: DOJ clears itself of all wrong doing in one of the most clear cut cases in recent memory of voter intimidation. Nothing to see here, move along.