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The Investigations Begin: Holder on the Hot Seat in Black Panther Case

January 8, 2011
Ben Johnson
1/7/2011

New Congressional leaders have begun their investigations into the most potent scandal facing the Obama administration, one that seems destined to expose injustice at the highest levels of government. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-TX, the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has opened a probe into the Justice Department’s handling of the Black Panther case in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. Smith is looking into whether the case’s dismissal, and the underlying culture of the department’s Voting Rights division, show a decision to deny justice to a broad category of Americans based on race. In the five-page letter, Smith writes, “Allegations that the Civil Rights Division has engaged in a practice of race-biased enforcement of voting rights law must be investigated by the Committee.”

In his sworn testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, whistleblower Christopher Coates — who then headed the Voting Rights division — testified to a “deep-seated opposition to the equal enforcement of the” law “for the protection of white voters.” J. Christian Adams agreed that the department indicated it would not prosecute cases against a minority defendant on behalf of a white plaintiff. Coates remembered Julie Fernandes, Obama’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, telling DoJ employees “the Obama administration was only interested in bringing…cases that would provide political equality for racial and language minority voters.”

Four other employees have spoken of the department’s hostility to enforcing the law against minorities, two having sworn affidavits to that effect.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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