Report: Black Panther Case Put Politics Above Law

Hans von Spakovsky, The Foundry Blog

The final version of the Interim Report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the investigation of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case was released late last week and is available on the commission’s website. Get it while it’s hot.

With the expiration of the terms of several commissioners, new appointees by President Obama and others doing the administration’s bidding will soon control a majority of the commission seats.  It seems unlikely the new majority will continue the investigation into the real reason for the dismissal of the NBBP lawsuit.

Given the raucous and obstreperous behavior of the Democratic commissioners, with the unfortunate help of Vice Chairman Abigail Thernstrom, to stymie the investigation and protect the Obama administration, it is also almost a sure bet that nothing further will be done to investigate the sworn testimony about the hostility to race neutral enforcement of civil rights laws at Justice that the Commission uncovered, or the unlawful stonewalling by the Department of the Commission’s investigation.

The Commission’s report is devastating, particularly the statements of Commissioners Todd Gaziano (with whom I work at Heritage), Gail Heriot, and Peter Kirsanow, and their rebuttals to the nonsubstantive, almost comical dissent of Democratic Commissioners Michael Yaki and Arlan Melendez.  Also worth reading is a post on the report of The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin., as well as comments by former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams.

As Commissioner Gaziano says in his statement that is included in the 210-page report, the Commission’s investigation was about a possible cover up of a:

racial double standard in law enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The usual Washington refrain is that the cover-up is always worse than the original offense.  But in this case, the underlying problem may be as damning as the wrongful cover-up – and possibly worse….[Justice Department lawyers testified] that there is a pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws….Such a racial double standard in law enforcement would be at war with the very notion of a federal Civil Rights Division devoted to the equal protection of the laws.  Yet, the Department of Justice is unquestionably hostile to any serious investigation of these allegations.

The dissenting commissioners make the false claim that there was no evidence to support any of the allegations, disregarding and ignoring the sworn testimony of two Justice Department whistleblowers and numerous other witnesses.  But as Jennifer Rubin succinctly points out for The Washington Post, the report shows that….

Read more.