The U.S. Department of Injustice
June 5, 2009 - 4:50 AM<br />
To wit: Let’s examine the uproar over Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to protect hate-mongering thugs who harassed and bullied precinct workers and voters on Election Day in Philadelphia.
Oh, wait. There’s been no uproar. Let me tell you why.
Two weeks ago, in a highly unusual move, Holder dismissed default judgments his department had won against two of three defendants charged with violating the Voting Rights Act. On Nov. 4, 2008, a billy club-wielding militant in military-style boots and beret stood outside a Philly polling location with a similarly dressed partner.
Citizen journalists from the Pennsylvania-based blog Election Journal captured the menacing duo on video. One of the watchdogs observed: “I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand.”
That was an understatement. Witness Bartle Bull, a Democratic lawyer who organized for Bobby Kennedy and worked for the civil rights movement in Mississippi, signed a sworn affidavit decrying the Election Day brutishness. Serving as a poll watcher that day, he called the behavior of Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson “the most blatant form of voter discrimination I have encountered in my life.”
One of them, Bull reported, taunted poll observers: “You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”
If the pair had been dressed in white sheets, pandemonium would have broken loose. But the ebony-clad thugs were members of the New Black Panther Party who had been dispatched by Malcolm X wannabe Malik Shabazz to “guard” the polls. Translation: Protect them from scrutiny. Shield them from sunlight. Keep independent voters and observers out.
Who is Malik Shabazz? The bespectacled race hustler grabbed the spotlight in the weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks by defending Osama bin Laden, blaming President Bush for 9/11, bashing Israel and blasting our Founding Fathers as “snakes.”
His group also infamously rallied behind the Duke University lacrosse rape hoaxer. And on the day before the presidential election last fall, one of Shabazz’s “field marshals,” Minister Najee Muhammad, held a “black power” rally promising to send his forces to polls across the country “to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote.”
The Bush DOJ filed suit against Malik Shabazz, Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson in early January 2009. None of the defendants filed an answer to the lawsuit, putting them all into default. Instead of taking the default judgment that DOJ is entitled to against all of the defendants, the Obama team fully dismissed the lawsuits against Malik Shabazz and Jackson.
Jackson, you should know, is an elected member of the Philadelphia Democratic Committee and was a credentialed poll watcher. Witness Greg Lugones told me, “Obama campaign operatives were on site throughout the entire episode.”
Former Justice Department official and voting rights scholar Hans Van Spakovsky added: “I have never heard of the Department dismissing a case it has already won by default. They have … sent the message that hurling racial epithets and slurs at voters and intimidating and threatening voters at the polls is fine with the Holder Justice Department—at least if you are African-American. I seriously doubt that would have happened if the races had been reversed in this case.”
Exactly. And the harassment was aimed not just at voters, but at white poll workers trying to ensure a fair and lawful process in a city infamous for machine politics and street money pollution.
Who are the racial cowards, Holder?
On the heels of this voter intimidation protection plan, the Obama Justice Department issued another decision that undermines electoral integrity—but bolsters Democratic voter drives. The department this week denied the state of Georgia the ability to enact strict citizenship voter verification rules previously approved by two federal courts.
As Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel explained: “DOJ has thrown open the door for activist organizations such as ACORN to register non-citizens to vote in Georgia’s elections, and the state has no ability to verify an applicant’s citizenship status or whether the individual even exists.”
On top of all that, Holder recently politicized the legal review process involving the contentious issue of D.C. voting rights. After careful study, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion that a House bill on the matter was unconstitutional. Holder, who supports D.C. voting rights along with Obama, overrode his staff lawyers’ ruling—and simply ordered up an alternative opinion that fit the White House agenda.
Lady Justice is now protected by a security force armed with billy clubs and lawyers who serve the cause of protecting the re-election of Barack Obama over the rule of law.