Limbaugh Claims Labor Nominee Perez Handled Case Resolved Four Months Before His Arrival At DOJ
Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Labor Tom Perez "made the call not to prosecute the New Black Panthers," a case that was concluded before Perez ever joined the Department.
President Obama nominated Perez on Monday to head the Labor Department on Monday. Reacting to the announcement, Limbaugh attacked Perez on his radio show, claiming Perez was "the guy in the Department of Justice in the civil rights division who made the call not to prosecute the New Black Panthers.
But Perez wasn't confirmed to his post at the DOJ until October of 2009, months after the case had already been resolved. The case involved two members of the New Black Panther Party who appeared outside a polling station in Philadelphia with one member carrying a club. Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice brought a voter intimidation lawsuit against the party. After President Obama took office, the case against the party was dropped as the DoJ decided to pursue the case against the defendant carrying the club.
As Slate's David Weigel noted, the DoJ decided to drop the case four months before Perez was confirmed:
Here's the problem. The DOJ dropped those charges in May 2009. Perez wasn't confirmed until October 2009. The reason, of course, was that Republicans delayed the vote as they bargained for more answers on the New Black Panther story. But even had Perez been confirmed right after his hearings, in June, he would have arrived after the decision was made to drop the case.
Limbaugh's comments were the latest in a wave of conservative attacks on Perez.