Wash. Times uses discredited allegations to accuse DOJ of "rigging" elections

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Washington Times editorial writer Quin Hillyer dubiously accused the Justice Department of "rigging" elections, citing DOJ actions against the New Black Panther Party, black leaders in Mississippi, and state election officials in Missouri to support the allegation. In fact, the DOJ sought injunctions to protect voters in two of those cases and dropped the third due to outdated evidence.

Hillyer: Outdated case and injunctions protecting voters show DOJ is "rigging" elections

Wash. Times' Hillyer accuses DOJ of "rigging the deck in favor of the political left." In a July 20 Washington Times column, Quin Hillyer - a senior editorial writer for the Times - accused the Department of Justice of "rigging the deck in favor of the political left." To support the charge, Hillyer cited what he called "the abandonment of a voter-intimidation case against New Black Panthers members," the DOJ's "maneuverings to avoid directly blocking an anti-white voter scheme in Noxubee County, Mississippi," and DOJ officials "dropp[ing] a suit that would have forced Missouri to clear its voting rolls of dead people and other ineligible voters, such as felons." [The Washington Times, 7/20/10]

Obama Justice Department obtained injunction against New Black Panther Party member

DOJ obtained an injunction against New Black Panther member for carrying weapon outside polling station in May 2009. On May 18, 2009, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered default judgment against Samir Shabazz. In his May 14 testimony before the Commission on Civil Rights, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez stated that the Justice Department had obtained "sufficient evidence to sustain the charge" of voter intimidation against Shabazz, identified by Perez as "the defendant who had the nightstick," and that "the default judgment was sought and obtained as it related to him." Perez testified:

PEREZ: Based on the careful review of the evidence, the Department concluded that the evidence collected supported the allegations in the complaint against Minister King Samir Shabazz. The Department, therefore, obtained an injunction against defendant King Samir Shabazz, prohibiting him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of an open polling place on any Election Day in the City of Philadelphia or from otherwise violating Section 11(b).

The Department considers this injunction to be tailored appropriately to the scope of the violation and the constitutional requirements and will fully enforce the injunction's terms.

DOJ seeking to extend injunction against Dem leaders who discriminated against white voters

Obama DOJ is seeking to extend injunction against black leaders in Mississippi who discriminated against white voters. In 2007, a federal judge determined that Ike Brown, chairman of the Noxubee (Mississippi) County Democratic Executive Committee, discriminated against white voters. As part of an injunction against Brown, Judge Reuben Anderson was named referee-administrator responsible for overseeing Democratic primaries through 2011. But earlier this year, the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee, chaired by Brown, submitted a request under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to create a closed Democratic primary. In a July 12 letter T. Christian Herren, chief of the DOJ's voting section, responded to that request and wrote that "it would be inappropriate for the Attorney General to make a determination concerning your submission." In addition to reaffirming that Brown has no standing to make such requests, the Justice Department also filed a motion to extend the 2007 injunction against Brown and the Noxubee County Democratic Party for an additional two years, citing Brown's and the Noxubee Democratic Party's efforts to "dictate the terms of electoral qualifications," which "violated the Remedial Order." In seeking additional penalties against Brown, the Justice Department explicitly cited the potential harm to white voters.

Controversial Missouri case dismissed due to outdated evidence

DOJ sought dismissal of Missouri case referenced by Hillyer due to outdated evidence. The Bush administration filed a complaint against the state of Missouri in November 2005. In 2007, Judge Nanette K. Laughrey of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri entered judgment against the Bush DOJ. On July 29, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit remanded the case, asking the district court to consider whether local election agencies were complying with voter registration laws. In a March 4, 2009 motion for voluntary dismissal signed by Robert Popper, deputy chief of the civil rights division's voting section, the Justice Department noted that discovery in the underlying lawsuit against Missouri closed July 24, 2006, and that on October 9, 2008, the court declined a request to reopen discovery, and said that "events have overtaken this litigation" and that "the evidence in the record at that time may have limited applicability to current conditions in Missouri."

NYT: Lawsuit against Missouri was part of "highly suspicious case" connected to U.S. attorney scandal. A May 10, 2007, New York Times editorial connected the Bush-era lawsuit to the U.S. attorneys scandal, citing statements made by Todd Graves, the U.S. attorney for Missouri at the time the lawsuit was filed, that he was "pushed out in part because he refused to support" the lawsuit. A May 10, 2007, Washington Post article reported that Graves said he "clashed with [the Department of] Justice's civil rights division over" the voter registration lawsuit and that Bradley Schlozman "signed off on [the complaint] after [Graves] refused to do so." The Post article further reported that Graves said "he was asked to step down from his job by a senior Justice Department official in January 2006, months before eight other federal prosecutors would be fired by the Bush administration."

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