Don’t Dial ACLU-Heavy DOJ for Voter Fraud Protection
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published August 19, 2011 on the American Thinker website.
If you thought the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder was already shockingly biased toward far-left causes, get ready for a more permanent problem.
As Hans A. von Spakovsky has outlined in the first of five articles for Pajamas Media about DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Holder has hired 16 civil service employees — not political appointees — in the Voting Rights Section. This means they will be part of the permanent bureaucracy.
It’s part of an overall trend of loading the Civil Rights Division with card-carrying leftists despite Holder’s promise to hire qualified people regardless of ideology.
All of the new hires have radical backgrounds, including several with the ACLU displayed prominently on their resumes. Some specifically oppose measures to curb voter fraud, such as requiring photo I.D.s. Since no conservatives have been hired, Mr. von Spakovsky aptly titled his article “Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Voting Section.”
The information was released only after Pajamas Media prevailed in a lawsuit after their Freedom of Information Act request was ignored. What gall, trying to find out who is on the public payroll.
With the 2012 national elections looming, Americans concerned about voter fraud should be nervous about the prime federal enforcer of voting integrity being salted with left-wing partisans.
In May 2009, Holder quashed the case against three New Black Panthers who had been caught on tape openly intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station in 2008. Honest career attorneys at DOJ had obtained convictions, but Holder dismissed the charges.
And, as former DOJ Voting Rights Section attorney J. Christian Adams has revealed, the Division’s lawyers have been told, in effect, to ignore discrimination complaints from white citizens. Testifying on July 6, 2010 before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Mr. Adams said that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes announced that “the Voting Section will not bring any other cases against blacks and other minorities.”
This is before all the new appointees even got settled into their offices.
Here are a few of the new hires, as summarized by Mr. von Spakovsky:
Bryan Sells: Mr. Sells was recently hired as one of the Voting Section’s new deputy chiefs. He comes to the Department from the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, where he worked for nearly 10 years as a Senior Staff Counsel. During his tenure, his organization strongly opposed all voter ID laws, and challenged the right of states to verify the U.S. citizenship of individuals seeking to register to vote. He also characterized state felon disenfranchisement laws – which are expressly authorized in the Constitution – as a “slap in the face to democracy,” and consistently took the most aggressive (and generally legally unsupportable) positions on redistricting cases throughout the country.
Meredith Bell-Platts: The other new deputy chief hired by the Voting Section, Meredith Bell-Platts, also comes from the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, where she, too, spent nearly 10 years. Much of her time there was devoted to blasting voter ID requirements, which she claimed were motivated by people who do not want to see blacks vote (an issue on which she consistently lost in court). Before arriving at the ACLU, Ms. Bell-Platts was a founding member of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, a publication whose stated “mission is to explore the impact of gender, sexuality, and race on both the theory and practice of law” and thereby “complement a long tradition of feminist scholarship and advocacy at the [Georgetown] Law Center.”
Daniel Freeman: Mr. Freeman comes to the Voting Section following a fellowship at the New York Civil Liberties Union. He previously interned at the ACLU, where he assisted the organization with its efforts to attack the Bush administration’s national security policies. He also helped to challenge the “state secrets privilege” and to support the rights of terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay during an internship at Human Rights First….
Incidentally, Mr. Freeman is helping lead the Voting Section’s review of redistricting submissions from the state of Alabama.
You get the idea. There are 13 more career appointments, all of whom could garner puff pieces in the Daily Kos. Mr. von Spakovsky notes that while the media castigated the Bush Administration for appointing some attorneys with conservative backgrounds, the media have been silent over this far more egregious politicizing of a sensitive federal office.
He suggests that these and other Obama appointments have been so blatantly political that the DOJ’s Inspector General should conduct an inquiry.
Somebody should. The media certainly are not going to raise these questions absent something too obvious to ignore. And even then….