Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski: Obama Appointee in Black Panther Case Must Answer for Failure
ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell and ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski wrote this column appearing on BigGovernment.com on July 12, 2010.
A situation involving voter intimidation caught on tape has now exploded, as a Justice Department lawyer resigns to be able to tell the truth to the American people that the Obama-Holder Justice Department is allowing voting-rights violations to go unpunished for political reasons. Those responsible must be made to answer for their betrayal of the public trust.
The Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a noble mission: Make sure that no eligible citizen is denied their rights, especially the right to vote. That mandate has a special focus on race, because in darker days millions of American citizens were intimidated, threatened, or denied their right to vote simply because of the color of their skin.
Denying someone their civil rights because of race is a betrayal of the Constitution’s most sacred promises. We are all created equal, endowed with rights by our Creator, and the Constitution establishes a government to secure those rights for every American.
That’s why the threats caught on tape at a Philadelphia voting location are utterly deplorable. Several thugs of the New Black Panther Party stood at the door of a polling location with weapons in their hands, menacingly glaring at white Americans as they went by.
Fortunately, a couple intrepid patriots captured this illegal action on video. They even engaged them in conversation, confirming who they were and what they were doing.
In response to this clear and egregious case of voter intimidation, the Justice Department brought action against these Black Panthers. The defendants didn’t even have enough respect for the law to show up in court, and so the judge properly issued a default judgment against them.
Then Barack Obama was sworn in as president, and appointed Eric Holder attorney general. (Holder, who then promptly called America a nation of cowards on issues of race.) The new political appointee heading DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Thomas Perez, hand-picked by Attorney General Holder and President Obama, dropped the case against the Black Panthers during the sentencing phase.
Dropped the case? Hadn’t the Justice Department already won? Yes, the government had already won. All they had to do was wait for the court to hand down its punishment.
But Thomas Perez and the Obama-Holder team decided to drop the case. Their reason? Perez had the audacity to say that there wasn’t enough evidence for the case to succeed. Evidently expecting that people would blindly ignore the fact that the Justice Department had already won, he said with a straight face that the evidence just wasn’t there.
As disgusting as this situation was, it looked like it was dead. President Obama had won the White House and chose to nominate far-left Eric Holder to lead the Justice Department, and then the two of them stacked DOJ with a raft of extremists like Thomas Perez who were willing to ignore gross injustices and lawbreaking for the sake of licking the hand of their racist allies at the New Black Panther Party.
(To back up this statement, just look at this video where one of these Black Panthers in this case, King Samir Shabazz, saying, “You gonna have to kill some crackers [white people]. You gonna have to kill some of their babies!” If you use racial slurs and talk about killing babies because of their skin color, then you’re a racist.)
Then two unexpected events brought this travesty back to life. First, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission launched an investigation. The investigation started to uncover and verify the facts, shining a spotlight on the inexcusable failure of the Obama-Holder DOJ to execute the judgment against these Black Panther lawbreakers.
Second, a brave lawyer from the Justice Department who had worked on this case, J. Christian Adams, had the courage to resign so that he could go public with the truth. Adams has taken to the airwaves and is now testifying before the Civil Rights Commission, calling for justice to prevail on the pathetic dereliction of duty of Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Thomas Perez.
We say dereliction of duty, because the Constitution charges the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Attorney General Holder serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the country, at the pleasure of the president, to make sure that the law is upheld. And this specific instance was under the purview of Thomas Perez. They have utterly failed.
Even more alarming, new records now show that Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli was heavily involved in this situation, at the same time that he was consulting with White House Deputy Counsel Cassandra Butts, who has a record as a radical extremist similar to that of Communist Van Jones, who was forced to resign in disgrace.
As we show in our book, The Blueprint, this is different than previous administrations. Every president has different law enforcement priorities, and as such make different decisions about how to spend resources to prosecute which crimes. But in this instance, the case was over. DOJ won. The work was complete. And yet Perez, Perrelli, and the Obama-Holder team dropped their victory to the ground, to the shock of career DOJ lawyers.
This failure is utterly intolerable. If Republicans take back the U.S. House this November, they should immediately drag Thomas Perez and Thomas Perrelli up Capitol Hill and put them under oath to justify their decision. If that investigation verifies that things are as they appear, then whoever made the decision to drop this case, whether Perez, Perrelli, or perhaps Eric Holder himself, should be forced to resign.
The right to vote is the beating heart of democracy, and the only way that we the voters hold accountable those with power to govern our lives. This situation cannot be allowed to stand.
Whether it’s Perez, Perrelli, or even Holder, if the official responsible for this pathetic tragedy refuses to resign, Congress should impeach him.