Two former U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have corroborated key elements of the explosive allegations by a third former attorney that the Voting Section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is refusing to enforce the law against black defendants.
On July 6, former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that the Voting Section is dominated by a “culture of hostility” toward bringing cases against blacks and other minorities who violate voting-rights laws.
One of Adams’ DOJ colleagues, former Voting Section trial attorney Hans A. von Spakovsky, told WND he saw Adams was being attacked in the media for lack of corroboration. He said he knew Adams was telling the truth, so he decided on his own to step forward.
In an affidavit dated yesterday, von Spakovsky stated, “I can confirm from my own experience as a career lawyer that there was a dominant attitude within the Division and the Voting Section of hostility towards the race-neutral enforcement of voting-rights law.”
Von Spakovsky also asked another old colleague, former DOJ Special Counsel for Voting Matters Karl S. Bowers Jr., to go on the record. Bowers is now in private practice in South Carolina.
In his own affidavit, Bowers stated: “In my experience, there was a pervasive culture in the Civil Rights Division and within the Voting Section of apathy and in some cases outright hostility towards race-neutral enforcement of voting-rights laws among large segments of career attorneys.”
In his affidavit, von Spakovsky, now a Senior Legal Fellow in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., backed up Adams’ testimony that Voting Section staff lawyers were harassed by their colleagues for working on a case brought against a black activist.
According to von Spakovsky, former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates was harassed “over his work on the Brown case because they did not believe that the Justice Department should file any lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act against black defendants, no matter how egregious their violations of the law.”
Von Spakovsky also confirmed Adams’ allegations that the DOJ has brought “hundreds” of cases against white defendants but only two cases against black defendants. He agreed with Adams that DOJ’s dismissal of most charges in one of the cases after the Obama administration took over in 2009, the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case, was “unprecedented.”
In his affidavit, von Spakovsky further confirmed Adams’ allegation that the DOJ is deliberately refusing to enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, widely known as the “Motor Voter” law. Section 8 requires state and local election officials to remove ineligible voters from voter lists.
According to Adams, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, an Obama appointee, told Voting Section employees the department “has no interest in enforcing” Section 8 because “it has nothing to do with increasing turnout.”
Von Spakovsky told WND the administration’s refusal to enforce Section 8 is politically motivated.
“The left doesn’t like Section 8, because they want as many people on the rolls as possible, even if they’re ineligible.”
Von Spakovsky contended that enough ineligible felons voted in Minnesota to catapult the Democratic candidate, comedian Al Franken, to victory in the razor-thin 2008 U.S. Senate race.
Adams, now a PajamasMedia blogger, alleged in a blog post yesterday: “The Department is not allowing Christopher Coates to comply with his subpoena [from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission]. These two affidavits give you an abbreviated understanding about why that is. If he were permitted to appear and tell the truth, the lid blows off.”
Von Spakovsky said the DOJ was placing Coates in an “untenable” position by ordering him not to comply with the subpoena, forcing him to choose between exposing himself to legal jeopardy and keeping his job.