Barack Obama - The Black Panther Case
On election day in 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) were seen and filmed standing at the entrance to a polling station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The men both wore uniforms of the NBPP, stood side-by-side while obstructing the entrance, and yelled racial slurs at would-be voters. One of the men carried a metal baton and tapped it in his hand. The incident was witnessed by lawyers and poll workers who indicated that not only did the events happen, but that potential voters turned away from the location after seeing the men.
The Justice Department began to investigate the matter and on January 7, 2009 they filed for a civil complaint for an injunction against the two men involved, the leader of the NBPP, and the organization itself. The injunction sought to bar all members of the NBPP from approaching a polling location on election day in an organized manner.
None of the defendants responded to legal action and the Justice Department was set to win the case by default on May 1, 2009. However, the Justice Department filed for a two week extension only days before the deadline, and on May 15 they dropped the case against all parties except the man holding the club.
Over the next few months, numerous accusations were made:
- that political appointees were involved in the decision to drop the case
- that the NAACP LDF was involved with the decision to drop the case
- that there was a policy in affect at the justice department which prohibited the enforcement of voter intimidation laws when white voters were oppressed by minorities
- that voting laws which required maintenance of voter logs were not being enforced
Two independent investigations were eventually launched: an internal review by the Justice Department, and an independent review by the US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR). In December of 2009, the USCCR subpoenaed information relating to the case, the lawyers on the case, and numerous other witnesses and personnel. In addition, a group called Judicial Watch filed a freedom of information request for documents relating to the case.
After the sdubpoenas were issued, the Justice Department transferred Christopher Coates to South Carolina - out of the jurisdiction of the USCCR subpoenas. Mr Coates was one of the career lawyers who had brought the case and continued to push its merits. In his going-away speech, he spoke about the case and read prepared remarks indicating his strong desire to see the case reopened.
After taking depositions from a number of people, including the representative from the NAACP LDF, in May of 2010 the USCCR interviewed the Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. He insisted that the punishment enforced on the single Black Panther was fitting for the crime and that the case against the remaining defendants was dropped because the facts of the case did not match the law. He also stated that Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King made the decision and that no political appointee was involved.
That same day, the remaining career lawyer for the case, J. Christian Adams resigned in protest. In the following weeks, he gave testimony in response to the USCCR subpoena that the case against the remaining defendants was strong. He also echoed earlier rumors and made the following claims:
- that the NAACP was involved with the decision to drop the NBPP case
- that he was told to ignore the subpoenas prior to his resignation
- that the DOJ has a policy of not enforcing voting rights laws in a race neutral manner
- No cases would be brought against minorities who suppressed white votes
In September of 2010, a log of emails was turned over in response to the FOI request which showed a great deal of traffic between an official at the DOJ and a high ranking political appointee - David Ogden. This directly contradicts the testimony of Mr. Perez that there was no political involvement and the story on this matter is still developing.
Days after the emails surface, Christopher Coates wrote a letter to the USCCR and offered to testify at their hearings. His testimony has reaffirmed Mr. Adams claims of the following:
- that the NAACP was and is deeply involved with the DOJ voting rights group and that they were involved in the decision to drop the case
- that the DOJ would not pursue cases of suppression of white voting rights by minorities
- he cites the single previous case of this prior to the NBPP case and the anger it created in the department
- that the Obama administration will not pursue the rules which require states to properly maintain their voting rolls
On November 4, 2008 Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were filmed outside of a Philadelphia polling station holding a nightstick and shouting racial slurs at people coming to vote. Shabazz is the head of the local chapter of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) and Jerry Jackson is the Chief of Staff.
Of the numerous people who witnessed the events, one of them was Bartle Bull, a former civil rights lawyer and publisher of the left-wing Village Voice. He called the incident "the most blatant form of voter intimidation I've ever seen". He also stated the following:
In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll. In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location.
(It was a) racially motivated effort to limit both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree.
Numerous poll workers, poll watchers, and lawyers saw people approach the polling place and then turn away after seeing and/or being confronted by the Black Panther members. Mr. Bull stated that he heard the BP members yell at one voter "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker!"
Minister King Samir Shabazz - One of the two men filmed outside of the polling place. Mr. Shabazz held the baton and yelled racial slurs. The case against him was not dropped and an injunction was placed on him not to come within 100ft of a polling place in Philadelphia with a weapon.
Jerry Jackson - The other member of the Black Panther Party who was filmed outside of the polling place. Charges against Mr Jackson were not pursued and it was discovered that he was a registered poll worker for the Democratic Party.
Malik Zulu Shabazz - The head of the NBPP and a graduate of Howard Law School. An indictment was sought against him for organizing the event, but charges were eventually dropped.
Christopher Coates - Chief of the Voting Section for the Department of Justice during the events. Mr Coates is one of the "career lawyers" who pursued the case and was overruled in dismissing it. He was eventually transferred to a department outside the range of the USCCR subpoenas.
J. Christian Adams - A trial attorney and the other "career lawyer" that pursued the case. He was subpoenaed by the USCCR and eventually resigned in protest when his superiors testified that the facts did not match the law in the case. His testimony to the USCCR after his resignation claimed that the Justice Department had a policy of not pursuing cases of minority voter oppression against whites.
Loretta King - Acting Assistant Attorney General that was appointed by the Obama administration. It has been asserted that Mrs King was a principal player in asking that the case be delayed and then dismissed.
Thomas Perez - Assistant Attorney General that eventually testified before the USCCR. He stated that Mrs King had ordered that the case be dropped and that the case itself had no merits. It was this testimony that prompted the resignation of Mr Adams.
Kristen Clarke - Co-Director of the Political Participation Group at the. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. It was alleged that Ms Clarke had been involved with the delay and dismissal of the case. While she admits to having contact with the people at the DOJ, she denies any role in the dismissal.
Thomas Perrielli - Associate Attorney General at the DOJ and referred to as the number 3 man in the DOJ. It has been reported that this is the highest level that the decision to drop the case went to.
Samuel Hirsch - Democratic election lawyer and Obama political appointee as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. In September of 2010, records of emails showed heavy involvement of Mr Hirsh with the DOJ concerning the case. This contradicted earlier claims that there was no political involvement.
Steve Rosenbaum - Deputy Assistant Attorney General who was emailing Mr Hirsch concerning the case. He is a career attorney at the DOJ
David Ogden - A US attorney General which was appointed on May 12, 2009 and left office in February of 2010. Emails have surfaced showing he was involved with the dismissal of the Black Panther Case.
Julie Fernandez - A Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. She was appointed by the Obama in the summer of 2009. It has been alleged that she routinely held lunch meetings to discuss the administrations policies that voting rights cases would not be enforced if the cases involved minority suppression of whites.
Memo Recommending Civil Suit
On December 22, 2008 a memo was sent to the Acting Assistant Attorney General recommending that a lawsuit be brought against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense and three individual members for their actions violating the Voting Rights Act. The memo is signed by Christopher Coates, Robert Popper, J. Christian Adams, and Spencer Fisher.
The memo is broken up into four sections which give the facts about the events, and explain why the actions taken that day were in violation of section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act. The conclusion of the memo is that the justice department seek a remedy that prohibits members of the NBPP from deploying in front of polling places in the future.
- Factual Background
- The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is a well organized and well known group with an openly hostile racial agenda
- The NBPP's presence at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day was well documented
- Poll watchers and attorneys were deployed to various polling locations on Election Day both to observe and to aid workers
- Reports concerning the NBPP's presence at the polling place were made by poll watchers on the scene
- Witnesses observed voters reacting to the Black Panthers at the polling place
- The leadership of the NBPP endorsed the polling place deployment in Philadelphia
- Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act
- Legal and Factual Analysis
- Brandishing a deadly weapon at the entrance to a polling place and related actions and statements by the uniformed members of the NBPP constituted acts designed to intimidate, threaten, or coerce those voting or attempting to vote.
- Brandishing a deadly weapon at the entrance to a polling place and related actions and statements by the uniformed members of the NBPP constituted acts designed to intimidate, threaten, or coerce those aiding voters.
Civil Suit Filed
On January 7, 2009 a civil action was filed against the New Black Panther Party for Self-defense, Jerry Jackson, Samir Shabazz, and Malik Zulu Shabazz. The suit was signed by Michael Mukasey, Grace Chung Becker, Christopher Coates, Robert Popper, and J. Christian Adams. The Justice Department announced the injunction against Shabazz and Jackson and one other black panther on behalf of the defendants.
Default Order and Judgement
On April 2, 2009 a default was entered by the Clerk of the Court against the NBPP, Malik Zulu Shabazz, Minister King Samir Shabazz, and Jerry Jackson.
The Court entered an order on April 20, 2009, requiring the US to file a motion for default judgement no later than May 1, 2009.
On April 28, 2009, the court notified the defendants that a default judgement would be ordered against them if they did not respond within three days.
On May 1, 2009 the US sought and received an extension on the deadline of May 1 to May 15.
On May 6, 2009 Christopher Coates, Robert Popper, and J. Christian Adams signed onto a remedial memorandum that explained why the injunction should have been placed against the NBPP.
On May 15, 2009, the Obama administration announced that it would be dropping all charges against Jerry Jackson and Malik Zulu Shabazz. The penalty for Shamir Shabazz was that he not appear within 100ft of a polling station with a weapon until after 2012. A spokesman for the justice department made the following statement.
The Justice Department was successful in obtaining an injunction that prohibits the defendant who brandished a weapon outside a Philadelphia polling place from doing so again. Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law. The department is committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who intimidate, threaten or coerce anyone exercising his or her sacred right to vote.
On May 18, 2009 the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded a judgement and enjoinder against Minister King Shamir Shabazz. As desired, he was ordered not to display a weapon within 100ft of an open polling station in Philadelphia on election day until after 2012. That judgment can be found here.
It should be noted that this action is already illegal under US law (hence the charges), and that Mr. Shabazz is a resident of D.C and not Philadelphia.
On May 29, 2009 the Washington Times reported that the case had been pursued by the attorneys in the case, but that they were over-ruled by a political appointee. In response to allegations that a political appointee may have made the decision to end the case, Civil Rights Division spokesman Alejandro Miyar issued a statement claiming:
Contrary to the report in the Washington Times, a career attorney in the Civil Rights Division made the final decision to dismiss charges against three of the defendants in this case following a thorough review that determined the facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims in this case.
Judicial Watch - FOIA
On May 29, 2009 the legal group known as Freedom Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting all the information available in the case against the Black Panthers and the dismissal.
Jerry Jackson - Poll Worker
It was also discovered at this time that Jerry Jackson was an elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee, and was credentialed to be at the polling place on Nov. 4 as an official Democratic Party polling observer.
In the months that followed the dismissal of the case, numerous people in academia and members of Congress began to ask questions and request information concerning the facts of the case, the positions of the non-political appointed lawyers, and facts concerning who ended the case.
On June 8, 2009 Congressman Frank Wolf sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder denouncing the decision and asking for transparency in the matter.
On June 16 and June 22, Abigail Thernstrom and Ashley Taylor sent letters asking for clarification of the matter. A follow-up letter was sent on August 10. Mrs Thernstrom and Taylor are the Commissioner and Vice Commissioner for the US Commission on Civil Rights.
On July 8, 2009 Congressman Wolf sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking them to look into the matter.
On July 9, 2009 several members of Congress sent a letter to Inspector General Glenn Fine asking him to investigate the matter and determine if anything was done for political considerations. This letter was signed by:
- Lamar Smith
- Frank Wolf
- Jo Bonner
- James Sensenbrenner
- John Culberson
- Steve King
- Robert Aderholt
- Trent Franks
- Louis Gohmert
- Jim Jordan
Response from Attorney General
On July 13, 2009 Assistant Attorney General Robert Weich responded to the requests for information in a 4 page letter to Congressman Wolf (Text starts on page 11). In that letter, the Assistant AG states that the facts and the law did not support pursuing the charges.
The Department voluntarily dismissed the Section 11(b) claims against three other defendants named in the complaint because the facts and the law did not support pursuing those claims against them. That decision was made after a careful and thorough review of the matter by the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights , a career employee with nearly 30 years experience in the Department, including nearly 15 years as the career Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
The response foes on to state that charges were dropped against the New Black Panther Party and against it's leader Malik Zulu Shabazz were dismissed because there was no evidence that the NBPP coordinated the event, and that the complaint itself acknowledges that the supposed organization did not ask people to bring weapons.
Response from Congressman Wolf
On July 17, 2009, in a scathing 5 page response (text starts on page 15) to the Attorney General, Congressman Wolf excoriates the reasons given for the dismissal of the case. He notes that no weapon is necessary to break the law under section 11(b) and that suggesting so sets a dangerous precedent. He also notes that Samir Shabazz appeared on TV days after the event and claimed that his actions were the result of a nation wide effort involving hundred of party members, and that this statement contradicts the Assistant AG's assertion that no evidence existed to prove this was a coordinated event.
Congressman Wolf goes on to ask state that the DOJ dismissed the case against the NBPP in part because it disavoed the actions after they occurred. He then cites a May 2009 case where the Department notes that such behavior is not sufficient to absolve them on the crimes (U.S. vs Sturdevant).
Congressman Wolf then goes on to ask a number of questions relating to the procedures in the case. He asks if anyone other than the four person career trial team engage in discussions with the Defendants and their representatives. He also asks what facts were learned between the filing of the suit and the decision to dismiss the case and how did the department come to learn about these facts.
Further Questions from Congressman Wolf
On July 22, 2009 Congressman Wolf sent a letter (page 20) to AG Eric Holder to ask a number of questions concerning the case, the response from the Assistant AG, and to point out some inconsistencies.
- He asked why he was being prevented from speaking with the trial team
- He asks if the testimony of Mr. Bull and others present fails to support the issues of intimidation, and if so on what grounds do the actions of the NBPP not constitute intimidation. He asks what precedence this sets.
- He asks for copies of video evidence, statements, and names of individuals and third parties associated with the case
- He asks if the people who signed the complaint concurred with the AG's decision to drop the case
- In the letter from the assistant AG, the AAG notes that Jerry Jackson was not removed from the polling place because the building was also Mr. Jackson's residence. He notes that the building in question is not Mr. Jackson's residence and asks for an explanation in this matter.
- He asks about the previous dismissal of the case against the NBPP because they had not advocated for the use of weapons.
Further Political Accusations
On July 30, 2009 the Washington Times reported that Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, was consulted and ultimately approved a decision in May to reverse course and drop the civil complaint against the NBPP and the 2 other members. The article also indicated that the delay was ordered by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King who had consulted with Perrelli.
It was also reported that Kristen Clarke, director of political participation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington, had talked about the case with lawyers at the Justice Department and shared copies of the complaint with several persons. However, she stated that she was not involved in the decision to dismiss the case.
Official Inquiries Opened
In June, the US Commission on Civil Rights sent the Justice Department a letter asking for clarification on the reasons why the case was dropped.
Though it had basically won the case and could have submitted a motion for default judgment against the Party and its members for failing to respond to the Division’s complaint, the Division took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges against all but the defendant who waived [sic] the nightstick. Yet even as to that remaining defendant, the only relief the Division requested was weak – an injunction prohibiting him from displaying the weapon within 100 feet of any polling place in Philadelphia. It has since been revealed that one of the defendants had been carrying credentials as a member of, and poll watcher for, the local Democratic committee.
On August 28, 2009 it was announced in a letter to Congressman Lamar Smith that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had begun an official review into the dismissal of the case. When asked about the decision, Congressman Wolf said the following:
After months of unanswered questions, incomplete and faulty excuses, and revelations of political influence, the Office of Professional Responsibility has agreed with our July 9 letter asking for a full investigation of the dismissal of this important voter intimidation case over the objections of both the career attorneys on the trial team and the department's own appellate board.
I fully support OPR's decision to investigate this dismissal and look forward to their report. I hope the Civil Rights office also will agree that the case should be re-filed.
In response to the Commission on Civil Rights inquiry, the Justice Department noted that it would not respond until the inquiry by the OPR was complete. One of the Civil Rights Commission Members compared that response to a corporation charged with employment discrimination which instituted an internal investigation — and then claimed that a civil lawsuit couldn’t proceed until the corporation investigated itself.
The Commission designated the matter for a one year investigation, which would act along side the investigation by the DOJ's OPR. The Civil Rights Commission made the following statements in a proposal.
On October 30, 2009, the USCCR made the decision to issue subpoenas to five categories of people:
- former defendants in the New Black Panther Party NBPP litigation
- individuals with information about the events in Philadelphia
- former and current DOJ personnel with knowledge of the NBPP litigation
- custodians of records at DOJ regarding past VRA section 11(b) allegations, investigations, and related documents
- others with potential relevant information about the DOJ actions in the NBPP litigation.
Transfer of Christopher Coates
On December 29, 2009 the Washington Times reported that Christopher Coates had been removed from his position at the voting rights division of the Justice Department and transferred to the Criminal Division in South Carolina for an 18 month rotation. This places Mr Coates outside the reach of the 100 mile range for subpoena's filed by the USCCR. On January 4, 2010 Mr Coates gave a going away speech that can found fully paraphrased here. In the speech, Mr Coates seems to list the reasons why he supported pursuing the case against the NBPP.
DOJ Refuses Subpoena
On January 12, 2010 the Department of Justice officially refused to turn over most of the documentation requested in the subpoenas issued by the USCCR, and refused to release information relating to the internal investigation. In rebutting the subpoenas, Joseph H. Hunt, director of the Justice Department's Federal Programs Branch, said the department is "constrained by the need to protect against disclosures that would harm its deliberative processes or that otherwise would undermine its ability to carry out its mission."
Commissioner Todd Gaziano stated the following in response:
The department offered no arguments as to their legal position in denying the requests. This is just more delay, more stonewalling and without any justification. The department has no privilege in this matter other than executive privilege, and if the president wants to assert it, he should do so
US Commission on Civil Rights Investigation
Although they were unable to interview the trial lawyers who worked on the case, the investigation by the US Commission on Civil Rights did perform the following actions:
- Deposed King Samir Shabazz (January 11, 2010)
- Deposed Jerry Jackson (January 11, 2010)
- Deposed Kristen Clarke, Director of Political Participation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington
- Deposed Ronald Van - Witness (January 11, 2010)
- Deposed Larry Counts - Witness (January 12, 2010)
- Deposed Angela Counts - Witness (January 12, 2010)
- Heard Testimony from Congressman Wolf (April 23, 2010)
- Heard Testimony from Gregory Katsas (April 23, 2010)
- Heard Testimony from Thomas Perez (May 14, 2010)
Testimony of Thomas Perez
On May 14, 2010 Thomas Perez testified before the US Commission on Civil Rights on the matter. Mr. Perez is an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. Mr. Perez explained that evidence did not exist to seek an injunction against the New Black Panther Party and that the punishment against Mr Shabazz was sufficient for the crime.
In his testimony, Mr Perez stated that there was insufficient evidence that the New Black Panther Party controlled or authorized a large scale attempt to intimidate voters. He also stated that there was insufficient evidence to place an injunction on Jerry Jackson. He stated that the injunction placed on Samir Shabazz was equitable to crime in that it prevented the crime from re-occurring. A full copy of Mr. Perez's statement can be found here.
After making his statements, Mr Perez was questioned on the matter. In that questioning, he stated again that the facts of the case do not match the law. When asked about why the initial lawyers sought an injunction which Mr King overruled, Mr Perez responded that reasonable people can disagree. He also affirmed that it was Mrs King that overruled the lawyers and had the case dismissed. He also stated that no statement had ever been made that there was a policy of not enforcing voter's rights laws against minorities.
I have worked at the Department under Republican and Democratic 1 leadership. And I have been involved in many, many cases where you look at evidence. And reasonable people of good faith can take a look at evidence and draw different conclusions from the evidence. This is a case about career people disagreeing with career people. That happens very often.
If I can see slide 4, please? Ms. Flynn in the memo that she prepared -- and this was just before May 15th, which is the day the default was due or the decision had to be made -- she indicated, "We can make a reasonable argument in favor of default relief against all defendants and probably should given the unusual procedural 1 situation." Who overruled Ms. Flynn's opinion?
ASST. ATTY. GEN. PEREZ: The judgment in this case to proceed in the way that was chosen was made by Steve Rosenbaum and ultimately by Loretta King based on a review of the totality of the circumstances.
Resignation of J. Christian Adams
On May 14, 2010 Mr. Adams handed his resignation into the department. In that resignation, he specifically cited the cause as the Black Panther case and the difficulties it has caused him in legal fees. The resignation was effective on June 4 of that year. Mr Adams would later cite the testimony of Mr Perez as part of the reasoning for his resignation.
Fox News Story
After resigning from his position at the DOJ, Christian Adams gave an interview with Fox News and stated that a mandate was issued by the Obama administration not to prosecute voting crimes against white people by minorities.
Testimony of J. Christian Adams
On July 6, 2010 J. Christian Adams responded to the subpoena which had been issued by the US Commission on Civil Rights and testified at a hearing. That testimony is shown below.
Adams Testimony - NAACP
Among the items that Mr Adams testified about was the involvement of the NAACP. As previously noted, Kristen Clark was previously reported to be involved with the dismissal of the case. She has denied this assertion to the Washington Times and in her deposition to the USCCR. As the Washington Times notes in this article, Mr Adams testimony seems to contradict Mr Clark. (Transcript is from article)
In September of 2010, in response to the FOIA request filed by Judicial Watch, a Vaughn Index was compiled that describes documents that are currently being withheld by the DOJ in their entirety. The index details a series of internal DOJ emails regarding the Black Panther case between several high ranking political appointees inside the Justice department which were discussing what to do in the Black Panther Case. The index gives dates, senders and receivers, and subject line. The people swapping emails includeed former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, the Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Deputy associate Attorney General (political appointee) Samuel Hirsch, and Civil Rights Division political appointee Steve Rosenbaum.
- A May 10, 2009, email from Associate Attorney General Perrelli, the third highest ranking official in the DOJ, asks Deputy Associate Attorney General and former Democratic election lawyer Sam Hirsh, “Where are we on the Black Panther case?” The email also includes Deputy Attorney General Ogden’s “current thoughts on the case.” (Text from source).
- Throughout April and May 2009, Steve Rosenbaum traded several emails with Samuel Hirsch. Hirsch then had extensive communications with Associate Attorney General Perrelli about the case. The emails are sometimes described as “deliberations” between the senior political appointees.
- There was at least thirteen communications between Hirsch and Perelli in the two weeks before the May 15th dismissal.
- On April 30, Hirsch and Rosenbaum communicated at least eight separate times about the case. This occurred the day before the Voting Section decided not to seek a final injunction, and instead asked the court for a two-week delay.
- On May 8 the Voting Section provided its analysis supporting a full remedy against all four defendants, and the log shows that Rosenbaum immediately forwarded the Voting Section’s work to Hirsch’s office.
Testimony of Mr Coates
On September 22, 2010 Christopher Coates wrote the USCCR and offered to testify at the September 24 hearings on the Black Panther case. On September 24, 2010 Mr Coates testified and supported the claims of Mr Adams. His full testimony can be read here.
In Mr. Coates opening statements, he states that the NBPP case cannot be understood without knowledge of a 2005 case (Ike Brown) which was the first of its kind in that it involved minority suppression of white votes. He states that this case caused a great deal of pressure to be brought by the NAACP Legal Fund and other organizations that did not believe that the laws should be enforced in a race-neutral manner. He also asserts that many within the DOJ Civil Rights division did not believe that laws should be enforced against minorities that oppress white votes.
Mr Coates then goes on to describe that these same people who had so vehemently opposed the Ike Brown case, namely Mrs King, made the decision not to pursue the NBPP case and that they did so because they believe that the laws should not be applied in a race-neutral manner.
Mr Coates then goes on to not that the reasons given for the dismissal of the Black Panther case are not valid. He states that if the roles were reversed and that a Klansman was standing at the door to a voting station, there would be no question as to the application of the law. He then states that is is his belief that the case was dropped because the belief by people at the CRD that the laws should not be enforced in a race-neutral manner.
Based upon my own personal knowledge of the events surrounding the NBPP case and the atmosphere that has existed in the CRD and the Votign Section against racially fair enforcement of certain federal voting laws, I do not believe these publicly stated representations to this Commission and other entities accurately reflect what occurred in the NBPP case. They do not acknowledge the hostile atmosphere that has existed within the CRD against race-neutral enforcement of the VRA.
After making this claim, Mr Coates goes on to note a series of meetings held by Julie Fernandez after she was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the summer of 2009. He claims that in these meetings, Mrs Fernandez stated that cases where white votes were suppressed by minorities would not be pursued and that laws requiring states to clear their voting rolls of deceased people would not be enforced.
An additional accusation made by Mr Coates was that Ms Fernandez also stated that her view was that laws dealing with maintenance of voter registration laws should not be enforced. During the Bush administration, the Justice Department sought to ensure that states and cities ensured that deceased people where removed from the voter's rolls. He states that there are numerous states that have not updated their rolls since 2008 and that the Justice Department has no plan to enforce these laws.
 Website: Anti-Defamation League Article: Justice Department Files Suit Against New Black Panthers Author: NA Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: Department of Justice Article: Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against New Black Panther Party Author: DOJ Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: Fox News Article: Charges Against 'New Black Panthers' Dropped by Obama Justice Dept. Author: NA Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: USCCR Article: Default Judgement Author: NA Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: The Weekly Standard Article: Truth, Justice, or the Obama Way Author: JENNIFER RUBIN Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: Washington Examiner Article: Judicial Watch finds DOJ document that shows Obama politico involved in New Black Panther decision Author: MARK TAPSCOTT Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Article: HEARING ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S ACTIONS RELATED TO THE NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY LITIGATION AND Author: U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Accessed on: 09/21/2010
 Website: The Wall Street Journal Article: Holder's Black Panther Stonewall Author: John Fund Accessed on: 09/22/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: EXCLUSIVE: Career lawyers overruled on voting case Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/22/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: EXCLUSIVE: Inquiry opened into New Black Panther case Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/22/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: Justice Dept. subpoenaed in New Black Panthers case Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/22/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: Justice Department restrains lawyers in Panther probe Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/22/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/29/justice-transfers-panthers-pursuer-out-of-dc-offic/ Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: NAACP direct tie to Black Panthers Author: Quin Hillyar Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: National Review Online Article: Coates Speaks as Best he Can Author: Hans A. von Spakovsky Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: Justice rebuffs Panthers subpoena Author: Jerry Seper Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: Judicial Watch Article: Political Appointee Involved in Obama Justice Department Decision to Drop Black Panther Case Accordi Author: NA Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: The Washington Times Article: EDITORIAL: Black Panther case roars back to life Author: NA Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: The Washington Examiner Article: Judicial Watch finds DOJ document that shows Obama politico involved in New Black Panther decision Author: MARK TAPSCOTT Accessed on: 09/23/2010
 Website: PajamasMedia Article: Letter offering to Testify Author: Christopher Coates Accessed on: 09/24/2010
 Website: PajamasMedia Article: Opening Statement of Mr Coates Author: Christopher Coates Accessed on: 09/24/2010