Obama Justice Department Winks at Racist Voter Intimidation

Black Panthers in Philadelphia used nightsticks and racial epithets to drive white voters away from a polling place. “Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as ‘the most blatant form of voter intimidation’ that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.” But Obama’s political appointees at the Justice Department overruled them, dropping the case after victory was already assured because “the court had already entered a default judgment against the” Black Panthers. Because of that bizarre decision, the only result of the case was a toothless injunction telling one of the three defendants not to commit such crimes again.

In the 2008 campaign, Obama complained about the “politicization” of the Justice Department. But he is guilty of it far more than Bush ever was. Obama’s Justice Department has rubberstamped unconstitutional legislation sought by Democratic lawmakers that even liberal Justice Department attorneys admit is unconstitutional. It has downplayed even egregious voter fraud and denials of the right to vote committed by black officials, chronicled in a ruling by a federal appeals court. And it has deliberately done little or nothing to remedy clear-cut violations of the voting rights of American soldiers overseas.