The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights steps up on The Black Panther Voter Intimidation Case

According to the Weekly Standard:

…The USCCR is also taking a major role in the high-profile New Black Panther party (NBPP) voter intimidation case. On Election Day 2008, members of the NBPP were caught on video threatening voters at a Philadelphia polling station. Department of Justice lawyers investigated and were poised to enter a default against the NBPP and three individual members. In May, though, Obama administration officials dismissed the case without explanation. The decision enraged legal groups and Republican congressmen, forcing an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). But no congressional hearings are forthcoming, and doubts about OPR’s rigor and independence have been raised. Republican representative Frank Wolf says that he is “not so sure OPR is really digging”: “They are not really talking to a lot of people and about a lot of things.”

Into this breach has stepped the USCCR. It sent letters in June and August to Justice demanding to know the reasons for the dismissal and whether the department had changed its longstanding interpretation of the Voting Rights Act. The USCCR’s concern goes beyond potential ethical violations by Obama appointees meddling with career attorneys’ work, Reynolds explains. No one, he notes, would “seriously entertain the view that the Justice Department would have taken the same approach if we moved this out of Philadelphia, to the South with white men .  .  . in hoods, swinging billy clubs and saying ‘This is a white man’s world.’ ” The USCCR’s interest, he explains, is in the “precedent”: “I don’t want any organization or group to point to the New Black Panther party controversy and say, ‘We did the same exact things, and we want the same treatment.’ ”

It is a long article, read it all

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