Guy Benson
While many politicos were glued to Stephen Colbert's performance before the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee on C-SPAN 3 this morning, career Justice Department attorney Christopher Coates offered actual, relevant testimony to the US Commission on Civil Rights on C-SPAN.   Video of his explosive sworn testimony can be seen HERE, and text of his prepared remarks is available HERE

Before moving on, here's a reminder of what sparked this entire kerfuffle: Clear, documented, video evidence of voter intimidation in Philadelphia on election day in 2008 by members of the New Black Panthers:



(One of the NBPP paramilitary members in question has also advocated the murder of "cracker babies.")

Coates began his soliloquy by assuring commissioners that he did not decide to defy his supervisors by testifying based on a whim:

"I did not lightly decide to comply with your subpoena in contradiction to the DOJ's directives not to testify.  I had hoped that this controversy would not come to this point; however, I have determined that I will no longer fail to respond to your subpoena and thereby fail to provide this Commission accurate information pertinent to your investigation.  Quite simply, if incorrect representations are going to successfully thwart inquiry into the systemic problems regarding race-neutral enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by the Civil Rights Division (CRD)...that end is not going to be furthered or accomplished by my sitting silently by at the direction of my supervisors while incorrect information is provided...In giving this testimony I am claiming the protections of all applicable federal whistleblower statutes."

Over the course of the morning, Coates delivered sworn testimony that largely vindicated the public allegations of another DOJ whistleblower, J. Christian Adams.  He confirmed that the Obama/Holder Justice Department (quoting Hans von Spakovsky):

• Discriminated against white voters in dismissing the voter-intimidation case against two members of the New Black Panther Party and the party itself that arose from incidents at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day 2008.

• Had a general policy or practice in its Civil Rights Division of not enforcing voting laws when the subjects of complaints were racial minorities.

• Had a racially motivated policy of not enforcing Section 8 of the National Voting Rights Act, which requires states to remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls.


Coates eviscerated the litany of excuses previously offered by the Justice Department for why it dismissed the case against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) even after winning a default judgment against them.  One such argument was that one of the offenders, New Black Panther member Jerry Jackson, lived in the building above the polling place.  Coates unloaded:

"To understand the irrationality of these articulated reasons for gutting the case, one only has to state the facts in the racial reverse.  Assume that two members of the KKK, one of which lived in an apartment building that was being used as a polling place, showed up at the entrance in KKK uniform, and that one of the Klansmen was carrying a billy stick.  Further assume that the two Klansmen were yelling racial slurs at black voters who were a minority of people registered to vote at this polling place, and the Klansmen were blocking ingress to the polling place....

In those circumstances, does anyone seriously believe that the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Right would content that on the basis of the facts and law, the CRD did not have a case under the VRA against this hypothetical Klansman because he resided in the apartment building where the polling place was located?"

My answer: Hell no.  Coates' hypothetical scenario would represent an egregious case of race-based voter intimidation, and would merit swift action---just as the NBPP case did.

Coates also substantiated Adams' much-discussed (and dismissed, by the Left) claim that Obama's Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Julie Fernandez, told a meeting of staffers that the Department had no interest in enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which ensures that felons, illegals, and the deceased cannot vote:

"In November 2009, a...lunch was held by Ms. Fernandez on the subject of the NVRA.  The NVRA has three provisions that have led to enforcement activity by the Voting Section...[2 of the provisions] require states to ensure that voter registration list maintenance be conducted so that registration lists do not have the names of persons who are no longer eligible to vote in the jurisdiction...

Ms. Fernandez stated that lsit maintenance had to do with the administration of elections.  She went on to say that the Obama administration was not interested in that type of issue, but instead [was] interested in issues that pertained to voter access."

Again, I urge people to at least read Coates' statement if they can't spare the requisite three hours to watch the C-SPAN footage of this morning's full proceedings.  I believe it constitutes an undeniable smoking gun that the Obama/Holder Justice Department has become scandalously politicized and racialized.  The American public should be sickened by what's transpiring in the name of "justice."

As today's events make clear, Lady Justice has been stripped of her blindfold at the direction of the Obama administration, and forced to mete out a perverted form of so-called justice, based upon skin color and political ideology.  Attorney General Holder should fire Ms. Fernandez, and should be sacked himself.  The American people must then hold President Obama accountable for his administration's actions in 2012.  This is repugnant.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography