Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Foolish Consistency

In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, "there you go again." Eric Holder and his racist politicized Department of Justice have struck again. Under the direction of the same Deputy Assistant Attorney General who nixed the judgments in the Black Panther voter intimidation cases, DOJ has just stopped the reform of a miserably unsuccessful South Carolina school district.

Deputy AG Julie Fernandes used the consent decrees resulting from the Voting Rights Act (1965-1968) without any regard either for the Act or the words and intent of the attendant consent decrees. Her boss, Assistant Attorney General Tim Perez, and ultimately Eric Holder himself have distorted the law and the decrees for the sole purpose of advancing their belief that the Voting Rights Act is designed solely to protect black citizens. The "review" required by the Act based its decision not to allow the exception on everything except the express purpose of the Act and the intent of the decrees. The action was taken by the DOJ after it was swamped by demands from the NAACP and the ACLU. Briefs filed by the white citizens of Fairfield County and their black allies were entirely ignored.

In Fairfield County, South Carolina, a district which is 59% black, there is a school board already comprised of six blacks on a seven person board. The schools are among the worst performers in the nation. The citizens of the district decided that two more reform members should be added to the board to bring the district into the modern world, and convinced the South Carolina legislature to agree. The DOJ Civil Rights Division would not allow the change. Even though the white population is only 41%, and the likelihood was that at least one, if not both. of the reform seats would be filled by blacks, the DOJ would not yield.

The DOJ ruling analyzed the change solely on the basis of how the change would affect black residents (the majority). But Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) expressly states that a change in procedures must be approved under the consent decree unless the change negatively impacts the minority in the area. Well, the minority is white, and along with their frustrated black reform allies, claimed that the present board was totally ineffective and harmful to students' futures regardless of race or color. In other words, it was the minority which the VRA was designed to protect, and it was that very same minority which requested the change.

The 1992 United States Supreme Court case of Presley v. Etowah County Commission established clear rules for when the DOJ Civil Rights Division is allowed to strike down a change in local governance. They are required to approve the change so long as: The change does not alter the manner of voting, alter candidacy requirements, alter the composition of the electorate, or create or abolish an elective office. But the additional school board members would be appointed, and of the requirements, that was the only one that even came close to supporting the DOJ action. The addition of two appointed members of a school board therefore violates absolutely no portion of the consent decree.

That didn't stop DOJ from voiding the action anyway. So what did the DOJ base its ruling on? The specious and totally incorrect assumption that the change "reduces the proportion of positions for which minority voters can elect candidates of choice." What they really mean is it increases the number of board members the Democratic machine can't control. In Presley the Supreme Court specifically found that such a change only concerns the distribution of power among officials and has no direct relation to or impact on voting. Well, nobody in his right mind believes that the career lawyers in the AG's office who agree with the Supreme Court decision have any voice in the machinations of the DOJ.

Even if the DOJ were right that this comprised a genuine VRA/consent decree change, it would by its nature be acceptable because it protects the minority whites. But since DOJ believes that the VRA protects blacks only (and I use the term "protects" loosely), it made its racist and illogical decision entirely on the leftist divide-and-conquer fake lawyering by Holder and his gang of political shysters. Another opportunity to improve the education and test scores of black and white students alike bludgeoned by the post-racial Obama administration. The theory apparently is that any act that would benefit black majority students is suspect if it incidentally helps minority white students as well. Better that nobody benefit than that white students should participate in the benefit.

12 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

"What they really mean is it increases the number of board members the Democratic machine can't control."

You nailed it! Any time there is a shift that can potentially neutralize or remove power from Democrat's hands, the DOJ will do it's best to stop it. It wouldn't matter even if only the blacks benefited from the change. The idea is that they will lose power. That can't happen. The fact that whitey might gain gives them cover.

T_Rav said...

Smarmy college professors and media heads tell us why complaints of DOJ abuse here are racist in 3...2...1...

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Yep. The odds of the appointed members being black was extremely high. But they would have been moderates or even conservatives with at least some experience in eduction, finance and management. That does not sit well with the Democratic machine or its military wing, the Holder Department of Justice.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Stop the countdown. They can't remember what comes after ...1.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Unfortunately, too many people are content with the DOJ interfering with local control and think nothing is wrong with their blatant hypocrisy and racism. A pox on the house of Democrat. A pox on them I say.

AndrewPrice said...

Sadly, this isn't surprising, especially from guys like Holder and Obama.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: On every front, too many people for too long have been willing to tolerate federal interference in state matters. One of the agenda items for the next Republican administration should be to rein in the DOJ, terminate the consent decrees which no longer have any meaning whatsoever (the South has changed dramatically in 45 years), and revise the VRA to reflect 21st century reality rather than 1960s white domination. Holder's racism and abuse of the wording and intent of the VRA is not what we risked life and limb for in Selma and Oxford.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Can we just lump the two together and call them "the lawless lawyers?"

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I don't want to alarm you, but there is a development in Florida.I was over at Atlas Shrugs and found this.

I think this is horrible.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I'd have to take a lot closer look at the case before panicking. If both parties agreed that Sharia law that does not conflict with civil law was to be used for purposes of settlement or some such thing, the matter is not a violation of standard legal conditions. For instance, in a divorce, the parties can mutually agree that the children "shall be raised in the Catholic faith." The court cannot order such a thing on its own, but it can confirm the agreement of the parties.

That said, I knew this was going to happen some time, somewhere, and sooner rather than later. If the Sharia portions of the order in any way conflict with civil law, expect somebody with standing to attack it. Just don't expect Eric Holder and his protectors of the Constitution to be the ones to do it.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Here is the problem I have with it. It sets a precedent that it is OK for people to bring Sharia into the United States. In a benign form perhaps, but it still is Sharia.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I'm fully sympathetic with your distress. At the same time, I worry more about interfering with the First Amendment protection of religion than I am about how a few Muslims resolve their disputes withing the framework of American civil law. Now if we could just get the same protection for Christians and Jews.

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