So, a number of things have happened in the past few hours that should really discredit the entire conservative conspiracy theory behind the New Black Panther Party case.
Earlier today, I reported that J. Christian Adams, in his testimony to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said that there was no indication of pressure from outside the Civil Rights Division to dismiss the civil complaint against the other two plaintiffs named in the original complaint -- meaning that even Adams admits there's no evidence Barack Obama or Eric Holder had anything to do with deciding to narrow the case.
Ben Smith reported this evening that Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative voting-rights expert and one of George W. Bush's appointees to the commission, says that the conservative bloc explicitly discussed a "wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president.” This was clear from the beginning, but it's the first time anyone on the commission has said with firsthand knowledge that the conservatives on the commission had deliberately decided to do this to damage to the administration.
Finally, Adams has been claiming that the Justice Department, by refusing to reject a Section 5 pre-clearance request from Ike Brown, the defendant in the last Section 11(b) case filed by the Voting Section, was proving his claim that the Voting Section has no interest in protecting white voters. Brown filed a submission to the Justice Department seeking to create a closed Democratic primary in Noxbuee County, Mississippi. In fact, as Jeremy Holden reports, the Justice Department didn't reject Brown's request because he is not the "proper submitting official under Section 5" and he is still prohibited under the terms of a 2007 injunction from making any changes to the election rules that make them not "equally open to participation by members of a class of citizens." The DoJ then filed a motion requesting that the court move to "prohibit Brown from moving
forward with plans to create a closed primary, to prohibit Brown from
future official filings
seeking to change the electoral process,
and to extend the 2007 order an additional 2 years," in part because of his prior efforts to "reduce white voter participation."
So in the past day, the following things have been happened: The idea that there was outside pressure from the administration to close the case has been shown to have no evidentiary basis, the commission has been exposed as deliberately attempting to damage the administration with this investigation, and Adams' claim that the Voting Section does not intervene on behalf of white voters has been proved conclusively false.
This story should now be over. It won't be, but it should.
UPDATE: On final thing. Julie Fernandes, the deputy assistant attorney general whom Adams claims has established a policy of never going after black defendants, outranks Chris Herren, the current Voting Section Chief. If this this policy actually existed, she could have overruled Herren in order to protect Brown. She didn't.
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