Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Case to watch: Ike Brown

J. Christian Adams is writing about this case at PJ Media. How will the DOJ deal with this one?

This story hails from rural east Mississippi: majority black Noxubee County is home to Ike Brown, one of the most lawless purveyors of racial discrimination the nation has seen in decades. (I have written in greater detail about the racially motivated lawlessness Brown used to victimize minority white voters in the county.) Brown canceled ballots cast by white voters. He stuffed the ballot box with illegal ballots supporting his preferred black candidates. He deployed teams of notaries to roam the countryside and mark absentee ballots instead of voters. He allowed forced assistance in the voting booth, to the detriment of white voters. He threatened 174 white voters by declaring that if they tried to participate in an election, he might challenge them and not let them vote. He publicized the 174 names.


Brown’s overall behavior was so outrageous that the court stripped him of all authority to run elections until 2012, and gave the power to a former justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court as a special administrator. The remedy was unprecedented, but upheld on appeal because of the brazen lawlessness of Ike Brown.

Fast forward to 2010, to the Eric Holder Justice Department.

Every change in voting in Mississippi must be submitted for approval to the DOJ voting section — where I worked for five years — under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 gives the DOJ power to object to any change motivated by a discriminatory racial intent or with a discriminatory racial effect in nine states and portions of seven. Changes to the law in 2006 made it clear that any discrimination would suffice to trigger an objection under the act.

Right now, the Holder Justice Department has a submission from Ike Brown to allow him to do precisely the same thing he tried in 2003 — prevent people from voting based on their party loyalties.

The Department must decide this week if white victims are worth protecting, by imposing an objection to the same behavior a federal court has already ruled was motivated by an illegal racial intent. If the races were reversed in this submission, there is zero doubt the DOJ would object to the proposal.

Following up:

On July 12, it silently sent a “no determination” letter, effectively a cop-out against using Section 5 to protect the white minority in Noxubee County. I am told by a news outlet that the supposedly transparent administration played hide the ball for almost 24 hours, not providing the letter to the public.

There’s more. On July 13, it filed a motion to extend for a few years a remedy in the civil court case the Bush administration brought in 2005 and won in 2007. The order seeks to extend the remedy until after the next presidential election. This means the Department will never have to roll up their sleeves and monitor what Ike Brown, their political friend, is doing in Noxubee.

Amazingly, the Department is also seeking an order from the federal court to prevent Ike Brown, the discriminator, from making any more inconvenient submissions to the Obama Justice Department which might reveal the hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Simply put, they are asking the court to prohibit Brown from sending any more submissions under Section 5. Not only would this go beyond the powers of the court to order, it is a naked play to avoid facing the issue of unequal enforcement for the remainder of the first, and maybe last, term of the Obama administration. If Brown can’t file submissions to the DOJ, the DOJ won’t have to take the side of the white victims. This is unnecessary and shamefully transparent.

We'll see what happens.

1 comment:

El Pollo Real said...

Sheesh. How come this isn't getting more etherplay?