Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Congress Grills Justice Department Voting Rights Chief

Congress set its sights on the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division in hearings yesterday. John Tanner, the head of the Civil Rights Division's Voting Rights Unit testified before the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Civil Rights.

Congressmen Keith Ellison, Artur Davis, and others grilled Tanner until he was well cooked. Members of the Committee specifically called attention to Tanner's recent controversial comments about Blacks dying early....

From TPM:

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) laid into voting section chief John Tanner during the hearing today over his comment earlier this month that "our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first." Tanner made the remarks as justification for his conviction that voter ID laws actually discriminate against whites. In Tanner's calculus, since minorities don't age "the way white people do," the effect of voter ID laws on the elderly means that whites are disproportionately affected. And since younger African-Americans frequently carry IDs because of racial profiling and the need to cash checks at "a check cashing business," voter ID laws actually favor African-Americans.

Watch a short video of Tanner's comments and his exchanges with members of the Sub-Committee on Civil Rights. Congressman Davis crushes the rationale for Tanner's comments.

Committee members also focused on the lack of overall enforcement of existing voting rights laws, and the lack of enforcement by the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division In General. A former employee of the Voting Rights Unit testified about how Tanner has contributed to the politicization of the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division. There have been numerous reports about the lack of enforcement from within the Civil Rights Division, due to political interference. Several experienced career attorneys have left the Civil Rights Division within the last several years (under the Bush Administration).

Under the Bush Administration, the Civil Rights Division reportedly moved away from aggressive enforcement of Civil Rights Laws to more of a political wing of the White House, engaging in actions having little to do with Civil Rights and Voting Rights. The Division has been involved in numerous efforts that appear to be motivated by politics...such as aggressive enforcement of certain voting rules, in certain key battleground States at election time.

Watch Full Video of Hearing

(video may only be available for approximately 15 days from date posted) ____________________________

Related Postings

See PBS Investigative Report on Voter Suppression efforts under the Bush Administration

Greg Palast Reports on Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias

The Justice Department and Voter Suppression

1 comment:

Constructive Feedback said...

Ho Hum.

It is clear to me that certain individuals in Congress want certain OUTCOMES to be produced and thus they will jury rig the system that is necessary to produce this outcome. From the various Justice Department Civil Rights Division officials that I have heard (several of them have quit and have done radio interviews)....IF YOU ARE NOT A LIBERAL there is no place for you in the Civil Rights Division.

One White Liberal on a local Black talk radio show who resigned said that THE PROOF that the Bush Justice Department is NOT doing its job is that the civil rights cases gone to trial are dramatically down.

I would LOVE to see the Black community's response to the White cop that makes the case that BLACK PEOPLE do more DRUGS because WE GET ARRESTED MORE OFTEN. This is essentially the same argument that this White Liberal was making. Neither claim speaks to the GUILT of the defendant but only to the possible willingness of the officials to prosecute.

Worst yet this same White liberal ran down the list that pisses me off so much when it comes to words against voter id. He said that it discriminates against "the poor, the elderly, the handicapped and the MINORITY".
I have yet to figure out how the MELANIN in my skin makes me less likely to obtain a government issued id. Sadly so many Blacks ACCEPT the ASSUMED INFERIORITY that White liberals like to bestow upon us because they want the BENEFITS from playing the "crippled victim" act.

If this man's words are exclusively OFFENSIVE to Blacks they many of you have not been listening to the words of the White folks who claim to be on your side are saying about you and your capabilities.