So Now Von Spakovsky Wants DOJ To Pursue "Traditional" Cases?

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

I really wish Hans Von Spakovsky would make up his mind.

In a report that aired today on NPR's Morning Edition, the Bush-DOJ-official-turned-right-wing-apparatchik complains that the Obama Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is no longer "filing the really traditional kinds of cases the division has always gone after":

CARRIE JOHNSON (CORRESPONDENT): Conservatives have made no secret of how they feel about the Obama administration's approach to civil rights. Republican analysts have been pointing out examples of what they call major overreach for over two years. Hans von Spakovsky worked at the Civil Rights Division in the Bush Justice Department.

VON SPAKOVSKY: Instead of filing the really traditional kinds of cases the division has always gone after, where there's real discrimination going on, they are trying to push and stretch the laws to reach areas that the laws were not intended to cover.

So "filing the really traditional kinds of cases" is a good thing. Right?

That's funny, because I recall right-wingers claiming that when an Obama DOJ appointee used similar language to describe the kind of cases she wanted filed, it was evidence of her sinister unwillingness to protect white people. You know who said that? Hans Von Spakovsky.

Back in July, GOP activist and former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that he "was told by Voting Section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants for the benefit of white victims." Adams was testifying on the New Black Panther Party case, a non-scandal that he and former Bush DOJ allies have tried to use to claim that the Obama administration does not carry out race-neutral justice.

But when asked what exactly he had been told, he clarified that the Obama administration official in question, deputy assistant attorney general Julie Fernandes, had actually said nothing of the sort:

The statement was that we were in the business of doing traditional civil rights work, and, of course, everybody knows what that means, and helping minorities -- helping -- litigating on their behalf.

In other words, Fernandes allegedly said she wanted "traditional kinds of cases" filed, and Adams read her mind and decided that she meant no cases should be "brought against black defendants for the benefit of white victims."

Von Spakovsky quickly jumped on Adams' statement, writing that the USCCR investigation was "no longer primarily about" the New Black Panther Party case, but instead was about Adams' "sworn testimony" that Fernandes "instructed Voting Section lawyers that no cases would be brought against any black or other minority defendants no matter how egregious their violations of the law."

So Von Spakovsky wants the DOJ's civil rights division to file "traditional" cases. But if anyone from the Obama administration says they want to file "traditional" cases, it proves they're a racist.

It's almost like this whole "controversy" is one big scam.

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