Jim Kouri
DOJ's Perez testifies before Senate panel on civil rights of Muslims
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By Jim Kouri
March 30, 2011

This morning Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testified before Chairman Dick Durbin (D-MI) and members of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

On the panel's agenda was the DOJ's efforts to protect the rights of Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South-Asian Americans.

"With each new wave of intolerance, our nation has responded — passing new civil rights laws, striking down old laws that sanctioned discrimination, and eventually recognizing the value of diverse communities and embracing those previously shunned," said Assistant Attorney General Perez.

However, it appears — based on his record at DOJ — that Perez is more interested in protecting Muslims, Asians and other minorities, than he is in helping to create a color-blind society and a fair society. In spite of evidence that revealed Perez advocated a DOJ policy that excluded protecting white American citizens, while protecting suspected terrorists, illegal aliens, and minority-members who commit crimes.

For example, Christopher Coates, former chief of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section, was subpoenaed by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to testify on the New Black Panther Party litigation in December 2009.

The case involved members of the New Black Panther Party wearing paramilitary uniforms who positioned themselves at the entrance to a Philadelphia polling place during the 2008 election, one of them brandishing a night stick. Despite the entry of a default in its favor, the Department subsequently dismissed charges against all but one of the defendants and reduced the injunctive relief the Department had originally sought.

However, the Assistant Attorney General reportedly prevented Coates, who was the DOJ's prime investigator in the case, from testifying and subsequently transferred him to the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Carolina.

According to Judicial Watch, a public-interest group that investigates political and government corruption, the DOJ records, described in documents obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, contradict sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the charges against the New Black Panther Party.

The "Vaughn index" describes documents responsive to the lawsuit currently being withheld in their entirety by the Justice Department. The index details a series of emails between Perez underlings Assistant Deputy Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum and Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch, who was described by Slate magazine as a "DC election lawyer who represents a lot of Democrats" prior to joining the Justice Department.

The records disclosed to Judicial Watch seemingly contradict testimony by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010. The Commission, an independent, bipartisan unit of the federal government charged with investigating and reporting on civil rights issues, initiated a probe of the Justice Department's decision to drop its lawsuit. During the hearing, Perez was asked directly regarding the involvement of political leaders in the decision to dismiss the Black Panther case.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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