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House Probes Holder Interference in Civil Rights Case

A senior member of the House Oversight Committee has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding to know whether the Justice Department exercised undo influence in getting the city of St. Paul, Minnesota to back off a case before the Supreme Court that could have invalidated a test for discrimination in housing.

The case could have ruled unconstitutional the use of “disparate impact” analysis in determining whether discrimination by local housing authorities had occurred. As the term suggests, policies could be ruled discriminatory if they merely have a greater impact on one minority group, even if there was no intent to discriminate.

In the St. Paul case, authorities were trying to make property owners in low income areas correct housing code violations. A large share of these buildings housed African Americans.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a ruling by the Supreme Court in favor of St. Paul would have messed with the Justice Department’s aggressive use of disparate impact to pursue its civil rights agenda.

Most lawyers figured the court would rule disparate-impact analysis (which doesn’t take intent into account) illegal because the act doesn’t include explicit language allowing it. Such a finding would have seriously crimped Justice’s civil rights chief Tom Perez, who has championed the use of disparate impact to threaten banks with race-discrimination lawsuits. Justice has admitted Mr. Perez talked to St. Paul’s mayor and the plaintiffs regarding Magner.

So Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chairman of an Oversight Committee Subcommittee, has sent a letter to Holder asking exactly why he inserted himself into the matter. From the Journal:

Mr. McHenry’s letter asks some simple questions. Why did Justice interfere in a case it wasn’t a party to? Who talked to whom, when and why? Did Justice offer the city anything in return for withdrawing its appeal? The committee sent a similar letter on Feb. 27 to St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman, who largely declined to cooperate and could be subpoenaed if he continues to stonewall. Don’t be surprised if Justice takes the opposite tack and comes out swinging to defend a policy that’s key to its political narrative, with justice as an afterthought.

I’m sure Mr. McHenry will be receiving a detailed and expeditious reply.

15 Responses to House Probes Holder Interference in Civil Rights Case

  1. Holder . . . could be a huge problem for Obama if people will listen. However, something like this has to hit all media outlets. Do you think that will happen? For some reason, I kind of doubt it.

  2. Also in the works is the ‘desegregation’ plan! If you live in an area with less than 2% African-Americans or 7% Latinos, HUD is forcing you to build affordable housing for these minorities. It is happening here in CA and the result is rising crime and property devaluation.


  3. Following the link “the StPaul case”, the assumption is that the city tried to force landlords to improve their rentals and to correct faults that don’t meet city standards. Without any more information, it assumes the landlords don’t want to improve their properties for reasons unknown.

    Taking a guess; the landlords own properties that have little value beyond the rental income they provide and no re-sale value. Improving their properties wouldn’t make them any more saleable or increase their value.

    So, slum landlords don’t want to fix up their money pits, the city wants the properties to meet some city code and DOJ Holder gets involved because 65% of the tenants are Black and it appears to be a racial thing. ??
    I don’t think so.

    Who are the slum landlords? That’s the key to why MrHolder got involved.

  4. This is right on par for this Dept of Justice and AG Holder. I’ve never seen a more racially motivated DOJ in my life! And I’ve been around for a long time. Selective law enforcement and intimidation….the Chicago way.

  5. What are those spineless wimps in the GOP waiting for–Holder should have been gone a long time ago (should have never been confirmed in the first place)–why aren’t they taking action towards removing him?

    • List of spineless RINOs. There are progressives on both sides of the aisle.

      Alexander (R-TN)
      Bennett (R-UT)
      Bond (R-MO)
      Chambliss (R-Ga)
      Collins (R-ME)
      Corker (R-TN)
      Graham (R-SC)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Gregg (R-NH)
      Hatch (R-UT)
      Isakson (R-GA)
      Kyl (R-AZ)
      Lugar (R-IN)
      McCain (R-AZ)
      Murkowski (R-AK)
      Sessions (R-AL)
      Snowe (R-ME)
      Specter (R-PA)
      Voinovich (R-OH)

      • Lots of the Senators on your list are already gone or soon will be. I don’t believe Senator Hatch is a RINO. He is one of the conservatives who lost his way, but does seem to be fighting the good fight since he saw what happened to Bennett. The Senate has been run by the Democrats since 2007, so can cut the Republican senate a little slack.

        The House is another story. John Boehner has been a complete failure as the Speaker of the House, as has his crew. They haven’t lived up to any of the promises they made in 2010. Should have known that a guy who could cry at the drop of a hat would be a wimp when it comes to battling Democrats. He enjoys the D.C. cocktail circuit a little too much and doesn’t want his invitation to get misplaced…

        • Agreed, some of them are gone, particularly pleased to see Spector the Spineless on permanent vacation.

          No slack from me, though. Like all decisions in life, there are consequences. The “you do for me and I do for you” among both houses does not include “us” and in this usage of “us” it also means U.S. My issue is that there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for the elected. They screw up, they still get paid. It’s worse than being a meterologist, who can get it wrong and still predict the five-day forecast and keep their job. This body collects their paychecks and perks from the taxpayer. We keep cutting slack and we get just that … a slack.

          And a big resounding AGREED to John Boehner. Ohio say good-bye-o to him.

          • Unfortunately, Boehner is running un-opposed in OH (there was a gentleman who claimed to be a tea party(??) candidate running against him in the March primary, but Boehner is like a “god” in his district so it was never a contest) so he will be re-elected–now, if we can maintain a GOP majority in the House and vote in a new/different speaker–that would be great. Boehner must be replaced as Speaker–only, will the GOP have the b@!!$ to vote someone else into the position–doubt it (afraid that too many establishment types, like Boehner, will be re-elected in November).

  6. Eric “Snake in the Grass” Holder… Waiting patiently to strike at his next victim. An asp killed Cleopatra and now this asp is killing America.