A Justice Department spokeswoman is hitting back at allegations made today at a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing on the New Black Panther Party Case that the department is politicizing the enforcement of voting rights laws.
"[T]his so-called investigation is thin on facts and evidence and thick on rhetoric," Tracy Schmaler, a DOJ spokeswoman told TPMMuckraker in an e-mail. She added it was important to place Coates' testimony in the context of the "politicization that occurred in the Civil Rights Division in the previous administration."
Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Civil Rights Division's Voting Section, charged that under Attorney General Eric Holder there is a "hostility in the Civil Rights Division (CRD) and Voting Section toward the equal enforcement of some of the federal voting laws."
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is controlled by Republican appointees. But one George W. Bush appointee, Commissioner Abigail Thernstrom, has said the investigation was driven by her colleagues' fantasies of using the issue to topple Holder and the Obama administration.........................