Enforcement of civil rights laws suffered noticeably under the Bush administration, says a Government Accountability Office report obtained by the New York Times.
When compared with the Clinton administration, its findings show a significant drop in the enforcement of several major antidiscrimination and voting rights laws. For example, lawsuits brought by the division to enforce laws prohibiting race or sex discrimination in employment fell from about 11 per year under President Bill Clinton to about 6 per year under President George W. Bush.ADVERTISEMENT
The study also found a sharp decline in enforcement of a section of the Voting Rights Act that prohibits electoral rules with discriminatory effects, from more than four cases a year under Mr. Clinton to fewer than two cases a year under Mr. Bush.
Civil rights lawyer Joseph Rich said the GAO report “provided hard data that the [Justice Department’s civil rights] division was politicized in the Bush years,” the Times reports.
But it appears that Republicans are prepared to fight back against accusations that they neglect enforcement of laws where civil rights are concerned. The Times reports that they plan to fight back at a House oversight hearing scheduled for Thursday.
They are focusing on a decision to downgrade voter-intimidation charges stemming from an incident in the 2008 election in which two members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a Philadelphia precinct in militia uniforms, one of them holding a night stick. The charges were brought in the final days of the Bush administration and were downgraded and partially dropped in May.ADVERTISEMENT
[I]n a joint statement on Wednesday, Representatives Lamar Smith of Texas and Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, both Republicans, accused the department of a “cover-up,” saying officials have refused to answer questions about it. … “If the Justice Department had any credible reason for dropping these charges, what do they have to hide by providing those answers to Congress?” [Rep. Lamar] Smith (R-TX) and [Rep. Frank] Wolf (R-VA) asked.
Democrats and civil rights groups said the Republicans were seeking to distract from the new evidence. During the Bush years, such criticism was based on anecdotes and incomplete data. But a report released in January by the department’s inspector general, citing internal e-mail and personnel files, confirmed that political appointees sought to hire conservatives and block liberals for career positions, contrary to civil service laws.
Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’
On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:
Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.
We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.
Facebook bans far-right website from pro-Trump advertising after they try to skirt transparency rules
On Thursday, NBC News reported that Facebook has banned the Epoch Times from placing political advertisements, after the right-wing website tried to conceal its multimillion-dollar dark money streams and get around the social network's political advertising transparency rules in its propaganda supporting President Donald Trump.
The Epoch Times had tried to skirt rules by running ads under puppet names like "Honest Paper" and "Pure American Journalism," confusing users about who was really behind the ads.
Former Overstock CEO tells Fox News the Feds wanted him to sleep with Russian spy Maria Butina
Longtime Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigned on Thursday after issuing a bizarre press release that caused the company's stock to tank.
Byrne then went on Fox News to claim that federal officials urged him to have a romantic relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina.
He claimed that the government told him they never asked citizens to engage in romantic relationships, but it was "such a national security risk" that the government asked Byrne, then in his fifties, to sleep with Butina, who was at the time in her twenties and half his age.