Dept of Justice instructing disobedience of lawful subpoena

Shocking. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has full subpoena power and the idea that the Department of Justice would instruct an employee to disregard a subpoena is abhorrent to our constitutional republic. Audacity run-amuck. There are ways to deal with a subpoena that is invalid or illegitimate — through court processes — but this instruction is shocking.  But not necessarily surprising. Here’s the lead-in to the issue:

In a dramatic development that could shake the political leadership of the Justice Department, career lawyer Christopher Coates has sent a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights offering to testify Friday on matters related to the controversial New Black Panthers voter-intimidation case.

via Pajamas Media » Bombshell: Defying DOJ Instructions, Christopher Coates Will Testify Friday on New Black Panther Case.

In the full article the DOJ is said to have originally instructed Coates to disregard the subpoena.  Why do I say it’s not a surprising move by DOJ?  Because, as with so much that the current administration does, it’s a political decision — not a legal (or even very well thought-out) one.  Think about the abuse of power represented here:  DOJ is the top law enforcement agency in the U.S.  All of the U.S. attorneys who prosecute the really bad guys work for DOJ.  The DOJ has immense power to investigate and initiate criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits.  Like suing the sheriff in Arizona who is just trying to accomplish enforcement of the law that the feds won’t do.

Granted, the Commission has been heavily criticized for many years as a “do-nothing” entity and now that it is attempting to address an apparently egregious event, albeit one of blacks intimidating whites (whereas the criticism has been that it failed in the past to protect blacks’ right and ability to vote), DOJ dismissed its suit and now has — in an illegitimate manner — attempted to stifle an important voice. It matters not whom the Commission is now attempting to protect from whom, nor whether the Black Panther suit should resume:  the issue is the action of the DOJ regarding an apparently lawful subpoena.

Keeping our right to vote sacrosanct is one of the most important areas where the DOJ should place its effort.  In a representative republic the election by the people to represent us is all there is between the people and despotism.  If the election process is perverted, so is the resulting government. Recall the image of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation in Philadelphia which is prolifically portrayed across YouTube. From that video one can easily conclude that while the matter should be fully heard in court, it should be in court and not dismissed as the DOJ did. I would not dare to prejudge the facts, but it is easy, and fair, to determine that the matter should go forward in court.

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves (note 1) — if we are sheep and don’t protect, and insist on DOJ and other applicable authorities protecting, the purity of the voting process then surely the wolves will eat us.

Note 1:  generally attributed to famous journalist Edward R. Murrow. Also see Andrew P. Napolitano, “A Nation of Sheep” publ. by Thomas Nelson 2007 (Amazon)


About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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