This column by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams was published March 11, 2017 by PJ Media.
Here we go again. Another federal judge has scolded the unprofessional conduct of Justice Department lawyers inside the Civil Rights Division. The first time it was perjury. After that, it was unethical conduct in a trial against New Orleans police officers. Now it’s unprofessional behavior and bigotry toward the South in a federal court trial challenging Texas legislative districts.
United States Fifth Circuit Court Judge Jerry Smith has scalded a DOJ lawyer for misbehavior in the courtroom. While it wasn’t perjury this time, it was behavior Justice Department lawyers aren’t supposed to do. It’s behavior Attorney General Jeff Sessions will notice and should address. From the case:
And then there is the United States, appearing through attorneys from the Department of Justice. I have no criticism of their knowledge of the law, and their zeal is, to say the least, more than adequate. But they entered these proceedings with arrogance and condescension. One of the Department’s lawyers even exhibited her contempt for Texas and its representatives and her disdain for these proceedings by regularly rolling her eyes at State witnesses’ answers that she did not like, and she amused herself by chewing gum while court was in session.
It was obvious, from the start, that the DoJ attorneys viewed state officials and the legislative majority and their staffs as a bunch of backwoods hayseed bigots who bemoan the abolition of the poll tax and pine for the days of literacy tests and lynchings. And the DoJ lawyers saw themselves as an expeditionary landing party arriving here, just in time, to rescue the state from oppression, obviously presuming that plaintiffs’ counsel were not up to the task. The Department of Justice moreover views Texas redistricting litigation as the potential grand prize and lusts for the day when it can reimpose preclearance via Section 3(c).
This attitude is in keeping with what Hans von Spakovsky and I have reported here on the pages of PJ Media. An ideological hiring campaign took place during the Obama years where Every Single One of the lawyers hired into the Civil Rights Division were committed leftists. When the DOJ inspector general recommended that hiring criteria be changed to eliminate this perceived bias, then-Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez rejected the recommendation. I also discuss this attitude of Justice Department lawyers in my book Injustice.
I’m told that these reports are popular reading inside the Civil Rights Division. Thanks to everyone there for helping make Injustice a New York Times bestseller. Again, Judge Smith:
The Department of Justice has overplayed its hand and, in the process, has lost credibility. The wound is self-inflicted. The grand theory on which its intervention was mainly based — that invidious racial motives infect and predominate in the drawing of the 2011 district lines — has crashed and burned.
For those of you following along, this is a federal judge indicting the perspective, tactics and gum chewing of Justice Department lawyers. They are bigots toward the South. Sure of their righteousness. Zealous in their struggle against people with whom they disagree. We’ve been reporting about this bias now for eight years. Thankfully federal courts now see the same biases and corruption that have been reported here for years. As we saw in November, the American public also understands this bunch and their utopian, transformative agenda.
Voting Section staff even hung a sign inside the Justice Department offices saying “Mess With Texas,” mocking the famous slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas.”
Here’s my bet: Voting Section management hasn’t alerted political managers of this misconduct in court. If they have, Section managers will downplay the behavior or defend it. Or, Section managers will have done utterly nothing to reprimand the person involved. They will recommend absolutely nothing be done. That’s why the misconduct occurred — because a culture of misconduct and ideological zeal took hold — from hiring decisions to litigation. Whichever lawyer was responsible should be removed from all future litigation.