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DOJ Inspector General to Investigate Obama Administration's Voting Rights Record

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In a letter to members of Congress today, Veteran Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine announced he will be investigating the Obama administration's enforcement of civil rights laws in the DOJ's Voting Section office.

In response to queries from Congressmen Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.), IG Fine's letter states that the jurisdiction for investigating the DOJ's handling of particular cases -- such as the New Black Panther voter intimidation litigation -- falls under the purview of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) which has been investigating the matter for the past year.  According to Fine, the OPR is entering the final stages of its investigation and is beginning to draft a report of the inquiry's findings.

In the meantime, he writes, the congressmen identified "broader issues" of concern that "go beyond" the Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party litigation.  These "broader issues" will be examined by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG):

Through this letter, I want to inform you that the OIG plans to initiate a review of the enforcement of civil rights laws by the Voting Section of the Department's Civil Rights Division.  This review will examine, among other issues, the types of cases brought by the Voting Section and any changes in these types of cases over time; any changes in Voting Section enforcement policies or procedures over time; whether the Voting Section has enforced the civil rights laws in a non-discriminatory manner; and whether any Voting Section employees have been harassed for participating in the investigation or prosecution of particular matters. ...

It's likely some of these concerns were raised when former DOJ employee-turned-whistleblower J. Christian Adams who testified that the Department was pushing racial preferences when it came to prosecuting voting rights cases.

To read the full text of Inspector General Fine's letter, click here.

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