DoJ Civil Rights Division lawyers sanctioned

This division is not only in hot water over its dropping of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, but has also had two of its lawyers sanctioned by a very liberal judge for charging discrimination and then refusing in discovery proceedings to respond as the rules require them to do. National Revew's Hans A. von Spakovsky reports:

This week, a federal district court in Kansas imposed sanctions on the same Civil Rights Division (CRD) officials who spiked the Panthers case, Loretta King and Steve Rosenbaum, for their refusals to provide information in another case. Breaking the president's promise to have the most transparent administration in history, Rosenbaum and King's concealment of information will cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.


In this latest case, U.S. v. Sturdevant, the Housing Section of the CRD filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas claiming discrimination. The Housing Section is headed by Rosenbaum, and the CRD was headed by King during the relevant time in this case.

The U.S. Magistrate Judge, David Waxse, a former legal counsel for the ACLU in Kansas and western Missouri, is not exactly a conservative in ideology or temperament. Yet he has awarded sanctions against the individual Housing Section attorneys handling the case, because Rosenbaum and his cadre of lawyers would not answer interrogatories from the defendants requesting information.

What is clear from reading the order is that, as usual, the CRD made broad accusations of discriminatory conduct when it filed its complaint, but when it was asked to provide specific examples or actual evidence of such discrimination, it failed to do so.

 Spakovsky says he's never seen a case like this where the judge ordered sanctions against individual lawyers, not their employer. Neither have I.

At some point a grownup--and I suggest the Attorney General step up to this task--starts exercising supervision of this clearly runaway division.


Clarice Feldman

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