DOJ pressed to reveal Biden’s secret plans to boost voting rights at the polls – by Ben Kamisar
The Department of Justice has been pressed to release a list of officials who signed off on President Obama’s plan to curb voting rights, a task that should have been settled by Wednesday.
The plan, which was pushed by the Justice Department and included in a memorandum to attorney general Eric Holder by his Deputy Attorney General James Cole, is a major development in a series of court rulings that have put in jeopardy the voting rights of minorities who were turned away at the polls.
Cole’s memo urged the DOJ to release the list of officials responsible for the plan, but the DOJ has yet to do so.
The Justice Department and Holder should be released the names of those officials by Friday for the benefit of the Justice-Civil Rights Division, says Mark Goldstone, a voting rights attorney who has been working on the case. The DOJ should release them so the voting rights lawyers know who to call, he says.
Goldstone is president of the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan voting rights watchdog organization that is suing the DOJ for releasing the list of officials responsible for the decision to restrict minority voters’ access to the polls.
“The first thing we need to know is who the DOJ identified as the key decision-makers for implementing the Voting Rights Act in 2012,” says Goldstone. “If we can identify these key decision-makers then we can get the information out there.”
The DOJ and its Civil Rights division have been under pressure to release the list since a federal judge ruled Friday that the Justice Department violated the Voting Rights Act by not reviewing the plans to address racial bias in voting in South Carolina.
The decision came the same day Attorney General Holder was briefed by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division to discuss the DOJ’s plans to curb racial discrimination in voting and the Justice Department would now have to review the plans being pushed by Congress.
“The question now is, who are these key players in the administration