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  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky What the Ferguson Report Really Exposed

    We’ve all seen them—the unsolicited, chain emails that occasionally dump tasteless or racist jokes in our inboxes.  I delete them immediately.  End of story. Yet, somehow, the media has obsessed over the (admittedly noxious) emails found in the files of a few individuals in the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. The emails were noted in a March 4 report issued by the…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by Paul Larkin Justice Department giving away the public’s money to third-party interests

    For the past decade, the U.S. Justice Department has engaged in the dubious practice of giving away the public’s money when it settles a case, by sometimes conditioning a settlement on a company’s agreement to donate money to a third party of the government’s (or the defendant’s) choosing. For example, the Justice Department settled cases last year with Bank of America…

  • Testimony posted February 26, 2015 by Paul Larkin Consumers Shortchanged? Oversight of the Justice Department’s Mortgage Lending Settlements

    Testimony Before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law February 12, 2015 Paul J. Larkin, PhD Senior Legal Research Fellow The Heritage Foundation Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Paul J. Larkin, Jr. I currently am a Senior Legal Research Fellow at The Heritage…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder's State of Historic Denial

    Departing attorney general Eric Holder’s claim this week in a press conference that there has “been no politicization” of the Justice Department under him makes it appear as if he is living in a Potemkin-like state of denial in the main Justice building. Holder went so far as to claim that he had been forced to clean up the department he took over from the Bush…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Questions Loretta Lynch Needs to Answer

    When attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a two-day confirmation hearing this Wednesday and Thursday, there are many questions she must answer in detail — not just about her conduct as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but also about her views of the law and specific, deeply troublesome actions (and…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky How Closely Do Loretta Lynch’s Views Line Up with Holder’s?

    In nominating Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama bypassed a very controversial possible replacement Washington was talking about: Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez. But the president’s hopes for a smoother confirmation may be premature. Perez has indeed been criticized by…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 25, 2014 by J. Christian Adams A Primer on “Motor Voter”: Corrupted Voter Rolls and the Justice Department’s Selective Failure to Enforce Federal Mandates

    The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), or “Motor Voter,” was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.[1] The architecture of the NVRA was strongly influenced by Professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.[2] President George H. W. Bush had vetoed a similar bill in 1992, saying that it exposed “the election process to an unacceptable risk of fraud and…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Injustice of Eric Holder

    Even we were shocked when we researched our new book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” at the extent to which Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has politicized the Justice Department and put the interests of left-wing ideology and his political party ahead of the fair and impartial administration of justice. However, there is no doubt that the American…

  • Commentary posted August 20, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Administration’s Latest Abuse: Impeding IGs and Hiding the Truth From the American People

    In an unprecedented letter, a majority of the federal government’s inspectors general (IGs) claim that the Obama administration is obstructing their investigations into government mismanagement and corruption. So much for President Obama’s claim that his would be the most transparent administration in history. And it truly IS unprecedented. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.),…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2014 by Alden Abbott How to Reform Operation Choke Point

    “Operation Choke Point” (OCP) is an interdepartmental initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and federal financial services regulators to discourage financial intermediaries from dealing with consumer fraud-plagued industries.  In an August 4 Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum, I discuss the misapplication of this potentially beneficial project and recommend…

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  • Testimony posted July 27, 2010 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. The Second Chance Act: More Evaluations of Effectiveness Needed

    Before the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate Delivered July 21, 2010 “The Second Chance Act: More Evaluations of Effectiveness Needed” Introduction My name is David Muhlhausen. I am Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. I thank Chairman Patrick J. Leahy,…

  • Testimony posted February 26, 2015 by Paul Larkin Consumers Shortchanged? Oversight of the Justice Department’s Mortgage Lending Settlements

    Testimony Before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law February 12, 2015 Paul J. Larkin, PhD Senior Legal Research Fellow The Heritage Foundation Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Paul J. Larkin, Jr. I currently am a Senior Legal Research Fellow at The Heritage…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 25, 2014 by J. Christian Adams A Primer on “Motor Voter”: Corrupted Voter Rolls and the Justice Department’s Selective Failure to Enforce Federal Mandates

    The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), or “Motor Voter,” was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.[1] The architecture of the NVRA was strongly influenced by Professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.[2] President George H. W. Bush had vetoed a similar bill in 1992, saying that it exposed “the election process to an unacceptable risk of fraud and…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Questions Loretta Lynch Needs to Answer

    When attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a two-day confirmation hearing this Wednesday and Thursday, there are many questions she must answer in detail — not just about her conduct as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but also about her views of the law and specific, deeply troublesome actions (and…

  • Commentary posted May 30, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Justice Department blind to Virginia voter fraud

    In a May 17 commencement speech at Morgan State University, Attorney General Eric Holder once again dismissed the problem of voter fraud as being inconsequential. Efforts to curb it, he claimed, are merely attempts to deprive minorities of their right to vote. It's not just that Holder personally persists in ignoring the many cases of such fraud that have been documented…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 18, 2011 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Bailout Bait and Switch: DOJ’s Last-Ditch Attempt to Rescue Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

    Abstract: In its Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (NAMUDNO) decision, the Supreme Court of the United States cast grave doubt on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act’s Section 5, which requires certain jurisdictions to submit all changes in voting-related practices for federal approval. With two new cases challenging Section 5 now…

  • WebMemo posted December 8, 2010 by Paul Rosenzweig, Charles "Cully" Stimson WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: Time to Update U.S. Espionage Laws

    Almost everyone seems to be asking the same question with respect to the WikiLeaks saga: What, if anything, can Julian Assange, and those who have worked closely with him, be prosecuted for? Most Americans have a visceral reaction that Assange did something wrong and must be held to account for disclosing classified documents involving sensitive national security…

  • Commentary posted May 26, 2011 by Hans A. von Spakovsky DOJ's Lies About Immigration Cases

    The Justice Department has been deceiving us for years. A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies details the fundamental dishonesty of DOJ's annual reports on immigration courts. Immigration cases are handled by an administrative immigration court system, not life-tenured judges in the judicial branch. As Justice Department employees, the…

  • Commentary posted August 16, 2011 by Hans A. von Spakovsky A Politicized Justice Department Strikes Again

    The Department of Justice is now prosecuting a 79-year-old grandfather. The reason: Richard Retta walks alongside women on the sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and offers women hope that they can carry their babies to term. “They go in and they’re kind of sullen in what they’re doing, and I’m sure there’s a lot of sorrow there,” Retta says in a…

  • Commentary posted August 20, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Administration’s Latest Abuse: Impeding IGs and Hiding the Truth From the American People

    In an unprecedented letter, a majority of the federal government’s inspectors general (IGs) claim that the Obama administration is obstructing their investigations into government mismanagement and corruption. So much for President Obama’s claim that his would be the most transparent administration in history. And it truly IS unprecedented. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.),…

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  • Legal Memorandum posted September 25, 2014 by J. Christian Adams A Primer on “Motor Voter”: Corrupted Voter Rolls and the Justice Department’s Selective Failure to Enforce Federal Mandates

    The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), or “Motor Voter,” was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.[1] The architecture of the NVRA was strongly influenced by Professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.[2] President George H. W. Bush had vetoed a similar bill in 1992, saying that it exposed “the election process to an unacceptable risk of fraud and…

  • Issue Brief posted September 20, 2012 by John Malcolm Showstopper: Department of Justice Report on Operation Fast and Furious

    The Inspector General (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has come out with a long-awaited report about Operation Fast and Furious. As described in a previous Legal Memorandum, this was an ill-conceived gun-smuggling investigation to identify the kingpins of a firearms trafficking network—and the Mexican cartel leaders behind that network—that resulted in the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 25, 2012 by John Malcolm Operation Fast and Furious: How a Botched Justice Department Operation Led to a Standoff over Executive Privilege

    Abstract: The damage from the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious is staggering: A federal border patrol agent and hundreds of Mexican citizens are dead, killed with guns that were allowed to “walk” into the hands of a powerful drug cartel. While the Department of Justice initially told Congress that its agents did not allow guns to walk into Mexico, the truth came out:…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 19, 2012 by Nathaniel Stewart Brief Observations: A Review of Obamacare Briefs and the Original Meaning of the Constitution

    Abstract: The heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” is an unprecedented mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. The briefs of the parties challenging Obamacare and their supporting amici argue persuasively that, if the Supreme Court hews to the original understanding of the Constitution, it will have no choice…

  • White Paper posted November 1, 2011 by Patrick Louis Knudsen, Emily Goff Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012

    The FY 2013 version of the Appropriations Tracker is available here. Download a PDF version with hyperlinks to House and Senate Appropriations Committee documents: Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 Designed to inform American policymakers and citizens, the Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 monitors the progress of appropriations bills as they move through the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 12, 2011 by Charles "Cully" Stimson, Maya Noronha Get SMART: Complying with Federal Sex Offender Registration Standards

    Abstract: Just before Christmas 2009, 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell was brutally raped and murdered by a convicted high-risk sex offender, Thomas J. Leggs. Although Leggs was classified as a high-risk offender in Delaware, because of inconsistencies in sex offender classification between states, Maryland identified Leggs as “compliant.” Congress passed the Sex Offender…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 18, 2011 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Bailout Bait and Switch: DOJ’s Last-Ditch Attempt to Rescue Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

    Abstract: In its Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (NAMUDNO) decision, the Supreme Court of the United States cast grave doubt on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act’s Section 5, which requires certain jurisdictions to submit all changes in voting-related practices for federal approval. With two new cases challenging Section 5 now…

  • WebMemo posted December 8, 2010 by Paul Rosenzweig, Charles "Cully" Stimson WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: Time to Update U.S. Espionage Laws

    Almost everyone seems to be asking the same question with respect to the WikiLeaks saga: What, if anything, can Julian Assange, and those who have worked closely with him, be prosecuted for? Most Americans have a visceral reaction that Assange did something wrong and must be held to account for disclosing classified documents involving sensitive national security…

  • WebMemo posted August 26, 2010 by Paul Rosenzweig Cyber Security: A Complex "Web" of Problems

    The Obama Administration made a strong start at rationalizing U.S. cyber security policies, including an initial 100-day review of existing protocol and the creation of a “cyber coordinator” position.[1] Unfortunately, the momentum with which the Administration started seems to have waned. As a result, though the U.S. is better organized now than it was three years ago,…

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