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  • Commentary posted January 10, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Real and Perceived Bias in the IRS Investigation

    Taking a lawyer off a particular case because of a possible conflict of interest is not a “prohibited personnel practice” like firing, terminating, or changing the pay of someone for political reasons. Indeed, Justice Department regulations (28 CFR 45.2) clearly state that DOJ lawyers must avoid even “an appearance of a conflict of interest likely to affect the public…

  • Commentary posted October 3, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky 'Grotesque' DOJ Misconduct

    In a shocking case of “grotesque” misconduct by federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Louisiana has ordered a new trial for five New Orleans police officers convicted for a shooting on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005 — in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — and for a subsequent cover-up. This is another black eye for the Holder Justice Department that the…

  • Commentary posted September 3, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Voter ID Laws Keep Our Elections Secure

    The Justice Department has no basis for suing Texas under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) over its voter ID law. And it presents no evidence to support its claim under Section 3 that Texas should be placed under federal supervision for any additional changes in its voting laws for the foreseeable future. Requiring voters to prove that they are who they say…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Justice Department Should Not Intervene

    Whatever one may think about the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman — and a jury found him innocent — we should all agree that the chief law enforcement agency of the federal government should not be involved in stage-managing public protests. Yet according to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Community…

  • 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:…

  • Commentary posted June 14, 2012 by Hans A. von Spakovsky In Florida, Missing the Real Scandal

    Yesterday the Department of Justice filed suit in federal court against Florida. It alleges only that Florida has violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, by attempting to purge non-citizens from its voter rolls within the 90-day period before an election for federal office. This marks a significant shift in DOJ’s claims: It had earlier alleged…

  • Commentary posted June 8, 2012 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Documents Show DHS Is Violating Federal Law in Dispute with Florida

    My NRO article yesterday dealt with the Justice Department’s unjustified request that Florida stop removing non-citizens from the state’s voter rolls. There was a new development after the column was published: Florida secretary of state Ken Detzner sent a letter to DOJ Wednesday afternoon refusing DOJ’s directive. The enclosures included with the letter, e-mails between…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted February 23, 2012 by Honorable Mike Lee President Obama’s Unconstitutional “Recess” Appointments

    Abstract: President Barack Obama has stated that he made his “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Labor Relations Board pursuant to the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause, but this ignores the history, purpose, and original meaning of the constitutional provision upon which he has…

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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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted August 12, 2011 by The Honorable John Cornyn An Author’s Assessment of the Effectiveness of the MOVE Act

    Abstract: The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act guarantees overseas members of the military and their families the right to vote. However, the difficulties encountered in obtaining ballots in remote and dangerous areas of the world and returning them in time have led to shockingly high rates of disenfranchisement. The Military and Overseas Voter…

  • Commentary posted January 26, 2011 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Is the Fix In at Justice?

    Announce bad news on a Friday afternoon, the rule in official Washington goes. Attorney General Eric Holder seems to have a new corollary: Make bad appointments over holiday breaks. It works. Holder’s announcement on Christmas Eve that he was appointing Robin Ashton as the new head of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) went virtually unnoticed in 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 June 14, 2012 by Hans A. von Spakovsky In Florida, Missing the Real Scandal

    Yesterday the Department of Justice filed suit in federal court against Florida. It alleges only that Florida has violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, by attempting to purge non-citizens from its voter rolls within the 90-day period before an election for federal office. This marks a significant shift in DOJ’s claims: It had earlier alleged…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Justice Department Should Not Intervene

    Whatever one may think about the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman — and a jury found him innocent — we should all agree that the chief law enforcement agency of the federal government should not be involved in stage-managing public protests. Yet according to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Community…

  • Lecture posted February 23, 2012 by Honorable Mike Lee President Obama’s Unconstitutional “Recess” Appointments

    Abstract: President Barack Obama has stated that he made his “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Labor Relations Board pursuant to the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause, but this ignores the history, purpose, and original meaning of the constitutional provision upon which he has…

  • Commentary posted October 3, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky 'Grotesque' DOJ Misconduct

    In a shocking case of “grotesque” misconduct by federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Louisiana has ordered a new trial for five New Orleans police officers convicted for a shooting on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005 — in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — and for a subsequent cover-up. This is another black eye for the Holder Justice Department that the…

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  • 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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