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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Obama Administration Turns to “Hand-Packed” Court

    When it comes to defending Obamacare subsidies, the Justice Department appears none too eager to take its case to the Supreme Court. Instead, the administration announced it would appeal Tuesday’s adverse ruling by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to… the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. President Obama, it seems, likes his chances with the full…

  • Commentary posted June 11, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obama's Enforcer

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department gave bad advice to President Obama and the Pentagon in the controversial Bergdahl prisoner trade that the president could ignore federal law requiring prior notification to Congress. This is just the latest example of how Holder helps the administration ignore the rule of law and crafts his “legal” opinions based on the…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted May 23, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Voting Discrimination Struck Down in Northern Mariana Islands — DOJ Nowhere to Be Seen

    President Barack Obama can brag all he wants about the voting-rights cases his administration has allegedly “taken on.” But here’s a case conspicuously absent from that bogus list. Judge Ramona Manglona of the federal district court for the Northern Mariana Islands just threw out a blatantly unconstitutional provision of the territorial government that strictly limited…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig Crackdown on China spies overdue

    The Justice Department announced Monday that it had indicted five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on charges of cybertheft. According to the indictment, the five hackers systematically stole business secrets from American corporations — household names like Westinghouse, Alcoa, and U.S. Steel. The alleged thefts were not aimed at boosting Chinese national…

  • Commentary posted May 19, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Con Job on Voting-Rights Cases

    Recently, we both have drawn attention to President Obama’s bogus claims about the number of voting-rights cases pursued by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department. A list of those cases, belatedly released to Politifact by the Justice Department, proves that the president’s claim was false. Both he and his Justice Department have been grossly exaggerating…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Benghazi and the Justice Department’s Lawyers

    The Obama administration may need to do something about the lawyers working for Eric Holder at the U.S. Justice Department because — if we are to believe White House spokesman Jay Carney about the infamous Benghazi e-mail — they may have made a major error. In an April 30 White House press briefing, Carney got into an argument with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl, who asked why…

  • 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…

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  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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 May 19, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Con Job on Voting-Rights Cases

    Recently, we both have drawn attention to President Obama’s bogus claims about the number of voting-rights cases pursued by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department. A list of those cases, belatedly released to Politifact by the Justice Department, proves that the president’s claim was false. Both he and his Justice Department have been grossly exaggerating…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Benghazi and the Justice Department’s Lawyers

    The Obama administration may need to do something about the lawyers working for Eric Holder at the U.S. Justice Department because — if we are to believe White House spokesman Jay Carney about the infamous Benghazi e-mail — they may have made a major error. In an April 30 White House press briefing, Carney got into an argument with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl, who asked why…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted June 30, 2008 by Charles "Cully" Stimson, Andrew M. Grossman Should Terrorist Detainees Have More Rights Than Americans?

    Last week the Supreme Court ruled that terrorist detainees held by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay can challenge their detention in federal court. Commentators called the ruling a major blow to the Bush administration and looked to the White House for its next move. But any effort by this White House to roll back the Boumediene decision surely would fail,…

  • 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 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…

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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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