Black panthers intimidating voters in pa and oh

But the pundits have often blurred the distinction between the civil and criminal cases.O' Reilly and other Fox commentators have confused the issue by suggesting Holder and the Obama administration made the call not to pursue more serious charges against the New Black Panther Party members.Some may say the government was too lenient, that the case should not have been dropped against the three other defendants, or that the injunction against Shabazz should have extended nationwide -- not just in Philadelphia -- and for a much longer time (not just until 2012).

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But according to Perez, "that did not absolve the Department of its legal and ethical obligations to ensure that any relief sought was consistent with the law and supported by the evidence." And upon deeper review, the Justice Department decided to dismiss the cases against the New Black Panther Party, its leader Malik Shabazz, and Jackson (the guy without the nightstick at the polling place that day).Officials weighed a number of prosecution options -- both criminal and civil. 7, 2009, the Bush Administration Justice Department announced that it filed a civil lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party and three of its members.Specifically, they were alleged to have violated Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits intimidation, coercion or threats against "any person for voting or attempting to vote." The aims of the lawsuit were fairly limited: "The Department seeks an injunction preventing any future deployment of, or display of weapons by, New Black Panther Party members at the entrance to polling locations." In other words, the aim was to make sure they didn't do something similar again in the future.We think it's fair to hold Holder accountable for the decision to limit the civil case, but not the criminal one. Just about a year ago, a controversy was making it’s way through the conservative blogosphere that arose out of an incident at a Philadelphia, PA voting place on Election Day 2008 where two men representing something called the “New Black Panther Party”” were standing outside purporting to intimidate voters while a Fox News Channel camera recorded the whole thing. Commission on Civil Rights where Abigail Thernstrom, a Republican member of the Commission, called the case “small potatoes” while others on the right attempted to turn it into a huge scandal.

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