NAACP Opposes Extremist Attempts To Further Limit, Debase Or Distract From The Vital Mission

NAACP Strongly Opposes Extremist Attempts To Further Limit, Debase Or Distract From The Vital Mission Of The U.S. Department Of Justice Or Attorney General Eric Holder

MOST RECENT MOVE TO ISSUE A CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS CITATION IS CLEARLY A POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ATTEMPT TO PREVENT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FROM PROTECTING AND ENFORCING U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS

Numerous media reports indicate that extremist elements within the U.S. House of Representatives are preparing to issue and vote on a misguided Contempt of Congress citation against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.  Proponents claim that the Attorney General has not been forthcoming with information about the “Fast and Furious” program, which ran from 2009 to 2011.

While it is certainly within Congress’ authority to review the flawed “Fast and Furious” program, both Attorney General Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) have cooperated with the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations and continue to supply documents and testify in person (as of June, 2012, the US DoJ had supplied more than 7,600 pages of documents and AG Holder had testified on this issue no less than 7 times in the past year and a half.)  Furthermore, Attorney General Holder has ordered the Department of Justice Inspector General (an independent office charged with reviewing allegations of abuse or misconduct within the DOJ) to also investigate the “Fast and Furious” program and has provided him with tens of thousands of pages of documents on the operation.

Sadly, the proposed Contempt of Congress citation appears to be nothing more than a poorly-disguised attempt at besmirching Attorney General Holder and the US DoJ and distracting them from their efforts to protect many of the gains we have made in civil and human rights.  Since being sworn in as US Attorney General on February 3, 2009, and despite severe budgetary constraints, Attorney General Holder has revitalized the Civil Rights Division of the US DoJ, and together with Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez, Mr. Holder has been an extremely effective advocate for voting rights, fair lending and fair housing, equal opportunities in education and employment, and in investigating and prosecuting law enforcement misconduct and human trafficking. 

Frankly, the extremist elements of the US House of Representatives appear intent on dismantling a number of NAACP priorities and gains we have made over the past 50 years which are dependent on Justice Department enforcement.  Most recently the House of Representatives passed legislation which, if enacted, would prohibit the US DoJ from going to court to protect our voting rights, stop state-sponsored racial profiling by law enforcement, defend gains made in comprehensive health care coverage law, or enforce an EEOC directive to help ex-offenders find employment.  Given the diametric opposition to these provisions in the Senate and from the President, it is unlikely that any of these provisions will ever become law.  Thus, these extreme elements now appear to be willing to use the Contempt of Congress citation to demean and divert the energies and focus of the US Attorney General and the Department of Justice.

THE NAACP STRONGLY OPPOSES THE CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS CITATION AGAINST ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER.

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