31 May 2012 Holder’s “Sacred” Speech Leaves Project 21 Members Puzzled
It’s an interesting word for Attorney General Eric Holder to have used — considering the venue.
Holder was a guest of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday as they met with black clergy to, in the words of CBC chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), “equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their status with the IRS.”
It’s illegal for churches to be involved in electoral politics. Then-Senator Lyndon Johnson (D-TX) got that passed into law back in 1954. But it seems the Obama Administration seeks to drill black ministers on just how close to the line they can go. And it’s apparently such a high priority that they dispatched the Attorney General and the commissioner of the IRS to make sure things were done right.
As the event’s keynote speaker, Holder talked about the “sacred” right to vote and that alleged threats to voting — namely laws that would require proper identification to be presented at polling places — meant that many of the prizes of the civil rights era now “hang in the balance.”
By the way, Holder gave a similar speech late last year at — wait for it — The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.
Liberal George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, on his blog, said Holder’s decision to show up at this event showed “a complete lack of judgment.” Turley added that it “leaves the impression of actively using his office to advance the political agenda of the White House… [and] undermin[es] the integrity of the Justice Department.”
Project 21 member Horace Cooper, a former assistant professor at the George Mason School of Law, agrees. Horace compares Holder’s statements this week to past tactics by liberals that were used to scare up support for their causes, saying:
This charge that the “sacred” right to vote is under attack is in the same vein as the alleged threat of the repeal the 15th Amendment back in 2008 or the claim that conservatives would build prisons for blacks instead of colleges back in 2004 or the conspiracy about the alleged campaign of burning down black churches.
This concern is echoed by Project 21 member Shelby Emmett, a graduate of the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. Shelby notes that conservative blacks have a tough time due to their political beliefs and must often go it alone in a tough environment. She asks:
Is it the “sacred” right to vote that Holder is concerned with, or is it support for one specific person or cause? Will Holder be proactive in defending my sacred right to have my vote count and not cancelled out by an illegal immigrant or a dead voter? As a conservative, will Holder defend my right to vote without fear of being called a “sell-out” or “Uncle Tom”? Or is this sacred right just for people who think a certain way?