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Tag: Justice Department

Fresh DOJ loss in ‘Fast and Furious’ Docs Fight

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder/doj photo

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to keep the courts from wading into the “Fast and Furious” documents dispute that led to him being held in contempt by the House last year.

In a ruling Monday night, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege to prevent some records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal from being turned over to Congress.

To read more click here.

 

Cities with Patterns of Civil Rights Abuses Still Receive Surplus Military Equipment

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Cities nationwide that are under investigation for alleged civil rights violations are still eligible to receive surplus military equipment, the Justice Department reports, according to the Associated Press.

The discovery raises questions about the controversial Pentagon program following the militarized law enforcement response in Ferguson, Mo.

The Pentagon responded that it would work closer with the Justice Department to prevent the weaponry from falling into the hands of problematic police agencies.

“We need to do a better job there,” Alan Estevez, a Defense Department official who oversees the program, said.

The Los Angeles Police Department, which has been under the oversight of the Justice Department because of substantiated cases of excessive force and fake arrests, continues to get militarized supplies.

The same goes for other troubled police departments across the country, the AP reports.

DOJ Supports Special Needs Student Who Was Used As ‘Rape Bait’

Sparkman Middle School, Google Maps

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is supporting the family of a girl who was raped after a teacher told her to act as bait to catch a suspected sexual predator at Sparkman Middle School in Toney, Ala.

The Daily Mail reports that the school had failed to discipline the suspected predator because he had not been caught in the act. So a teacher told a 14-year-old special needs student to meet the boy in a bathroom where he had allegedly had sexual encounters with other girls.

The ill-conceived plan took a horrifying turn when the suspect met her in a different bathroom, so no one came to help.

To support the family’s lawsuit against the Madison County School Board, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief.

The filing alleges that the incident violated Title IX.

“School administrators knew the student’s extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct and were alerted to the substantial risk he posed,” the brief read.

 

Court of Appeals Grills Justice Department Over Handling of Barry Bonds’ Steroids Case

Barry Bonds/facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s attempt to maintain a criminal conviction against retired baseball slugger Barry Bonds is a swing and miss, several U.S. appeals court judges ruled.

Reuters reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had serious doubts that Bonds’ testimony about steroids amounted to a crime.

“I find your reading of the statute absolutely alarming,” Judge William Fletcher told the government.

Bonds testified in 2003 under a grant of immunity that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

The judges expressed serious doubts that Bonds committed a crime.

In April 2011, the slugger was convicted of one obstruction charge, while the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on three perjury charges.

No Evidence Found to Prove NJ Gov. Christie Knew in Advance of Lane Closures on George Washington Bridge

Gov. Chris Christie/state photo

Chris Christie

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has found no evidence that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew in advance of traffic lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the New York Daily News reports.

The investigation is nine-months old, and no evidence has surfaced to suggest Christie was involved in what has brome known as the Bridgegate scandal.

The lane shutdowns caused serious problems for commuters.

It was later discovered that Christie’s staffer and a Port Authority officials were elated, raising questions about whether the shutdown was political payback for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee not endorsing Christie.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Justice Department to Investigate Extent of Law Enforcement Bias in 5 Cities

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The rash of shootings of unarmed black teens has prompted Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation of law enforcement bias in five not-yet-named cities, the USA Today reports.

Holder said the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO., underscored the importance of an investigation.

To head the study is a team of criminal justice researchers who will make recommendations, Holder said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton welcomed the investigation.

“We must study the culture of policing … and the reason that the community responds the way it does,” Sharpton said in a telephone interview. He added that the Brown and Garner cases and others have “led to an even further erosion” of relations between police and communities already shaken by growing gun violence.

 

Justice Department Launches Plan to Identify Radicals with U.S. Passports As ISIS Threat Grows

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department opened a new front on the war against radicals.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced plans to identify radicals with U.S. passports.

The idea is to identify Americans before they travel abroad.

“We have established processes for detecting American extremists who attempt to join terror groups abroad,” Holder said.

Holder has said that dozens of Americans are joining terrorists in Syria.

“In the face of a threat so grave, we cannot afford to be passive,” he said in Oslo two months ago.

Senior DOJ Lawyer Named to No. 3 Post, Highest-Ever for Openly Gay Official

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Justice Department lawyer who has been a key proponent of President Obama’s initiatives has been named to the department’s No. 3 post, becoming the highest-ranking openly gay official to ever serve the department, the New York Times reports.

Stuart F. Delery is replacing Tony West, who announced his departure last week, and will handle civil rights and environmental cases, among other issues. Delery may be best known for his role in overturning the federal ban on same-sex marriage. “Stuart has helped to strengthen our nation’s security, to protect public health and safety, and to achieve justice in cases of financial fraud and recover billions of dollars for taxpayers,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.

“I can think of no more dedicated, more capable, or more passionate public servant to continue the duties, and uphold the high standards, that defined Tony West’s time in office.”