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Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chair of the House Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,
Jerrold Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents New York's 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
On DOJ Civil Rights Division
"Today, the Subcommittee continues its oversight of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. With the authority to enforce this nation's civil rights laws, the Division is the guardian of our fundamental values: freedom of religion, the right to be treated fairly, the right to cast a vote in a free and fair election, the right to a job, the right to a home, the right to an education, and, with the enactment of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the right to live your life free from the threat of violent hate crimes.
"As our Subcommittee has documented, the Division has been deeply troubled over the past eight years. Career civil rights attorneys were routinely overruled by political appointees, hiring was illegally politicized, enforcement was, in some key areas, grossly neglected, and morale was as bad as at any time since the Division's establishment. The loss of dedicated career staff was alarming.
"We now have a new Assistant Attorney General, Tom Perez. He is a career civil rights lawyer, and he has a tremendous job ahead of him. In addition to the historically challenging work of the Civil Rights Division, he must rebuild a decimated and demoralized office, and he must do so with such monumental tasks as the decennial redistricting on the horizon. We would have liked to have had him here sooner, but some of our colleagues in the Other Body, apparently didn't have the same sense of urgency in getting him on the job.
"I hope to hear from Mr. Perez how he plans to meet these challenges.
"We will also hear from the Government Accountability Office, which has produced two extensive reports on the Civil Rights Division at the request of Chairman Conyers, Mr. Watt, and myself. I think the analysis and recommendations will help move the Division forward as it meets the challenges of the next few years.
"I want to welcome all our witnesses, and I look forward to their testimony."
Interview notes: These are just incomplete sketches caught on the fly. Listen to the podcast for accurate quotes.
DOJ: Good news in civil rights division
Failure to investigate or prosecute torture.
Where there is credible evidence that torture occurred there must be investigation.
need independent prosecutors
in most agencies, reviewing OPR report would have been a job of
says look forward, not backward, but if you look forward, only, you
would never prosecute any crime.
Worse thing is state secrets. WE have rights. If the govt.
violates your rights, -- torture you, steal your gun,
There's no right without a remedy.
What is the remedy if the govt violates your rights. Only one--
sue the govt. Injunction and/or damages.
Govt. moves to dismiss the complaint on grounds that hearing
the lawsuite will be issue of state security. If court dismisses
lawsuit... you can never get into court. That's what state secrets
doctrine is being used for.
as protection for documents. Bush took to include
Legislation: can't block a case based on state secrets act.
Must be a suppression hearing. Govt. must convince judge that
in fact a vitally important secret would be revealed.
Have used state secrets act to prevent anyone from getting into court regarding torture, wiretapping...
Iqbal decision; for 50 years, prior to supreme court decision,
you sued general motors , ....25:
as long as you stated the charge, they would not grant the motion to
Now, judge can dismiss because you haven't made a plausible case.
Another example. makes it very difficult, almost impossible for
Companies that are foreign controlled cannot run ads...
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