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Welcome : Sharon Anderson Candidate St. Paul City Council Ward (2) can also be seen atYouTube - Sharon Anderson - Ward 2
Unfortunately, Judicial Watch has uncovered yet another egregious example of racial politics courtesy of the Obama administration, which used the heavy hand of government to protect a discredited racial legal theory. JW is now in court to get to the truth in the matter.
On September 24, 2013, we filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for all records of communications regarding two controversial "disparate impact" housing discrimination cases. The first (Magner v. Gallagher) was dismissed by the Supreme Court in February 2012, and the second (Township of Mt. Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens Association) is now scheduled for December 4 adjudication before the Court.
Here's what we're after:
- Any and all records regarding the case pending in the Supreme Court as of the date of this request of Township of Mt. Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., including, but not limited to, communications regarding the possibility of settlement between the parties. This request applies to records regarding this case during any state of its proceedings.
- Any and all records regarding the case dismissed from the Supreme Court on February 14, 2012, of Magner v. Gallagher, including but not limited to communications regarding the dismissal of the case.
Under "disparate impact" a defendant can be held liable for discrimination for a race-neutral policy that statistically disadvantages a specific minority group even if that negative "impact" was neither foreseen nor intended. In such cases, defendants can be forced to pay for harm caused not by their own actions, but by economic and statistical realities even if beyond their control.
So in other words, intent, motive, opportunity, cause...all timeless operative principles used by law enforcement and the courts to determine if a crime has been committed, are all tossed out the window with "disparate impact." Ridiculous, right? Yes, and that is exactly why the Obama administration tried to meddle in these cases.
The Magner v. Gallagher disparate impact case arose from a lawsuit by a St. Paul minority contractor claiming that the city's targeted enforcement of the city's housing code against rental units reduced the availability of low-income rentals, with a disparate impact upon African-Americans. The Eighth Circuit found in the contractor's favor, after which the city appealed to the Supreme Court. The Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) then intervened, apparently persuading St. Paul to take the extraordinary step of withdrawing its cert. petition from the Supreme Court docket.
On February 13, 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that various federal officials had asked the City of St. Paul to withdraw its petition for certiorari. The Obama administration's concern, explained the article, was that a legal theory known as "disparate impact" might either: 1) harden into law as used by the landlords who had won at the state level or 2) be eviscerated entirely.
Apparently, several federal agencies that rely on that legal theory to secure out-of-court settlements in the consumer lending and family housing arena were reluctant to risk a change in the legal landscape. The next day, the parties to Magner v. Gallagher withdrew their case by "mutual consent." This was an extraordinary development. Imagine you had a case that the U.S. Supreme Court was set to hear? Can you think of any circumstances that would cause you to withdraw it? If you're a local politician, such circumstances might be offers of federal funding and pressure from the nation's top law enforcement agency.
Judicial Watch separately obtained documents under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, showing that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between the then-chief of DOJ's Civil Rights Division, current Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city's withdrawal from the case. Following Perez's visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked the DOJ and officials at HUD for their involvement.
We are also investigating the Justice Department's actions in another challenge to the Obama administration "disparate impact" race theory. The Township of Mt. Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action disparate impact case involves a redevelopment plan for Mount Holly Gardens, a 30-acre New Jersey neighborhood of rundown housing and high crime. The plan would have transformed the Gardens into mid-range single-family dwellings. Current and former residents of the Gardens banded together as Citizens in Action to sue, claiming that the plan violated the FHA because a majority of them, predominantly African-Americans and Hispanics, would not be able to afford the new homes.
The district court dismissed the argument, ruling that the redevelopment plan affected Gardens residents equally, without regard to race, and was tied only to economic considerations. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed that ruling, holding that the left wing group suing the township had established a case of discrimination under the theory of disparate impact because a majority of the affected residents were non-white. On June 17, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to the township's request to take on the issue.
On September 3, 2013, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of the township of Mt. Holly. In its brief, Judicial Watch argued, "Section 804(a) of the FHA prohibits only disparate treatment, not disparate impact as the Third Circuit has ruled. An analysis of the legislative history only confirms the clear language of the text." So far, the Obama gang hasn't gotten to the citizens and government of Mt. Holly, so the case is still set for potential resolution by the Supreme Court.
So, in summary, we have evidence that the Obama administration, through current Labor Secretary Tom Perez, improperly intervened to try to prevent the Supreme Court from shooting down its radical racial legal theories. The Obama administration and its liberal activist allies are desperate to preserve the discredited theory of "disparate impact" to bludgeon its opponents as racists and violate equal protection under the law. Our new FOIA lawsuit is designed to expose the Obama-Holder cover-up and uncover the secrets of this scandal. Stay tuned.
Join Judicial Watch for a Special Panel: "The Second Amendment under Attack"
I want to close this week by telling you about a special panel Judicial Watch is hosting at its DC headquarters next Tuesday, October 15, 2013, entitled, "The Second Amendment Under Attack." It will focus on how the recent mass shootings by two mentally ill individuals in Sandy Hook and the Washington Navy Yard have emboldened the Obama administration and its allies to promote policies, through executive action and legislation, restricting certain Second Amendment rights of Americans.
Confirmed panelists include: Dr. John R. Lott Jr., President of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of "More Guns, Less Crime"; Attorney Stephen P. Halbrook, who represented a majority of members of Congress as amici curiae in DC v. Heller and author of "The Founders' Second Amendment"; and Emily J. Miller, Senior Editor of the Washington Times Opinion Pages and author of "Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours."
The panel will run from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. ET at JW headquarters, 425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20024. If you are not able to join us in person, you can watch live online beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET at http://www.judicialwatch.org/live.
Until next week...
House Continues Efforts to Fund Critical Government Operations
The House of Representatives continued working last week to pass legislation funding critical parts of the federal government, including the Honoring Families of Fallen Soldiers Act, which ensures that death benefits to families of fallen troops will continue to be disbursed during the partial government shutdown. I am pleased to report that the Senate also passed this bill and it was signed into law by the President. However, there are still many bills sitting on the Senate's doorstep. For more information on the bills passed by the House, you can follow along here.
People Places Named "Angel in Adoption"
Last week, I had the opportunity to honor People Places as the Sixth District of Virginia’s 2013 “Angel in Adoption.” The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Program is designed to celebrate individuals, couples, or organizations from across the nation that have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes.
People Places has made a tremendous impact in the lives of children and families throughout the region. The principle starts with their name – the goal of this organization is to provide healing for troubled children in "people places" or families, instead of facilities. They are truly putting the well-being of the children they serve first and working diligently to provide the necessary support and care. What started as a vision has transformed over the years into a reality that is today serving more than 100 children.
It is my honor to recognize People Places as this year’s "Angel in Adoption." I congratulate People Places on 40 years of service and thank them, and the families they work with, for their dedication to making better lives for children in our community. Read more about them here.