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May 14,2010
T. Christian Herren, Jr.
Voting Section
Department of Justice
1800 G Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Chris:
I am herewith resigning my position as a trial attomey in the Voting Section with June 4,
2010 as my last day.
I have enjoyed working with my colleagues here and, in particular, have valued your
guidance and insight. I appreciated your personal dedication to the rule of law, and I will
welcome the opportunity to work on matters with you again. As you Imow, I have
aggressively sought and litigated voting cases to protect the federal voting Tights of
African-Americans in Georgetown (SC) and Lake Park (FL), Spanish speakers in Florida
and Texas, whites in Noxubee (MS), and Asians without regard for what political or
ideological faction objected to the cause of action. White Republicans in Georgetown
County (SC) objected as vigorously to our Section 2 lawsuit there as did Ike Brown in
Noxubee County (MS). In all ofthese matters, we pursued equal justice and vindicated·
the federal right to vote to the fullest extent possible under law.
On the other hand, the events surrounding the dismissal of United States v. New Black
Panther Party, et al., after the trial team sought and obtained an entry of default, has
subj ected me, Mr. Christopher Coates, and potentially at some point, all members of the
team, to a subpoena from the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The subpoena
is based on an explicit federal statute and seeks answers about why the case was
dismissed. I have incurred significant personal expense in retaining a number of separate
attomeys and firms regarding this subpoena in order to protect my interests and advise
me about my personal legal obligation to comply with the subpoena. Over the last few
months, one of my attomeys has had multiple conU11Unications with Federal Programs
regarding the subpoena. My attomey suggested to them that the Department should file a
motion in district court to quash the subpoena and thereby resolve conclusively any
question about my obligation to comply. Months ago, my attomey advised the
Depaliment that a motion to quash would be welcome, and that I would assert no
objection to the motion. Further, my attomey has explicitly sought to ascertain whether
Executive Privilege has been invoked regarding the decisions of individuals not in the
Voting Section to order the dismissal of the case. If Executive Privilege has been
asserted, or will be, obviously I would not comply with the sllbpoena. These options
would provide some conclusive legal celtainty about the extent of my obligation to
comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to a federal statute. Instead, we have been
ordered not to comply with the subpoena, citing a federal regulation.
As you also know, the defendants in the New Black Panther lawsuit have become
increasingly belligerent in their rhetoric toward the attomeys who brought the case. (See
eg., April 23, 2010 statement of Malik Zulu Shabazz, case statement.pdf, describing the "phony
case" brought by "the modern day racist lynch mob seeking to hang what [we] think .are
[our] modern slaves.") Their grievances toward us generally echo the assertions that the
facts and law did not support the lawsuit against them, ab initio. Knowing intimately the
criminal character and violent tendencies of the members of New Black Panther Party, it
is my profound hope that these assertions are tempered.
I detail this chronology, in part, to illustrate that while there are many things I will miss
about the Voting Section, such as working with you and some excellent lawyers here,
some things I will certainly not miss. And someone with your dedication to reaching the
right answer, as compared with the easy or popular answer, will appreciate this
circumstance. I wish you the best of luck.
r!J. AMnw'""Q'/,(7/l/7/1/