The former Civil Rights Division lawyer who quit the Justice Department after he was denied permission to speak about his work on a controversial voter intimidation case will testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights next month.
J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney on a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, resigned from the Justice Department on June 4.
Adams’ lawyer said earlier this month that his client planned to cooperate with the commission.
The conservative-controlled commission chose July 6 over the objection of the panel’s two Democratic commissioners, who said they will not be able to attend.
Spokeswoman Lenore Ostrowsky said that the commission is “not privy to any communications between the Department of Justice and Mr. Adams” and did not know if there were still any restrictions on what he was allowed to say in his testimony.
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately reply to request for comment on restrictions the DOJ might seek on Adams’ testimony.
“To me the question is whether this is the commissions show or the Adams show,” Commissioner Michael Yaki, one of the Democratic board members who opposed the July 6 hearing, said in an interview. “These folks are desperate to create news items.”
A little over a week after he left the Justice Department, Adams started his own website, ElectionLawCenter.com with the slogan “more red than the ivory tower.” He has used the forum to criticize the Voting Section’s work and highlight lawsuits against Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which he wrote “is on the outer frontier of the permissible exercise of federal power over the states.”
Adams has not discussed the New Black Panther Party case on the website.