Filed With Virginia State Bar Against NAACP Official
Elaine Jones with "intentionally attempting to improperly influence
the outcome of a pending case" in which she was named counsel
DC The Center for Individual Freedom today was joined
by several national grassroots organizations in filing a grievance
with the Virginia State Bar calling for a full investigation and
for appropriate action to be taken against Elaine R. Jones, President
and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund,
written and signed by the Center for Individual Freedom, and joined
by the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, the Congress of Racial Equality
and Project 21, charges that Ms. Jones, a member of the Virginia
State Bar, intentionally acted to manipulate the outcome of the
highly publicized affirmative action case challenging the University
of Michigans undergraduate admissions process then being considered
by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
a case in which she was named counsel.
one in a series of memoranda initially released by the Wall Street
Journal and Washington Times, Ms. Jones contacted the
Office of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on April 17, 2002, urging
him and his staff to delay Senate action on 6th Circuit
nominee Julia Smith Gibbons and all other nominations
to the 6th Circuit because, "[t]he thinking is that the current
6th Circuit will sustain the affirmative action program, but if
a new judge
is confirmed before the case is decided, that
new judge will be able
to review the case and vote on it."
shows, overwhelmingly, that Ms. Jones transgressed the most basic
ethical and professional standards by which all members of the Bar
must abide," said Center for Individual Freedom Executive Director
Jeffrey Mazzella. "Her effort to ensure the judicial deck was
stacked in her favor demonstrates a complete lack of integrity,
is an insult to the legal profession and a disgrace to our democratic
way of life. The Virginia Bar should impose the strictest of punishments,
not the least of which should be disbarment."
The fact that
Ms. Jones was intentionally attempting to improperly influence the
outcome of a pending case and engaging in partisan political manipulation
was not lost on the Senate staffer who spoke with Ms. Jones and
authored the memo last April. The staffer noted in the memorandum
that he/she was "concerned about the propriety of scheduling
hearings based on the resolution of a particular case." Yet,
the staffer goes on to recommend that Ms. Gibbons be scheduled for
a later Judiciary Committee hearing then was originally scheduled.
about this for just a moment," said Niger Innis, spokesperson
for the Congress of Racial Equality. "A civil rights case that
affects millions of people for generations to come and it wasnt
enough for Elaine Jones to have the merits of her arguments heard
in court. Ms. Jones was determined to stack the deck. The ends justified
any means and that is shameful."
goes far beyond judge shopping and the bar needs to take action
here even if the Senate doesnt," said Kay Daly, president
of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. "The Democrats are hoping
they can deflect attention away from the content of these memos
because of the damning information contained within. But it is in
the public interest for taxpaying citizens to see just how much
influence is exerted by these groups on Senators."
The memo outlining
Ms. Jones actions, along with the other 21 pages of memoranda,
solidifies what many have said for some time, that when it comes
to President Bushs judicial nominees, Washingtons left-wing
special interests are pulling the puppet strings of the Democrat
Obstruction machine in the Senate.
is the order of the day in the Senate," said Project 21 member
Gregory Parker of New Braunfels, Texas. "Now we know that this
judicial obstructionism is part of a carefully orchestrated plan
by a few Senators and left-wing special interest groups."
Just as disheartening
is the further hypocrisy the memos expose with regard to D.C. Circuit
nominee Miguel Estrada and 5th Circuit nominee Priscilla
"In 2000, Senator
Barbara Boxer called the treatment of women nominated to the bench
a 'nightmare,'" said Mychal Massie of Project 21. "Yet
today she is the very face of complicity of the rabid and unethical
vox populi on the extreme against what most Americans hold dear
that being fairness and equality."
In order to
safeguard the integrity of both the impartial judiciary and its
process, all signatories on the complaint urge the Virginia State
Bar to impose swift and strong disciplinary action against Ms. Jones.
While the Virginia State Bar requests confidentiality in the filing
of ethics complaints, the actions of Ms. Jones constitute a serious
public issue. "Secrecy has been the hallmark of many of the
activities of the obstructionists in the Senate, and it is time
for that to end," Mazzella concluded.
Copies of the
grievance letter are attached, or can be obtained at www.cfif.org,
and the original memos can be downloaded in PDF format at www.fairjudiciary.com.
For additional information, please contact Jeff Mazzella at 703-535-5836,
Kay Daly at 703-822-9831, Niger Innis at 212-598-4000 or Mychal
Massie at 202-371-1400.