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Policy: Labor

Judicial Watch: Labor nominee Perez deserves ‘skeptical’ confirmation hearing

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger,Labor,Judicial Watch

Thomas Perez, President Obama’s pro-labor pick for Labor Secretary, is a “terrible, hyper-partisan choice” who would push a discriminatory, racialist agenda at the Labor Department, an independent government watchdog group said today.

“Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has exposed Mr. Perez’s repeated attempts to undermine those seeking to assure that the laws of the land are applied equally to those of all races,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.

“Mr. Perez’s attacks on election integrity measures such as voter ID were so far off base that he helped the DOJ earn a reputation as a partisan campaign arm for the Obama reelection campaign,”  the statement said.

Judicial Watch is a conservative independent non-profit legal activist group that exposes waste, fraud and corruption in the federal government.

Judicial Watch’s comments come the same day as Perez’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Perez’s conduct as assistant attorney general at the Justice Department deserves a “skeptical” hearing, the group said.

Judicial Watch highlighted several examples of what it believes are Perez’s questionable actions at the DOJ that the group said makes him a poor choice for Labor Secretary.

One is the “quid pro quo” deal he cut with the city of St. Paul, Minn. As The Washington Examiner’s Sean Higgins explained in March, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in a pair of lawsuits that could have potentially been quite costly to the city.

In exchange, the city agreed to drop a case bound for the Supreme Court that could have potentially limited the way the government could use the Fair Housing Act.

Perez is also a former president of the board of Central American Solidarity Association of Maryland, which Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., described as  ”a fringe advocacy group that has instructed illegal immigrants on how to escape detection, and also promoted illegal labor sites and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.”

Perez’s involvement with CASA de Maryland is indicative of the harmful policies he would bring to the Labor Department, Judicial Watch said.

“As Secretary of Labor, Mr. Perez would be in a position to push policies broadly discriminate against American workers who failed to meet his own, thoroughly racialist worldview,” the group said.

“Furthermore, based upon his relentless record both in and out of government, there can be little doubt that he would continue to put his personal preference for illegal immigrants above the rights of all workers of any race to equal employment opportunity.”

Judicial Watch also slammed Perez over his testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the DOJ decision to scale down a voter intimidation lawsuit against the Black Panthers charged with threatening and intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling station in 2008.

The DOJ Inspector General later contradicted Perez, saying its investigation found that political appointees had in fact set “clear outer limits” on what the decision would be.

Perez’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for today at 4 p.m. You can watch it here.

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