Some Republicans already are planning to block his nomination. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., plans to hold it hostage until the Department of Justice responds to his 2011 letter about what he said was spotty enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act in Louisiana.
Perez was greatly involved in the DOJs partisan full-court press to pressure Louisianas secretary of state to only enforce one side of the law the side that specifically benefits the politics of the president and his administration, at the expense of identity security of each and every Louisianan on the voter rolls, Vitter said in a statement.
If Perez makes it to the confirmation process, hell be asked about his opposition to voter ID laws in South Carolina which the courts upheld, but only with certain changes and in Texas, which the court blocked, saying the law would hurt minority voting and place a burden on the poor. Republicans, who have argued that the laws are needed to prevent fraud, saw the move as political.
Perez very likely will be asked about his earlier work as the president of the board of Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy group, which Sessions described as a fringe advocacy group.
Perezs division also sued popular pro-immigration enforcement sheriffs such as Joe Arpaio of Arizonas Maricopa County and Terry Johnson of North Carolinas Alamance County, accusing them of racially profiling Latinos.
The nomination process will be further complicated by a recent inspector general report that criticized Perezs division for deep ideological polarization and a lack of professionalism, including leaks and harassment.
The report also dealt with a controversy involving Perezs role when the Justice Department dropped charges against someone associated with the New Black Panther Party, who allegedly had intimidated voters in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008. The report said Perez didnt intentionally mislead the U.S. Civil Rights Commission during a May 2010 hearing on the issue but that hed provided incomplete testimony, failing to mention that two political appointees had participated in the decision to drop the charges.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney brushed aside questions Monday about how Perez had responded to investigators when asked about the Black Panther case.
I would say that the criticism in the inspector general report . . . largely predated Tom Perez and even this administration, Carney said.
Steven Thomma contributed to this report.