Jindal Compares Holder to George Wallace; See DOJ's Clever Response

By Chris Hoenig

Jindal, Holder

After comparing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to former Alabama Governorand segregationistGeorge Wallace, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is getting a history lesson, courtesy of Holder’s staff.

Department of Justice employees mailed a copy of civil-rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis’ book Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement to Jindal on Friday, one day after the Republican governor said Holder was “standing in the schoolhouse door” of charter schools. A yellow sticky note with “worth a read” written on it is attached to page 199, where Lewis shares the story of Vivian Malone, one of the Black students who integrated the University of Alabama and Holder’s late sister-in-law.

Wallacewho proclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever” in his inaugural addressfamously stood in the doorway of the school in 1963 to prevent federal officials from allowing Malone and other Black students to enter.

Jindal is accusing Holder and the Obama administration of blocking Black and low-income students from having access to charter schools. “We’ve got Eric Holder and the Department of Justice trying to stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent minority kids, low-income kids, kids who haven’t had access to a great education, the chance to go to better schools,” Jindal said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

The DOJ filed a lawsuit seeking to keep Louisiana from offering school voucherswhich use public dollars to pay for private schoolsuntil the state comes up with a schedule and plans for seeking federal pre-clearance in 34 school districts in Louisiana that remain under desegregation orders.

A resolution appears to be within reach, but it hasn’t slowed the bitterness or politicization of the DOJ’s lawsuit. “While attempting to rebrand its legal challenge as merely an attempt to seek information about implementation of the scholarship program, the administration’s real motive still standsforcing parents to go to federal court to seek approval for where they want to send their children to school,” Jindal said in a statement calling on the Obama administration to withdraw the lawsuit in its entirety.

Holder says the government, on the other hand, is not looking to hold up the program. “The United States is neither opposing the Defendant State of Louisiana’s … school voucher program nor seeking to take vouchers away from any student who received them,” the department wrote in a statement. “Rather, the United States is simply seeking this Court’s assistance in ensuring that the information Louisiana collects” complies with the desegregation orders in those 34 districts.

Watch Jindal’s entire CPAC speech below.

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