August 13th, 2010
03:11 PM ET
10 years ago

U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearing erupts into shouting

Washington (CNN) - Members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shouted at each other Friday over the Justice Department's decision to drop most of the charges in a 2008 incident in which black militants confronted voters at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, polling place, leading to charges of voter intimidation.

Conservative commission members accused the Justice Department of "stonewalling" the commission's investigation into the dismissal, and called a Justice Department's response to requests for information "breathtaking and insulting." A liberal commission member, in turn, dismissed those complaints as the "last gasps of a conservative majority of this commission."

At the end of the fractious hour-long debate, no minds appeared to be changed. But one liberal member sided with the conservative majority in agreeing to recommend that Congress give the commission more power when investigating Justice Department matters in the future.