A hearing in the U.S. House Tuesday looked at a legal decision by the city of St. Paul to withdraw from a Supreme Court case and the role of Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez in that decision.
St. Paul was set to take part in a Supreme Court case that could have overturned a legal theory that the government has used for 40 years to fight racial discrimination.
The city pulled out of the appeal, preventing a big decision.
Republicans claim that Perez, the current head of the Department of Justice's civil rights division, was responsible for the city's change of heart. They contend that in exchange for St. Paul dropping its participation in the Supreme Court case, Perez withdrew the Justice Department's support for a whistleblower suit that could have cost St. Paul millions.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said, "Mr. Perez manipulated the rule of law and pushed the limits of justice to strike a deal with the city of St. Paul to block the Supreme Court from hearing an appeal that would have placed in jeopardy his division's use of an unjust legal theory."
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said the episode shows Perez does not deserve the appointment of Labor Secretary.
"I ask my colleagues on the other side of the Capitol building to think twice about Mr. Perez's nomination," McHenry said.
Democrats deny the claim. Jerry Nadler of New York, say the charges are not true.
"This is at best a policy disagreement, at worst simply partisan politics," Nadler said.
In any case the House doesn't have a say in whether Perez becomes Labor Secretary. A Senate committee will vote on Perez's nomination on Wednesday.