September 30, 2013

Eric Holder Again Seeks Overturn Of Properly Enacted Constitutional Law

Because he and his boss think blacks are too dumb and lazy to obtain a government ID for free -- or something. (H/T Sister Toldjah)

WASHINGTON — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory blasted back Monday at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Justice Department challenging North Carolina’s tough new elections law.

The lawsuit, which was filed Monday afternoon, is the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight back against a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed Southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections.

North Carolina’s new law, which was adopted last month, scales back the period for early voting and imposes stringent voter identification requirements.

“I believe the federal government action is an overreach and without merit,” McCrory said at a news conference. “I think it’s obviously influenced by national politics since the Justice Department ignores similar laws in other (Democratic-leaning) blue states.”

“(This) action is about far more than unwarranted voter restrictions; it’s really about our democracy and who we are as a nation,” Holder said at a news conference, adding the the lawsuit was being filed “more in sorrow than in anger.

“The state legislature took extreme aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” Holder said. “This is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working, and it defies common sense.”

Republican legislative leaders criticized the lawsuit, calling Holder’s statements “baseless claims” designed to “quash the will of (North Carolina) voters.”

“The law was designed to improve consistency, clarity and uniformity at the polls and it brings North Carolina’s election system in line with a majority of other states. We are confident it protects the right of all voters, as required by the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions,” House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement.

Somebody ought to remind the Attorney General and his boss who claims to be a "Constitutional Lawyer" (despite having never argued a constitutional case in court nor published any scholarly writings on the Constitution) that the Supreme Court has already ruled on the issue of Voter ID -- as was noted on this blog back in April of 2008 I've reproduced it below.


A Correct Decision In Voter ID Case

During most elections in my precinct, I run a polling place that serves about 3000 registered voters. Depending upon the election, I've had a turnout as low 8% on election day (this year's GOP runoff) to as high as 40% (2004 presidential election). And let me be honest about it -- I do not know every single registered voter in my precinct, and neither do my election clerks. Presentation of some sort of identification is a necessity for us to be sure that the person voting is the person registered.

Now Texas law allows for the presentation of the voter registration card, which lacks a picture. As per that statute, I accept it, but I always have this niggling doubt in the back of my mind -- what if this has been stolen from someone's mailbox? I believe that a state-issued photo ID would be preferrable.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that nothing in the US Constitution forbids a state from requiring one for voting purposes.

States can require voters to produce photo identification, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, upholding a Republican-inspired law that Democrats say will keep some poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots.

Twenty-five states require some form of ID, and the court's 6-3 decision rejecting a challenge to Indiana's strict voter ID law could encourage others to adopt their own measures. Oklahoma legislators said the decision should help them get a version approved.

The ruling means the ID requirement will be in effect for next week's presidential primary in Indiana, where a significant number of new voters are expected to turn out for the Democratic contest between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The basis for the decision is a very straightforward one, and comes from one of the members of the more liberal bloc on the Supreme Court.

"The application of the statute to the vast majority of Indiana voters is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process," he wrote. His opinion was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is normally on the right, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who is often considered a swing vote.

The opinion left open the possibility that voters who had proof that they were adversely affected by such laws could petition the courts, but made it clear that it would be difficult for them to prevail.

In other words, the state has a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud -- but the controlling opinion in this case allows for additional consideration of the question depending upon some showing of actual harm or disparate impact. By any stretch of all but the most fevered imagination, that is a reasonable standard to impose when one looks at a law that is neutral on its face and designed to safeguard something so fundamental as the integrity of elections.

Which only serves to prove that there are three members of the High Court whose hyperactive imaginations make it impossible for them to be taken seriously on this (or most other) issues.

Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer dissented. Justice Souter, in an opinion joined by Justice Ginsburg, said the Indiana law, which calls for a government-issued photo identification, like a driver’s license or passport, “threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting rights of tens of thousands of the state’s citizens.”

The so-called "nontrivial burdens" being the acquisition of a free state-issued identification card and presenting it on election day -- or within 10 days afterwards if they do not have it on election day.

Am I insensitive to the concerns of those who brought this challenge? No, I am not -- and agree with the Washington Post that the impact of such laws should be monitored to make sure that there is in practice no undue burden placed upon the exercise of the right to vote.

On the other hand, I am not at all in sympathy with the impotent attempt of the New York Times to overrule the nation's top court in today's editorial, in which it uncritically accepts all the arguments of those who challenged the law. But even those speculative claims fall victim to one of the undeniable realities of this case -- one of the plaintiffs in the case was found to be a fraudulent voter, and this law is likely to stop even more.

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