This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on August 8, 2014 on PJ Media.
The left trumpeted a voter ID decision in Wisconsin as if it were the end of the issue. Let’s see what they do with this one. A federal court today smacked down the Holder Justice Department and refused to enjoin (block) North Carolina’s voter ID law, curtailment of costly early voting and end of fraud-infested same day registration. This means the state’s voter ID law will be in place for the midterm congressional (and Senate) elections in November.
The Justice Department had actually argued that even if black voters turned out at higher rates under voter ID (which they do), because blacks have to take the bus more and their life is generally harder, then voter ID and curtailing early voting violates the Voting Rights Act.
You can read the opinion here. It lays waste to the theories of those opposing North Carolina’s election integrity laws, including the Justice Department.
The Justice Department actually used your tax dollars to pay for an expert to introduce the turnout-doesn’t-matter-because-life-is-harder argument. Enterprising folks will submit a Freedom of Information request to find out how many tens of thousands of dollars that nonsense costs you.
Hans von Spakovsky, former DOJ voting official, says it is going to be a very bad weekend for lawyers at the Justice Department Voting Section. “Eric Holder has been beaten now twice in the Carolinas on voter ID. Today’s ruling shows just how wrong he is when it comes to election law.”
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch says, “It is an embarrassing defeat for the Holder Justice Department. The court’s decision eviscerates Eric Holder’s politicized and racially inflammatory legal assault on commonsense election integrity measures. The court expressly rejected the Department of Justice’s contention that minorities are harmed by commonsense measures that help secure honest elections. The court’s dramatic rejection of Holder’s legal theory shows that that the DOJ’s lawsuit, which was coordinated with political activists at the White House, was always more about cynical political and racial appeals than upholding the law.”
Big losers today also include Kirkland and Ellis, the firm representing Shirley Sherrod in the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. Kirkland was representing intervening plaintiffs pro bono in trying to shut down North Carolina voter ID.
Big winners today include the North Carolina Republicans who passed the law, Judicial Watch who helped defend it, and Christopher Coates, the former DOJ Voting Section chief who worked on the case for Judicial Watch and tore up some of the silliest arguments that the Justice Department had to offer. Coates said, “The North Carolina decision is similar to the South Carolina case the Department of Justice lost in 2012. Both cases were insubstantial and should not have been brought.”
UPDATE: Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote says, “It’s radical to fight against an election administrator’s need to verify voter registrations before handing out ballots. North Carolina and its voters have much to be grateful for with this ruling.”