RNLA Members Advocate Pre-Clearance in Court Rather Than DOJ

Published Tue, Aug 2 2011 1:04 PM

Today, RNLA members Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams questioned South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson for his decision to seek pre-clearance from the Department of Justice rather than a D.C. court. While speaking about the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, von Spakovsky, the 2009 RNLA Ed Meese award winner said:

Surely he [Wilson] must know that the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division is one of the most highly-politicized enclaves within the Justice Department. Wilson would have done far better to go directly to court for judicial review of the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. To the liberal ideologues inhabiting the Division, voter ID is the equivalent of Jim Crow, a completely ridiculous and historically preposterous claim. Their handling of Georgia’s voter ID law in 2005 (not to mention Arizona’s voter ID statute) makes it clear that they have no regard for the legal standards that apply under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. [Note: Every court decision on voter ID laws has found them to be not racially discriminatory.]

In speaking about the current regime of the Voting Rights Section, von Spakovsky added:

Those same people who wanted an objection to Georgia’s voter ID are now in charge and will call the shots on South Carolina’s voter ID. The fact that DOJ previously precleared Georgia’s voter ID law as well as Arizona’s ID law is precedent that they will probably do their best to ignore. The NAACP recently announced it is “betting the farm” that the Holder Justice Department will object to the South Carolina voter ID law. That’s a safe bet, considering that the new leadership of the Voting Section is comprised largely of former NAACP officials.

Adams added a cautionary tale from Florida, recalling:

The SC Attorney General could call Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning's office and listen to the account of the telephone calls from Voting Section lawyer (and former MALDEF lawyer) Elise Shore that pushed Florida toward yanking their submission.

Both von Spakovsky and Adams advocated that South Carolina follow the lead of states such as Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. Instead of seeking approval from the highly politicized Department of Justice, these states went to federal court to defend their plans. These courts require actual evidence of discrimination and do not make rulings based on imaginary evidence. But, most importantly, they are free from political influences that result in erroneous misinterpretations of the law. 

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# Anonymous said on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 3:58 AM

Good Information... Thanks for sharing.  

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