Why is the Department of Justice Blocking Voter ID?
by Judy Kent Attorney General Was Wrong to Block Texas Voter ID Law. Legal Commentator Horace Cooper Says DOJ's Evidence Was "Flimsy" and Its Legal Theory Was Tossed Out by U.S. Supreme Court Four Years Ago
Washington, D.C. - In a just-released paper analyzing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to block implementation of Texas' new Voter ID law, National Center for Public Policy Research Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper concludes the actions of the Department of Justice are "wholly unjustified."
Cooper, a legal commentator, is the author of the just-released "Justice Department Plays Fast and Loose with Facts and Constitution in Challenging Texas Voter ID Law," published by the National Center.
Invoking a provision of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is claiming, with evidence Cooper calls "flimsy," that the Texas requirement that voters present a state issued identification card would "disproportionately harm Latinos."
"The actions of the Department of Justice are wholly unjustified. The foot-dragging, the shoddy statistical analysis and the decision to ignore U.S. Supreme Court precedent reveal either a beleaguered Justice Department incapable of maintaining a professional level of operation or a rogue agency willfully placing its weight on one side of the scale of justice," Cooper concludes in the paper.
Texas has appealed Holder's decision to a three-judge panel in Washington
"The Justice Department ignored recent, relevant Supreme Court precedent already holding that States may require virtually all voters to present photo ID in order to vote and that such a requirement does not infringe upon - 'deny or abridge' - the right to vote, particularly when the State provides photo identification cards free of charge," Cooper said.
"Yet again, Eric Holder and the Justice Department are pushing a political agenda that promotes lawlessness and racial division," said Cooper. "The Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of using voter identification cards to insure ballot integrity. Fabricating this claim that somehow one ethnic group is less likely to drive, use public resources or have a bank account than other groups is unconscionable."
"Fundamentally, if we are going to be a nation that is self-governed, we must insure that the votes that decide who our representatives are and what initiatives are passed are made by actual, bona fide voters. Many Americans witnessed the wholesale stealing of elections that took place in Russia recently and understand the importance of seeing to it that real voters decide elections," Cooper explained.
"Attacking Voter ID laws in the wake of the dozen or more prosecutions involving election related fraud in the last year alone is incomprehensible. This looks far more like an attempt at racial division than law enforcement," added Cooper.
"Attorney General Eric Holder is supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief partisan officer. Latinos, Blacks, and Whites all suffer when ghost voters and other election irregularities determine election outcomes. Instead of undermining voter confidence, the Justice Department should be working to encourage it," concluded Cooper.
Cooper's new paper, "Justice Department Plays Fast and Loose with Facts and Constitution in Challenging Texas Voter ID Law," is available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA633.html. In February, Cooper wrote another paper on Voter ID, "When the Dead Vote, the Living Suffer; Department of Justice is Wrong to Oppose Voter ID," available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA631.html.
Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a member of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) when Armey served as U.S. House Majority Leader.
The National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org) is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving about one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.