Why do Democrats fight voter ID?

October 20, 2014
"I get to vote twice? Gee, thanks, pal!"

“No ID needed? Gee, thanks, pal!”

Writing at PJ Media, former DoJ election law attorney J. Christian Adams argues that it isn’t so much because they want to cheat (1), but that there are other, more subtle reasons. He describes three. Read the article for the first and the last, but I want to highlight the second:

2. Voter ID Opponents Have the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations.

Leftist opponents of voter ID truly think minorities are less able to function in American life. I learned this when a Department of Justice Voting Section lawyer opposed to voter ID told me he thought blacks were more likely to forget their photo identification than whites were. Their lives “were more disorganized,” he said. This is a lawyer currently still working in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. This is a perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

And it isn’t just one crank lawyer at DOJ. The plaintiffs challenging voter ID and election integrity laws actually hired an expert to testify in federal court in voter ID cases that blacks were less capable of functioning efficiently in a daily routine and photo ID laws have a disparate impact on them. The expert called this idea the “calculus of voting.” For example, they have to take the bus more. Taking the bus, naturally, makes it harder to get photo ID.

The plaintiffs argue that voting “is largely a product of habit,” and blacks, well, their habits just don’t brook any interruptions to their habits, so they argue.

This is another perfect example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Opponents of voter ID are genuinely afraid that forcing blacks to get photo ID will impose a burden on them they just can’t handle.

This is a subset of the Progressive belief that modern society is too complex for the average person to handle, and so we need (in the early 20th century formulation) boards of experts to run the economy and manage social relations for us. Hence the Democrats’ eagerness, which has infected many Republicans, to hand off legislative functions to administrative agencies run by supposedly expert bureaucrats.

What Adams describes, though, is essential to the victim-culture that pervades the Left. Blacks and other minorities have so suffered from both blatant and structural racism that they simply can’t overcome life’s obstacles on their own, so they have to be excused from what would otherwise be a reasonable requirement. Never mind that one has to show an ID to write a check or board a plane.

It’s also blatantly patronizing and offensive toward minorities.

RELATED: Mr. Adams has written a book exposing the blatant racialism at the Justice Department, including its battle against voter ID laws. Also, for the dirty history of the Democratic Party on race, be sure to read “Wrong on Race.”

Footnote:
(1) Here’s I’ll disagree with Mr. Adams a bit. John Fund has written an excellent book on (mostly) Democratic election fraud, and the conviction of ACORN in Nevada, the probably fraud in the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election, and the confirmed fraud in the 2004 presidential balloting in Milwaukee all show that at least some Democrats and their allies on the left have a strong interest in benefiting from fraud.


Jim Crow lives in Guam, and the DoJ approves

November 23, 2011

Even though it’s been a US territory since 1898 (1), few of us probably think much about or even know anything of Guam. When we do, it’s perhaps because of the island’s reputation for lots of  snakes, or maybe the danger that it will tip over. But there is a problem there that should demand the attention of anyone concerned with the civil liberties of Americans.

On Guam, if you’re of White, East Asian, or Filipino descent, you aren’t allowed to vote:

“Chamorro” is the racial designation given to the natives who originally inhabited Guam and constitute about 36 percent of the population. Guam is a territory that today has many residents of Western European, American, Asian, and Pacific Islander descent. But all of those other residents are barred by law and the Guam Election Commission from registering and voting on the plebiscite over Guam’s future relationship with the United States.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Arnold Davis, is a former Air Force officer who has been a resident of the island since 1977. When he tried to register for the plebiscite, his application was rejected and marked as “void” by the Guam Election Commission because Davis is white. Bull Connor would have loved the registration form — it required Davis to certify his race under penalty of perjury! Guam is holding a discriminatory election that prohibits certain voters from participating based purely on their race.

Guam’s election restrictions are more extreme than anything that was in place in the South during the height of Jim Crow. Southern states such as Mississippi tried to make it as difficult as possible for blacks to vote through literacy tests, poll taxes, and other obstacles, but some small percentage of blacks were still able to get through this thicket of discrimination to actually register and vote. Guam, on the other hand, bars anyone who is white, Asian, or Filipino from voting in this plebiscite, and even makes it a crime for them to try to register.

It’s bad enough that Guam is resorting to discrimination so bold that it would make the likes of Theodore Bilbo proud. What’s as bad or worse is the reason Arnold Davis, represented by the Center for Individual Rights and Christian Adams, author of Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, had to file this suit against the Guamanian government: the Justice Department refused to act to protect the voting rights of American citizens.

As Hans von Spakowsky, author of the article, points out, the failure to apply civil rights law against minority violators is, under Obama and Holder, DoJ policy:

DOJ declined to file a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act asserting that the deliberate racial discrimination by the “native people” of Guam violated federal law. As we know from the sworn testimony of former Voting Section chief Christopher Coates before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, deputy assistant attorney general Julie Fernandes informed him that it was the policy of the Obama administration that the Voting Rights Act is not to be enforced against racial minorities, no matter how egregious the violation. As CIR president Terence Pell says, the fact that this racial discrimination “continues to take place under the nose of the U.S. Department of Justice is unconscionable.”

Darned right it’s “unconscionable.” This action by Guam violates the 15th amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was written to enforce the 15th amendment. It’s an open and shut case that should lead to the Guamanian government being smacked down hard by the federal courts — if, under Obama, the laws were enforced in a race-neutral manner.

But that’s not the case.

Under Barack Obama and Eric Holder, the American principle of “equal justice under the law” has been perverted to “justice only for those groups we favor; the rest of you can go to the Devil.” We’ve seen this racial favoritism before in the 2008 New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, where the new administration in 2009 refused to protect the rights of White voters, and in others Adams details in “Injustice.”

Even though this case takes place in a tiny, far-away territory, let’s not minimize or dismiss the danger it reveals. One of the pillars on which our republic stands is the Rule of Law: the belief that the law is applied equally to all, one reason we’re willing to grant law-enforcement powers to government. It is a matter of trust crucial to obtaining and retaining the consent of the governed. It may not function perfectly, but it’s the ideal to which we hold and it’s the standard we demand of the government.

Turn the law instead into a vehicle for a racial spoils system and the Rule of Men, not Law, as Obama, Holder, and the rest of the racial grievance industry are doing, and you instead knock down that pillar and weaken that trust.

You attack the very legitimacy of the American government, itself.

I’ve no doubt Mr. Turner will win his suit in court, but the only remedy for the “pursuit of injustice” encouraged by Obama and Holder is the 2012 election and a thorough housecleaning at the Department of Justice.

For the sake of civil rights for all and the integrity of our political system, they have to go.

via the Election Law Center

RELATED: See also Terence J. Pell’s article with more background on the Guam case. Here’s a news report from Guam that includes interviews with the plaintiff, Christian Adams, and a Guam senator who supports the exclusion of non-Chamorros from the vote in the belief that rights vest in groups, not individual citizens. Adams writes about the Guamanian “Jim Crow” law at PJ Media.

Footnote:
(1) ¡Gracias, España!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Department of Injustice: compare and contrast

July 9, 2010

On election day in 2008, members of the New Black Panther Party engaged in a clear case of voter intimidation aimed at White voters:

While the Department of Justice brought suit against the Panthers in the waning days of the Bush Administration and obtained a judgment against the NBPP and its members, the Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the case with little explanation and to widespread shock and consternation.

Fast forward to the present: Johannes Mehserle, a White BART transit cop on trial for shooting African-American Oscar Grant, is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Given the facts of the case, the verdict was correct and justice was served.

So, of course, today comes the news that the Department of Justice, that same DoJ that dropped a clear case of voter intimidation, is going to investigate the shooting of Grant for possible federal prosecution:

The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent review of the Johannes Mehserle case in order to determine whether or not the shooting merits federal prosecution, according the department.

“The Justice Department has been closely monitoring the state’s investigation and prosecution,” the department said in a statement.

“The Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the FBI have an open investigation into the fatal shooting and, at the conclusion of the state’s prosecution, will conduct an independent review of the facts and circumstances to determine whether the evidence warrants federal prosecution.”

This is beyond ridiculous; it is the unequal application of the law, based on the ethnicity of the parties involved. Because career attorneys at the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ do not believe in prosecuting civil rights cases where the accused is Black and the victim is White, and because they now have political bosses who agree with them, the voting rights of White Philadelphia residents are no longer protected. But, make the accused White and the victim Black, and the CRD is all too happy to appease an angry mob and the leftist congresswoman stirring it up.

To be clear: I do not object to the verdict against Mehserle. I think the jury got it right and he should go to prison for his crime. I object very strongly, however, to the Federal government interfering in a state court proceeding in which the state properly exercised its police powers, simply because the administration wants to pander to one or another ethnic group. The opening of a federal investigation implies there’s a legitimate question whether the state court operated fairly, which anyone paying attention can see is not the case here. This is an insult to the court system of California and to the state as a whole, and a clear violation of the spirit of the 10th Amendment.

But, far worse, this is yet another example that Justice under Obama and Holder is not blind and is not applied equally to all, but that it varies according to the color of one’s skin. This goes against nearly a thousand years of Anglo-American jurisprudence and flies in the face of the words from our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”

Eric Holder and the entire Civil Rights Division should be hauled before a congressional committee to explain why one case is important and the other isn’t, and whether they believe that the rights of all citizens are deserving of protection regardless of ethnicity or skin color. And if not, why not.

It likely won’t happen until after November, but it will be enlightening when it does.

UPDATE: An Illinois congressman congressional candidate calls for Holder’s resignation over the NBPP case.

UPDATE II: In Florida, congressional candidate Allen West condemns Eric Holder for pursuing racially biased justice.

UPDATE III: Via Instapundit, the DoJ’s voting section has been told not to enforce the purging of dead or ineligible voters from voter rolls. Chicago-way politics goes nationwide!

LINKS: More at Hot Air, where Ed takes a more calm view of this than I.