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December 24, 2011 08:08 AM UTC

DOJ Calls South Carolina Voter ID Law "Legally Unenforceable"

  • by: droll

(Gessler, are you paying attention to what happens when you legislate against “fraud” that does not appear to exist? – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

Last May, the Governor of South Carolina signed a bill that changed the voter identification requirements to include a photo id. As many of you are aware, minorities are much more likely to not have a photo id of any kind than the majority. Because the state failed to prove that voters would not be disenfranchised, or that current laws are allowing any kind of fraud, the Department of Justice has ruled that the law is in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez sums it up nicely in a letter to the SC AG:

“Although the state has a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud and safeguarding voter confidence … the state’s submission did not include any evidence or instance of either in-person voter impersonation or any other type of fraud that is not already addressed by the state’s existing voter identification requirement.”

Yes, that quote did reiterate my point about lack of proof being a bummer for any over-reaching Secretary of States wandering about, withholding their super great, totally existent evidence of massive voter fraud, but I used it anyway.

Gov. Haley could push for an appeal (U.S. District Court), which is to be expected. She is, as you might imagine, calling the decision “outrageous” and a violation of the 10th Amendment.…


11 thoughts on “DOJ Calls South Carolina Voter ID Law “Legally Unenforceable”

  1. And I’d hold the “outrage” until all the terrible fraud Gov. Haley is trying so hard to convincingly act hysterical over can actually be documented. Guess this is another disappointment for our very own worst SOS….EVER. Looks like low income Americans who don’t have cars or driver’s licenses or the extra cash to pursue costly documentation are going to get to vote after all. Boo hoo, GOP.

  2. Colorado is not one of the nine states that have to get DOJ approval.

    I have been wondering why SCoUS took the Texas redistricting rather than DOJ. I suspect Roberts, Scalia and Thomas did not want DOJ to reject the redistricting. By taking the redistricting I think they are beginning the destruction of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Once again the importance of having a Progressive Dem in the White House to appoint (and stand by their appointees) is surfacing.

    1. Colorado hasn’t actual passed anything that changes our voting laws. Gessler is certainly lobbying for a change next month. If SC appeals, and fast, the legislature will have a pretty quick answer. Hopefully no new requirements will be brought at all. Think of the pointless debate we could skip! (Who am I kidding? If there’s a ruling, we’ll see a screw-you-feds bill faster.)

      (Someone correct me if I’m forgetting a rule change Gessler has made that has consequences for the voting part of an election.)

    2. The DOJ has not issued a ruling on the Texas redistricting proposal yet.  (Actually, I think the VRA pre-clearance is currently in the hands of a DC court – I don’t understand the details of the VRA enough to tell you why…)

      In the meantime, Texas’s candidate registration deadline is so early (it’s already passed, in fact), that a Federal court in Texas took up the issue of what to do this year, and issued the interim maps that the Texas GOP has now appealed to the SCOTUS.  At issue before the court is the appropriateness of having the court issue interim maps.  The entire Court was presented with the issue, and all agreed to bring it forward for a rapid review.

      1. offers this report on the DC court’s report on why it denied the state of Texas summary judgement denying the DOJ’s pre-clearance rejection of the TX maps.

        In general it’s not good for the Texas GOP, though it does hand the DOJ some minor setbacks in their claims.  

        So, to update my post above, the DOJ rejected preclearance of the Texas maps and the matter was then referred to the DC Circuit, which hears all VRA claims.  The DC Circuit has just issued guidelines for its upcoming trial of U.S. vs. Texas 2011/2012.  In the meantime, the interim map case is moving through SCOTUS.  The summary at the link indicates that the DC court decision may make an appearance at the SCOTUS hearing next week.

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