Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eric Holder's ridiculous claims on photo-ID laws

Rich Lowry explains the ridiculousness of Eric Holder's Justice Department's claims on the injustice of states requiring people show a photo ID in order to vote. First, we live in an age when a photo ID is necessary for much of our interactions with the ordinary business of living.
For Attorney General Eric Holder, life must present a hellish vista of pervasive racist practices.

Wherever he goes, people are required to show identification. When cashing a check. When signing up for a library card. When boarding a plane. When entering certain office buildings. When checking into hotels. When (in the case of the youthful-looking) buying a beer or cigarettes, or entering a bar.

The tyranny of the photo ID is so all-encompassing that people can’t enter Holder’s own Justice Department without showing one.
Then Holder insults those who fought and suffered during the civil rights movements by comparing the supposed problems of minorities having to show a photo ID to vote to the struggles to achieve full voting rights. With such over-the-top rhetoric Holder announced that he was blocking Texas's new voter-ID law. They claim that a significant of Texas Hispanics don't have photo IDs and wouldn't be able to get the free ones that are being offered.

What Holder is ignoring is that none of these horribles has come to pass in states that have similar laws.
The experience of other states with voter-ID laws suggests that minorities are not the hapless victims that Holder’s Justice Department portrays them as. Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation points out that black turnout increased in Georgia in 2008, the first election under a voter-ID law, more than it did in Mississippi, which didn’t have such a law. A study by the University of Delaware and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln concluded that “concerns about voter-identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing.”
Worrying about reality is so beneath Holder.

As is worrying about what the Supreme Court has said on the issue.
Before his next speech, Holder should bone up on the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in 2008 upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law. The liberal Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion. The court held that “there is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the state’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters,” and “we cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters.”

The decision cited the finding of a district judge that plaintiffs had “not introduced evidence of a single, individual Indiana resident who will be unable to vote as a result of the law.” Presumably, if the Indiana law had represented the recrudescence of Jim Crow, the nation’s highest court would have noticed.
Of course, none of this matters to Holder. What he truly wants to do is gin up minorities by alleging terrible crimes against their civil rights so that they will turn out to vote for Obama in the same numbers that they did in 2008. If he has to manufacture a civil rights crime by taking actions that will later be thrown out by the Supreme Court, so be it. The important thing is getting minority voters in other states to shake with fear about those evil Republicans and then get them out to the polls in November.