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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.

6 comments:

Skadi said...

We have to show a photo ID to take grass clippings to our local dump.

When I moved to Wisconsin from Colorado nearly 30 years ago I was stunned you didn't need to show an ID with proof of address to vote.

Rick Caird said...

Were I the AG of Texas, I would simply announce we intend to follow the Supreme Court precedent and if Holder disagrees, he ca take us to Federal court and see if he can find a judge who will overrule the Supreme Court.

Locomotive Breath said...

Just like the EPA shutting down Texas' coal plants, this is simply a punitive measure. As Illinois, California and New York (among others) continue on their death spiral, it just won't do to have a counter-example such as Texas.

mark said...

The fact that photo ids for college students are not accepted is all you need to know about the real reason behind voter id laws. Oh, and all the regulations curtailing voter registration and early-voting.

tfhr said...

mark,

Will a commercial pharmacy accept a college ID from a college co-ed for her birth control pills? Can a college ID suffice in a traffic stop in your state? Can a college ID satisfy a bank teller for cashing a check? Will a college ID suffice for boarding an aircraft? Or for many in this Obama economy, will a college ID work for obtaining an unemployment benefit check for those so long out of work?

A responsible adult can easily obtain a valid photo ID from the state. There are many states that have programs to facilitate people with special requirements or who may have difficulty in reaching a DMV or suitable office for obtaining their ID.

As far as voting early and often, a mainstay of Dem Machine election strategy, registration, early voting and absentee balloting are a breeze. You'd have to be illegal, dead, or a moron, to have trouble getting your vote cast and while these are three major Dem constituencies, there is no racist plot to prevent corruption at the polls. Neither you, nor Holder, can show any proof that states requiring photo ID at the polls have a lower turnout among minorities when compared with states that do not have ID laws.

On the other hand, Holder's insistence that various minorities are just not capable enough to manage simple affairs reveals an unseemly bigotry present among nanny state, Progressive politicians.

mark said...

Perhaps repubs missed this story:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/02/04/418963/indiana-secretary-of-state-convicted-of-voter-fraud/

I'm sure the calls for Daniels to consider making himself available (for president or v.p.) will come to an immediate end. That is, assuming the concerns about voter fraud are sincere.