(Editor’s note: J. Christian Adams’ Crimes Against the Republic is available free for a limited time only, exclusively through the PJ Store.)
On the day that the Supreme Court struck down the part of the Voting Rights Act that required states to submit all election law changes to Justice Department employees for approval, possible attorney general nominee and current Secretary of Labor Tom Perez had soothing words. Not to worry, Perez told these federal employees who no longer had anything to do after the Supreme Court’s holding in Shelby v. Holder striking down federal powers over state elections. Louisiana, Perez told them, would be the full employment state, keeping them busy and employed because they would cook up ways to sue the Pelican State under civil rights laws.
If Perez is nominated to replace Eric Holder, he should have to explain his desire to target one state to keep federal employees busy.
Perez’s disgraceful comments reveal the moral bankruptcy of the modern civil rights movement, and particularly the abuses of power of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Perez was then the assistant attorney general for civil rights, and telegraphing a desire on his part to see a series of lawsuits, voluminous enough to employ dozens of lawyers and staffers suddenly with nothing to do. His remark revealed how this administration views the balance of power between the federal government and the states when it comes to civil rights.
During the Kennedy administration, Attorney General Robert Kennedy pursued civil rights cases in the south because it was the right thing to do. In the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder has pursued civil rights cases to give federal employees something to do.
The other reason Holder has pursued voting cases against states like Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina is to help the Democratic Party. Attacks on election integrity laws, such as voter ID, are crass political crusades to scare minority voters. Lawsuits against voter ID and election integrity are efforts to scare minorities that Jim Crow is back. Holder is trying to motivate minority voters through fear.
The Supreme Court this week allowed election integrity laws in North Carolina and Texas to remain in effect for the upcoming election. This is bad news for Holder, and he knows it. If elections take place with voter ID and other election integrity laws — and minority voters still manage to vote in regular numbers — then it will look like Holder has been crying wolf. Justice Department lawyers hoped their theory of disenfranchisement would never be tested in the real world.