The Texas voter ID trial wraps up today with closing arguments in a D.C. federal courtroom. The trial featured bizarre and absurd testimony. I believe Texas is bound to lose this case because the statutory language is stacked against the state. But celebrations at the DOJ and in civil rights groups may be short-lived. Texas voter ID might die, but after the clown show this week put on by the DOJ’s witnesses, the short-term victory over Texas might take the life of Section 5 when it gets to the Supreme Court.
In addition to seeking approval of voter ID, Texas is also challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That challenge will be heard later. Section 5 requires sixteen states to submit all election changes for preclearance. Actually the number is more like 15 because DOJ has given New Hampshire a Granite State Free Ride, essentially ignoring the state’s obligation to comply with the law.
Shelby County, Alabama, is making a facial challenge to the statute, but after this week, the Texas challenge looks to pack a wilder punch.
Consider this: After DOJ wins the voter ID case against Texas, Section 5 will reach the Supreme Court in a case that featured Department of Justice testimony that Governor Rick Perry’s administration is infested with fascists and white supremacists. This evidence was presented by DOJ to support a finding of racially discriminatory intent.
The craziest part is that the DOJ lawyers trying the case probably believe it.
The clown show saw another DOJ expert, paid thousands of dollars by you, the taxpayer, opine that vast numbers of Texans do not have photo identification. On that list were President George Bush, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Phil Gramm. These days that’s called an epic fail.
But the testimony got even more ridiculous. San Antonio teenager Victoria Rodriguez travelled the whole way to Washington, D.C., for the clown show. She testified that she did not have photo ID, even though she had the birth certificate to get a free one. Her excuse? She couldn’t find the time. Neither could her parents be bothered to drive her to get the ID. One wonders if Victoria Rodriguez ever leaves the house, or when she does, if she has other priorities besides voting. I’d suspect so.
One also wonders why DOJ lawyers decided to put her on the stand.
Then another DOJ expert kept the clown show rolling along when he relied on a list of voters “disenfranchised” because they didn’t have voter ID. On that list was a white man named Rodney Ellis. Except there was one problem: state Senator Rodney Ellis testified from the stand he has a driver’s license. Oh, there was another problem with the DOJ expert list – Ellis is also black.
This is the quality of data being used to scare minorities into thinking millions of people will be disenfranchised in November through voter ID.