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.
The clown show also featured a DOJ expert who compared Justices Scalia and Thomas to the segregationist racist justices in the Dred Scott decision. Just wait until that’s made known to the Supreme Court.
Don’t forget that the clown show saw Texas Election Director Keith Ingram on the stand. The DOJ experts had identified Ingram and his wife (twice) as voters without photo identification. Ingram pulled his photo ID out of his wallet on the stand. The expert hired by DOJ was paid thousands of tax dollars for a report relying on this faulty data.
Clown shows cost money, your money.
Finally, the clown show had partisan origins. Tax dollars flowed toward Catalist to provide some of this laughable voter data to the DOJ experts. Who is Catalist? A left-wing get-out-the-vote operation.
It’s fitting for the partisan Justice Department to use experts who rely on partisan Democrat get-out-the-vote operations. After all, that’s really what Holder’s opposition to voter ID is about – mobilizing the base.
Just wait until conservative media start to FOIA the tens of thousands of dollars spent to hire the experts in the Texas case, experts who became the starring acts in the clown show.
Alas don’t forget that the state may still lose because Texas bears the burden to show an absence of “any” discriminatory effect or intent. Absence means zero. That’s a tall order.
So this week the federal court saw a clown show to rival Ringling even if the trial invalidates Texas voter ID. The blame for striking down Texas voter ID will fall on the language of a statute soon to be before the United States Supreme Court. The Shelby County challenge to Section 5 won’t feature anything close to this level of outrageous conduct in defense of Section 5.
Those who want Section 5 to survive might consider tolerating voter ID in Texas rather letting the Supreme Court learn about the clown show that closes today.