Judicial Watch has filed a motion to intervene as defendants in the Justice Department’s challenge to photo voter identification requirements. Here is the memorandum supporting intervention. It is worth a read to understand some of the legal issues at play in the DOJ’s attack on voter integrity laws nationwide. Bob Popper, formerly a colleague of mine at the DOJ Voting Section, is on the brief.
The most interesting aspect of the brief is how Judicial Watch uncovered collusion between radical leftist groups and the administration to attack voter integrity laws around the nation. Indeed, the brief notes:
On July 29, 2013, a group of political activists attended a meeting at the White House with Attorney General Holder, Labor Secretary (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Tom Perez, and President Obama. Those attending included representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton told an interviewer for MSNBC that, based on what he heard at that meeting, he expected action regarding North Carolina “when this governor signs the bill.”
Judicial Watch is on to something. Al Sharpton had been telegraphing pending DOJ actions against election integrity laws for months after this meeting. This means that the Justice Department and administration are alerting left-wing activists about law enforcement actions before alerting defendants. This is the sort of bad behavior that caused the Clinton-era DOJ Voting Section to be assessed millions of dollars in sanctions for collusion with left-wing groups like the ACLU.
It is also the sort of behavior which ended during the Bush years. What is notable about the termination of the behind-the-scenes collusion is how entitled the left felt about the practice. The termination of this collusion from 2001-2009 led the left to go wild in attacking the Bush DOJ, often dishonestly, as Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan did in a Duke Law journal.
North Carolina must fight DOJ’s attack as a cornered dog would. Queensbury Rules should not apply. This should include seeking sanctions against the Justice Department for colluding improperly with left-wing groups should North Carolina emerge victorious in the case, as were imposed in Miller v. Johnson by a federal court.
Eric Holder’s action against North Carolina is a purely political move. It is designed to alter the outcome of the 2014 midterm elections, nothing more and nothing less. It accomplishes this goal in two ways. First, by mobilizing the far left base of his party. Obama knows that in 2014, as they were in 2012, elections will be won with a mobilized base turned out by cutting-edge data tools, not by compromise and running to the middle. Attacking voter ID mobilizes the base. Second, knocking down election integrity measures makes it more likely illegal votes will aid North Carolina Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.
Holder is also trying to place North Carolina back under oversight, something his Democrat friends and one Republican friend in Congress are also attempting to do.
As usual with this administration, the North Carolina attack on voter ID is all about power. Holder lost it. Holder wants it back.