Bills requiring photo identification at the polls are progressing in several states, including Texas, Mississippi and the Carolinas. These states would be making a huge mistake if they submitted voter identification laws to the Holder Justice Department for preclearance. Their attorneys general should go straight to federal district court in the District of Columbia, as is their right, and bypass the bureaucrats deep in the bowels of the Justice Department – at least if they want their voter identification laws to take effect.
Greg Abbot, Alan Wilson and Roy Cooper should forget about administrative submissions of any voter identification statute to the DOJ. Nearly every person inside the DOJ voting section, and all of the Obama political appointees, are virulently opposed to voter identification laws. They want to please their political base by scuttling one. Don’t believe it? Read what a former co-worker at DOJ, and now law professor says. “There is definitely a chance that DOJ would deny preclearance to a photo ID law passed by the state of Texas.” This law professor, Michael Pitts, still has connections inside the DOJ Voting Section. His assessment probably doesn’t arise out of thin air. Better yet, look at how Georgia got a citizenship verification bill approved under the Voting Rights Act by going to district court after DOJ played games for almost a year on the administrative submission.
Going straight to federal court provides a neutral forum where decisions are made in the open and rules of civil procedure and evidence govern the proceedings. The administrative process is far more secretive and fraught with mischief. If states want to see their voter identification laws actually take effect, they should save time and money by going straight to district court for approval.