Yesterday, Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner shared a podium with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus at an RNC event to dovetail with the weekend commemoration of the March on Washington. You can watch grainy video of the event here.
There, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) had this to say about federal oversight of elections under the Voting Rights Act, matters which would include Texas Voter ID. From the Washington Post:
Sensenbrenner said he wants to fix the law so that it is immune to court challenges.
“The first thing we have to do is take the monkey wrench that the court threw in it, out of the Voting Rights Act, and then use that monkey wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual suspects.”
The “usual suspects” would be states like Texas and Attorneys General like Alan Wilson (SC). Wisconsin, Sensenbrenner’s home, was never covered by the preclearance obligations of Section 5. Federal preclearance powers were abused to the tune of millions of dollars in court sanctions, were used to block election integrity measures like Texas Voter ID and Georgia citizenship verification, and have seen employees inside the DOJ who administered the law commit perjury – and remain unpunished.
When PJ Media reported that efforts were afoot inside the RNC to re-impose federal oversight, RNC officials became volcanic. They sent broadcast emails to conservative bloggers attacking PJ Media and vowing not to cooperate with publications who use anonymous sources and a nom de guerre for writers who are in positions that do not permit their identity to be known – a practice used at both Breitbart and Hot Air also.
Yesterday’s event captured on video provides some factual context to the dispute.
For additional factual context for Tatler’s post, I posted this history of the RNC’s involvement in promoting Section 5 federal oversight. RNC involvement was essential to renewing the federal oversight obligations in 2006, as I write here. The history of involvement, reports from PJ Tatler, and now yesterday’s event with unambiguous statements provide context to the issue of Republican involvement in attacks on election integrity and promotion of absolute federal power over state elections.