Rule of Law

Center for Individual Rights Steps in to Block Collusive New Hampshire Bailout

I’ve written extensively about the Granite State Free Ride. Yesterday I wrote here at Rule of Law about how the Justice Department is colluding with Gerry Hebert to go on a bailout blitz in order to tell the Supreme Court that the law is easy to escape from. Hans von Spakovsky also described how bailouts are being mass produced to trick the Supreme Court. The Center for Individual Rights has intervened in New Hampshire v. Holder to block the bailout. From the motion:

This Court may take notice of two additional matters. First, the Supreme Court has granted a petition for writ of certiorari to this Court in Shelby County v. Holder, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the 2006 reauthorization of Section 5. Shelby County v.Holder, 2012 WL 3018430 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2012). Part of the defense of the constitutionality of that statute is that the provisions permitting bail-in and bailout ensure that the statute remains focused on the jurisdictions with the worst records, and that the bailout provision can be readily used by covered jurisdictions with clean records. Shelby County v. Holder, 679 F.3d 848, 881- 82 (D.C. Cir. 2012), cert. granted, 2012 WL 3018430 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2012). Indeed, one of plaintiff’s attorneys has cited this case and other bailout cases as an important reason why the Supreme Court should uphold the constitutionality of Section 5. Gerry Hebert, The ShelbyCounty, Alabama Case and Bailouts (Nov. 15, 2012), available at The Attorney General thus has an incentive to interpret the bailout conditions very liberally, and his effort to defend the constitutionality of Section 5 in Shelby County seems likely to influence his determination of whether the bailout conditions have been met here.

Second, earlier this year, the Attorney General agreed to a consent decree permitting bailout in which the covered jurisdiction admittedly had enforced changes in voting laws without preclearance. Consent Judgment and Decree in Merced County v. Holder, D.D.C. No. 12-cv-00354-TRH-DST-ABJ filed August 31, 2012 (Doc. No. 11) ¶ 29 (“Some recent submissions were made after the Attorney General reviewed the records of the County and the political subjurisdictions in the course of considering the County’s bailout request and advised that it appeared that several potential voting changes had not previously been submitted to the Attorney General over the preceding ten years.”). This only gives further support to the belief that the 1 Movant’s proposed motion to dismiss accompanies this motion as an exhibit. While a motion to dismiss is technically not a “pleading,” courts have repeatedly interpreted the “pleading” requirement of Rule 24(c) liberally so as to include a proposed motion to dismiss that makes clear the proposed intervenor’s position. New Century Bank v. Open Solutions, Inc., 2011 WL 1666926, *3 (E.D. Pa. May 2, 2011) (citing authorities); Danner Constr. Co. v. Hillsborough County, 2009 WL 2525486, *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 17, 2009) (ruling that a motion to dismiss suffices under Rule 24(c), and rejecting an overly strict interpretation of that rule).  The Attorney General, at least while Shelby County is before the Supreme Court, is not going to argue that full adherence to the bailout conditions must be met before this Court may issue the requested declaratory judgment.