Jim Crow Prowls Paradise

Imagine if a state didn’t let someone vote in an election because their grandfather wasn’t the correct race. Surely lawyers in Eric Holder’s Justice Department would be typing up a lawsuit as fast as fingers could fly across the keyboard. After all, Obama is the president who boasted he was a champion for voting rights, falsely we’d later learn. Eric Holder compared voter ID to a modern version of Jim Crow. But a recent federal court opinion shows Jim Crow is alive and well, and living in paradise. This week, the United States District Court in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) struck down a law that prevented American citizens from voting in a referendum on a constitutional amendment if they were not of “Northern Mariana descent.” The plaintiff, John Davis, should have enjoyed the help of the United States Justice Department Voting Section in wiping out the law. From the federal court:

Northern Mariana descent, as defined by [the CNMI law] is a racial classification, and under federal law it may not serve as the basis for preventing otherwise qualified voters from voting on proposed amendments.

The federal court granted summary judgment against the CNMI on a federal voting rights statute enforced by the Justice Department, 42 U.S.C. 1971(a). Summary judgment means it wasn’t even a close call. It means Holder could have brought and won the case easily. His failure to enforce the Voting Rights Act in the CNMI was perhaps more egregious than his dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case in Philadelphia. Let’s see if the same stooges in academia and the media who defended the New Black Panther dismissal now defend Holder’s inaction against a brazenly racially exclusionary law in the CNMI. But the CNMI isn’t the only Pacific paradise where Jim Crow prowls and Eric Holder is doing nothing to enforce federal voting rights. The same movement to allocate political power to only people of color in the CNMI is alive and well in Hawaii. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has created a racially exclusionary voter roll to conduct a state-run election. (The materials from the office must be seen to be believed.)  A 2011 Hawaii law limits registration on this roll to only those who had an ancestor who lived on Hawaii in 1778 or received race-based land benefits in 1921. It also allows anyone with a “significant connection” to the “Native Hawaiian community” to register for the roll, which should nicely scoop up the radical academics who have flocked to the University of Hawaii to agitate for exactly this sort of race-based separatism.

Materials produced by Hawaii Government Materials produced by Hawaii Government

The Hawaii law is being implemented with great fanfare, including a plan for racially correct Hawaiian voters to elect delegates to an “Aha,” or Constitutional Convention to draft a governing document for the new Native Hawaiian nation. Remember, this nonsense is being paid for and administered by the government of Hawaii. Never mind that the United States Supreme Court spanked Hawaii in 2000 for creating an almost identical racially exclusionary election. Surely the Justice Department Voting Section has rushed to stop the brazenly discriminatory creation of a race-based voter roll? Surely the interests of the United States run counter to a separatist movement funded and run by the Hawaiian government? Think again. Eric Holder is too busy worrying about Texas and North Carolina voter identification laws, which creates an irony we will return to momentarily. First let’s visit Guam, a beautiful and strategic Pacific island, one round trip south of Tokyo in a B-29.