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Democrats Seek "Largest Transfer of Power" to Feds in History

This week, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the top legislative priority of Congressional Democrats - H.R.1.   This sweeping measure would radically transform American elections and functionally federalize control over them.  It would also seek to revive federal approval powers over any state election law.

Unlike in previous years, Republicans were ready for a fight, and fought indeed.  Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) put up one of the most impressive displays of fight I've seen in a committee hearing in a long time.  He wrecked Vanita Gupta of the Leadership Conference for that organization's radical demand that federal law allow felons to vote, including on ballot measures related to their crimes.  Watch Gaetz here.

I testified against the measure in the House Judiciary Committee.  I am reprinting here my full written testimony for PJ Media readers:

I am President and General Counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a non-partisan charity devoted to promoting election integrity and preserving the constitutional decentralization of power so that states may administer their own elections. I also served as an attorney in the Voting Section at the Department of Justice.  I have brought multiple enforcement actions under the Voting Rights Act and have litigated in a number of the areas addressed by H.R.1.

H.R.1 is today before this Committee.  This proposal would mark the largest transfer of power over elections from the states to the federal government in the history of the nation.  Regarding the proposal, we can certainly all agree on three things.

First, it has never been easier to register to vote and to vote in America than it is in 2019.  In fact, it is difficult to avoid opportunities to register to vote.  Not only is registration offered every single time you go to a motor vehicle office, Americans are offered registration in social service agencies, post offices, county courthouses, outside of grocery stores, county libraries, Marine Corp recruitment stations, in forward operating bases, in jails, online, in high school, in church, in  mobile registration vans, on your front porch as part of a third party registration drive, at Lollapalooza, and pursuant to various settlements the Justice Department entered into in the last few years, even in drug treatment facilities and methadone clinics in Rhode Island.

It is harder to avoid opportunities to register to vote than it is to register to vote.

Second, we all know that no part of H.R.1 is going to become the law during this Congress.  This is merely an exercise in educating the public about a variety of election process changes that one political party would like to implement because they believe they will benefit from them.  On the other hand, H.R.1 presents an opportunity to also educate the public about how various provisions in H.R.1 that are already the laws of some states – like California – have injected vulnerabilities into the elections process.