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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Court Orders Feds to Pay State’s Legal Fees in Frivolous Voter ID Case

    January 7, 2013
    Corruption Chronicles
    Judicial Watch

    As if it weren’t bad enough that states are wasting millions to defend voter identification measures against frivolous federal lawsuits, the feds are being punished for filing the extraneous suits and have been ordered to pay one state’s legal costs.

    The story comes out of South Carolina, one of more than two dozen states that have enacted laws requiring voters to show some type of official photo identification to vote. The idea is to prevent election fraud, but the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) claims that requiring a photo ID at the polls discriminates against minorities because many are too poor to obtain them. The Florida congresswoman who chairs the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, says voter ID laws are a “full-scale-assault” on minority voters designed to “rig” elections for Republicans.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has disagreed with this assessment, upholding Indiana’s voter ID law in a 2008 ruling that says the state’s interest in protecting the integrity of the voting process outweighed the insufficiently proven burdens the law may impose on voters. “There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters,” the nation’s highest court said in its decision.

    Last spring the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Arizona requirement that voters show photo identification before casting a ballot. A renowned Latino rights group claimed the measure, approved by voters in 2004 to stop illegal immigrants from voting, discriminates against Hispanics because it creates a barrier for minorities that’s tantamount to a poll tax. If true, that would violate equal protection rights within the Constitution.

    The rulings haven’t stopped the bloated civil rights division at Obama’s DOJ from wasting resources to legally challenge voter ID laws across the nation, most recently in Texas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Last week a federal court ordered the DOJ to pay South Carolina’s legal costs involving the multi-million-dollar challenge to a 2011 law requiring voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot.

    The DOJ tried blocking the measure, claiming that it disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of minority voters who don’t have a photo ID. A federal court disagreed and recently ordered the feds to pay a yet-to-be-determined portion of South Carolina’s $3.5 million legal tab over the “unnecessary” voter ID litigation. The DOJ is responsible for the high cost of the case, according to a South Carolina Attorney General rep quoted in a local newspaper story. For example, the DOJ delayed the case by 120 days and filed numerous frivolous motions.

    Court Orders Feds to Pay State
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Federal Court: DOJ Must Reimburse South Carolina for Voter ID Folly

    January 5th, 2013 - 9:28 am

    A federal court has ruled that South Carolina was the prevailing party in the unnecessary Voter ID litigation, and therefore the Justice Department is liable for paying the state’s costs. South Carolina spent $3,500,000 to obtain federal court approval of the state’s Voter ID law as non-discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit was made necessary only because of the political and ideological radicalism of Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and his deputy Matthew Colangelo.

    AAG Tom Perez

    PJ Media had this exclusive report detailing that career Voting Section employees, including Voting Section Chief Chris Herren, recommended that the Voter ID law be approved in the first place by DOJ after a careful written analysis inside the Voting Section.

    Documents prepared by the career staff urged Perez and Colangelo to grant administrative approval to the South Carolina Voter ID law — but they refused. Their refusal was, in part, designed to energize a moribund political base heading into the 2012 election.

    The cost to the American taxpayers for their stunt will be significant.

    South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office was quick to respond to the court’s ruling late yesterday:

    “The state Attorney General’s Office blamed the U.S. Department of Justice for the high cost of the case. They accused the federal government of delaying the case by 120 days by filing numerous frivolous motions, including challenging the 12-point font size on a document the state filed.
    “The Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., bears responsibility for the litigation costs,” said Mark Powell, Wilson’s spokesman. “The decision was so emphatic, even the Department of Justice and Interveners did not appeal it. South Carolina was forced to pay a hefty price because a handful of Washington insiders refused to do the right thing.”

    Whether Congress will hold Perez and Colangelo accountable remains to be seen. Members of Congress, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have already demanded that Perez turn over the documents about which PJ Media first reported on September 11, 2012. So far, sources tell me that Graham has not received what he has asked for, though he may already possess the documents from other sources.

    Tellingly, DOJ has not denied that such internal approval memos exist. They can’t.

    All of this raises the question — will Perez and Colangelo be held accountable for what amounted to an expensive use of the Justice Department to energize President Obama’s political base? As we now know, there was no merit to the objection. A federal court approved the law. The many career staff who looked at it said the South Carolina law did not discriminate.

    Congress might get answers if they haul DOJ Voting Section Chief Christopher Herren before the House Judiciary Committee for answers. The Democrats could hardly object — after all, they dragged Bush-era Voting Section Chief John Tanner before the Democrat-run House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about Georgia Voter ID. There is precedent. Democrats could hardly object when the Voting Section Chief during the Bush administration was made to dance the dance before the Committee.

    Chris Herren

    Of course, had the president’s base remained asleep, Perez and Colangelo would be looking for work, with the former earning a slippery reputation over the last four years.

    But Perez and Colangelo don’t worry about the butcher’s bill. They use the power of their DOJ office in an ideological crusade. Unless their own pocketbooks or reputations suffer, they will continue to behave the same way.

    So now the federal government is forced to reimburse a state for Perez’s overzealous use of the Voting Rights Act. None of Holder’s usual defenders in the media seem to care. Wasting taxpayer money doesn’t matter to them if it goes to a cause they believe in.

    Because Perez’s politicized plan helped Obama win reelection, you won’t read a single article outside of the conservative media about DOJ’s expensive South Carolina Voter ID folly.

    Come to think of it, even conservative media isn’t widely reporting that the Voting Section career lawyers at Justice recommended that this South Carolina mess never happen.That’s too bad, because it makes it more likely that Perez and Colangelo will continue to misbehave and abuse their power on your dime.

    Rule of Law » Federal Court: DOJ Must Reimburse South Carolina for Voter ID Folly

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