The Radical Judges Who Struck Down Texas’ Voter ID Law
By Matthew Vadum
Left-wing judges-for-life struck down a new Texas law yesterday that requires voters to present photo identification before voting.
The decision was one of two odious Texas-related federal court rulings handed down this week. Both seem likely to inject a liberal dose of chaos into the upcoming election in a state known for its legendarily robust election fraud.
“Chalk up another victory for fraud,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday. “Today, federal judges subverted the will of the people of Texas.”
“If this ruling stands, more Americans – particularly those who are minorities or poor – will be subject to having their votes stolen in the state of Texas this fall,” said Horace Cooper, a former constitutional law professor who is now Adjunct Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Cooper is also author of the report, “Victims of Voter Fraud: Poor and Disadvantaged are Most Likely to Have Their Vote Stolen.”
The short version of the ruling in Texas v. Holder (the long version is available here) is that poor people, many of whom are not white, will somehow be inconvenienced by the state’s requirement that voters actually prove who they are before exercising their sacred democratic rights. Would-be voters “who possess none of the underlying forms of identification will have to bear out-of-pocket costs” in order to obtain acceptable ID, according to the judicial decision.
“The law was clearly intended to benefit Republicans; for example, a handgun permit is considered an acceptable form of ID but a university ID is not,” left-wing Nation reporter Ari Berman wrote as violins played poignantly in the background.
Berman and his comrades don’t care that election fraud has long been a serious problem in Texas and that whenever a vote is fraudulently cast, it has the effect of canceling out a lawful vote. In 2008 one report estimated that as many as 2.7 million non-citizens were registered to vote nationwide and that 333,000 of those non-citizens were registered to vote in Texas. Making things worse, the state’s political culture is “a mix of the worst of Old South Dixieland politics and Latin American politics,” said the report’s author, David Simcox, former chairman of the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies.
Probably the most famous example of Lone Star State electoral larceny is a 1948 Democratic primary runoff in which future president Lyndon Johnson magically transformed a 20,000-vote loss into an 87-vote victory. It is worth noting that even the New York Times seems to concede that the failed “War on Poverty” president stole that U.S. Senate race.
Months before the black-robed politicians issued their Berman-approved fiats, Eric Holder’s Justice Department denied “pre-clearance” for the Texas law under the federal Voting Rights Act. Such advance approval is required before the law can go into effect because many years ago there used to be race-based discrimination in Texas — so officials in the state can never, ever, ever be trusted to conduct elections fairly.
It is entirely possible that representatives of ACORN-like radical groups lobbied the Department of Justice behind the scenes to push it into taking action on the Texas voter ID law.
It has been already been established that left-wing so-called civil rights groups quietly met with DOJ officials to press them on electoral integrity issues. Project Vote (i.e. the ACORN affiliate that used to employ President Obama), Demos, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Brennan Center for Justice, Fair Elections Legal Network, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund all participated in DOJ pow-wows.
Left-wingers have also apparently been pushing the Obama White House to ignore laws that promote honest elections. Former ACORN lawyer Estelle H. Rogers, now advocacy director at Project Vote, and a parade of former ACORN officials have held high-level meetings at the executive mansion. Chances are they weren’t there to hand in their NCAA tournament brackets.
These left-wing activists have quite a bit in common with two of the three judges on the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who put the kibosh on the Texas voter ID statute yesterday.
Those two judges were appointed by Democratic presidents. David S. Tatel was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1994; Robert L. Wilkins, by Barack Obama in 2010.
Tatel is “one of the big leftists” on the D.C. Circuit Court, legal expert and bestselling author Mark Levin said on his nationally syndicated radio show last night.
Levin’s right. Before Tatel became a federal judge he was active in left-wing politics. He was director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Later he served as director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. The left-wing nonprofit, whose officials have visited the Obama White House, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. Of course this is deliciously ironic because there is plenty of trustworthy evidence that Kennedy benefitted from election fraud in the victory he eked out over Richard Nixon in 1960. Ballot-box stuffing may have even put Kennedy over the top.
The national Lawyers’ Committee that Judge Tatel previously ran is funded by radical left-wing philanthropies. George Soros has given to the group through his Open Society Institute ($779,300 since 1999) and his Foundation to Promote Open Society ($150,000 since 2009). Other prominent left-wing funders include the Ford Foundation ($5,465,000 since 2002), Tides Foundation ($817,500 since 2007), Carnegie Corp. of New York ($400,000 since 2001), and Arca Foundation ($125,000 since 2006).
As a lawyer Judge Wilkins represented the left-wing NAACP, but that is not his claim to legal fame.
An ACLU-led class action lawsuit brought by Wilkins before he became a judge is one of the reasons police across the country are terrified of being accused of racial profiling. Wilkins, a black Harvard-educated lawyer, was returning with relatives from a distant family funeral in a rental car that his cousin was driving on a Maryland highway in 1992. Police pulled the car over for speeding and then after looking at the passengers demanded to search the vehicle. Police intelligence reports at the time indicated local drug traffickers were “predominantly black males and black females” who usually traveled in groups and used rental cars. Advised on the scene by Wilkins, the driver refused to allow a search. A drug-sniffing dog found nothing in the vehicle. The case was settled out of court. One of the conditions of the settlement was that Maryland State Police maintain computer records of all traffic stops, arrests, and searches.
Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit Court’s voter ID law ruling and “we are confident we will prevail.” There is not enough time, however, to salvage the law for the November election, he was quoted as saying.
That decision comes after high-profile court rulings that upheld states’ voter ID statutes. Earlier this year a state judge refused to block Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law. Less recently, in a landmark 2008 ruling the U.S Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law. The high court opinion was written by no less a liberal icon than John Paul Stevens. At the same time Eric Holder’s DOJ has been blocking voter ID laws in South Carolina and other states.
The other awful decision from this week involved a separate federal court. That panel nixed the newly redrawn boundaries of congressional districts in Texas because they supposedly diluted the voting power of racial minorities.
Instead of using boundaries approved by elected officials in the state, in November Texas will have to use boundaries approved by unelected federal judges.
And that’s exactly the way the Left likes it in a Republican-leaning state like Texas.