The War on South Carolina Continues

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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development in San Francisco is even more egregious. Beginning June 1, 2012 Sheriff Michael Hennessey will start releasing illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes–even if federal officials request that they be held for a deportation hearing. San Francisco’s “sanctuary ordinance” prohibits local officials from assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), unless it involves a felony. “It’s an astonishing abuse of his office,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group currently suing San Francisco over a similar immigration issue. Unfortunately, the same DOJ that has struck down portions of state immigration laws in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Utah is nowhere to be found.

Almost nowhere to be found. Once again in South Carolina, the DOJ blocked that state’s new voter identification law, claiming it discriminates against minority voters. “Although the state has a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud and safeguarding voter confidence … the state’s submission did not include any evidence or instance of either in-person voter impersonation or any other type of fraud that is not already addressed by the state’s existing voter identification requirement,” wrote Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez. Mr. Perez further contended the law requiring voters to present one of five forms of photo ID at the polls violated Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act because 8.4 percent of the state’s registered white voters lack photo ID, compared to 10 percent of nonwhite voters.

The Voting Rights act was passed to combat systemic disenfranchisement of minority voters, but applying it here is a dubious exercise at best. In 2005, the DOJ itself approved a Georgia law with the same provisions and protections, and in 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters. Furthermore, South Carolina’s law explicitly addresses potential disenfranchisement by offering state-issued IDs free of charge, and free transportation to anyone who needs a ride to a location where a picture ID can be obtained. And if a potential voter lacks a birth certificate, the state will provide a certified copy for $12, either in person, by mail, or by phone for an additional fee of $12.95.

Governor Haley has promised she “will absolutely sue” the DOJ, and on January 10th, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced his office will file suit within the next 10 days in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. Suing in DC is aimed at making it easier to get the case before the Supreme Court of the United States, which would then have to consider whether or not it would strike down a law identical to the one it approved for Indiana in 2008.

Buttressing South Carolina’s argument, and undermining progressive claims that voter fraud is virtually non-existent (thus negating the need for picture IDs), was an extensive data review conducted by Department of Motor Vehicles Director Kevin Shwedo into possible voter fraud. “Director Shwedo’s research has revealed evidence that over nine hundred deceased people appear to have ‘voted’ in recent elections in South Carolina,” said Attorney General Wilson who asked for the review. “This is an alarming number, and clearly necessitates an investigation into potential criminal activity. I have asked SLED [State Law Enforcement Division] Chief Keel to review Director Shwedo’s research.”

Unsurprisingly, Attorney General Eric Holder remains determined to stay the course, reiterating the progressive meme that voter ID laws are meant to suppress black turnout. “The right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our governance, it is the lifeblood of our democracy. And no force has proved more powerful, or more integral to the success of the great American experiment, than efforts to expand the franchise,” Holder said during a keynote speech in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Day. “Let me be very, very clear–the arc of American history has bent toward the inclusion, not the exclusion, of more of our fellow citizens in the electoral process. We must ensure that this continues.” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was having none of it. “I signed a bill that would protect the integrity of our voting,” Haley said in a statement welcoming Holder to South Carolina.

In light of these three issues, Rick Perry’s statement was right on the money. The federal government is essentially at war with South Carolina, as well as other states that dare to defy the command-and-control, and possibly unconstitutional, tendencies of this administration. Rick Perry envisions a different future. “When I’m the president of the United States, the states are going to have substantially more rights to take care of their business and not be forced by the EPA, or by the Justice Department for that matter, to do things that are against the will of the people,” he declared on Monday night. Add states’ rights–or a continuing lack thereof–to a long list of issues that will define the 2012 election.

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  • Chris C

    Man, with all these egregious power grabs by the Obama administration and other progressive beauracrats, you’d think they want to incite the south, mainly Republican and all for state’s rights, into seceding from the USA again.

    Of course if that happened, the south will have to deal with the unfortunate implications…

    • aspacia

      The situation is becoming dangerous. O is in an ideological power grab tyranny mode, similar to Lenin and Mao, but it is okay because it is for the good of all who do not know any better.

  • Mach1Duck

    The U.S. Constitution, Article III, section 2, paragraph 2 "In all cases affecting ambassadors, othr public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact…"
    So, how can a lower court rule on a law passed by a state which on the surface conflicts with federal law.
    The Constitution also states that where the Federal Government fails to act, a State has the legal right to act in thier own behalf.

    • kafirman

      What is your point about the Supreme Court in this case? What was the lower court? It is South Carolina legislation that is at the center here, correct? Has the Federal Government failed to act?

      • joy52

        Might have been referring to Arizona.

      • intrcptr2

        Not quite sure what your response is saying…

        And for SC, the issue is rather that the Feds HAVE acted, by suing to prevent the legislative process.
        Clearly in AZ, yes, Washington has failed.

    • intrcptr2

      Art 3, S 2 states that lower courts may be created, within the court system. Read properly, the Const grants original jurisdiction to the Federal Court system.

      Not sure where you find that specific right in the Const. You may notice that the Const never recognizes "states rights", only the people have rights, as per Jefferson's claim in the Declaration.

  • Annie

    In light of other states being allowed to freely enforce similar voter ID laws, I can only conclude that the Obama administration is intent on still punishing South Carolina for its roll in firing the first shot in the Civil War.

  • Brujo Blanco

    It is said that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. I say it is a crime seldom investigated. There is an old saying, “If you do not acknowledge a problem then you do not have a problem.”. Voter fraud does exist and it is rare that something is done about. If you vote for your candidate and someone votes illegally for the opposing candidate you have just been screwed out of your vote. Since voter fraud normally benefits Democrats investigation of these crimes will be resisted. Eric Holder has demonstrated that he will do nothing regarding open intimidation of voters when such intimidation benefits his party he cannot be expected to do anything about covert voter fraud.

  • Sonny

    The AG Holder is inept at best because he has the resources to check for any case law that may exist on the issue before his office. This is taking on a out and out disregard for the law. I live in Pennsylvania and we have to show our voter registration cards when we go to the polls to vote; it has been that way for as long as I can remember. Plus the constitution gives Authority to the states to regulate elections; only the date is set by the federal government. AG Holder is trying to make race an issue where ever he can and that is setting race relations back; do we really have to do the civil rights thing over again. I would rather see the battle for state rights fought but, this time without all the guns and cannons.

    • enoughalready

      There was a polling place in our area that was so corrupt, the entire team had to be replaced. One guy came in with FOUR registrations and was allowed to vote with all 4 of them. When the poll watcher objected, they were told, "there's more of us than there are of you…it's your word against ours."

      It is rampant and they can only win through cheating OR by energizing their disillusioned base by injecting some imaginary racial element that conjures up images of Jim Crow, poll taxes and segregation. The Obama administration does not care of they tear the country apart. If there are any truly American Loving Democratic legislators, they would stand up now. And please get rid of Wasserman-Schultz

    • mattogilvie55

      He is making race an issue because race is THE central issue with him and his boss. Holder and Obama both hate whitey. This is just another way for them to get back at whitey.

      • cjk

        Anybody who would bring up their two children from birth through the mind formation period of early childhood in Imam Wright's 'church' is a VILE RACIST of the worst type.

        Anyone who can't see that is a phucken fool.

    • aspacia

      We did too in CA, but in NV we don't. I guess just being registered is enough because citizen have to go through hell to obtain a driver's license here. My CA license was not enough. My birth certificate was not enough . My proof of residency was not enough. But my divorce degree and all of the above was enough. Geez to gain a license and register to vote.

  • mrbean

    Hmmm…imagine that you have show an photo ID to cash a cheque, purchase cigarettes or spirits, to get on an airplane, to get back into the US, but…… there are those who insist that anyone should be able to walk up and claim to be someone else and vote. Voting is a privilege of law abiding citizens just like driving a car, not a right.

    • BS77

      Absolutely. What is the problem here? Showing a valid photo ID to get on a jet….to buy alcohol…..to drive a car……but the libtards go nuts if you suggest you should have a valid ID to vote………No wonder MIchael Savage said, "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

  • mrbean

    If South Carolina is a "Right To Work" state, Boeing should never have been prevented from building an airplane factory in that state staffed by non-union employees on any basis demanded by unions and the Obama Administration.

  • jacob

    Race or no race, I believe voters must submit a valid ID means or else, NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE.
    PERIOD
    Otherwise, will this "jewel" of an Attorney General tell me why does the TSA
    require a valid ID with picture to board a plane or else…?????
    Does it constitute a "selective" application of the Law ???
    Without the identification requirement, even the dead can vote…and they sure
    as hell do… and how ! ! !

    Unless JANET RENO's sidekick in the infamous ELIAN issue is preparing the
    ground for massive voting fraud, let him tell his objections to his grandmother….

  • BLJ

    Someone needs to kick Holder's butt.

  • cjk

    At least Eric 'my people' Holder is being consistent in that I doubt he required ID's for the fast and furious weapons either.

  • Jack Neidlinger

    This administration is the worst in our history. We must remove this scourge from office
    WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!!!!!!!

  • Carl

    Well, according to Holder, the New Jersey department of motor vehicles is "suppressing black turnout" because it requires drivers to provide several forms of ID when they register their vehicle.

    Holder is as scary as he is foolish.

  • LibertyLover

    OK, I'll take Holder's concerns at face value. So, if certain minority voters are not even ca[able of obtaining an ID, even with all of the official assistance offered by the State of South Carolina, perhaps they are too deficient to be voting in the first place.