The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Attorney General Eric Holder announced during a Monday afternoon news conference that the Department of Justice will sue the state of North Carolina over its restrictive voting law.

Speaking alongside Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels and three U.S. Attorneys from North Carolina, Holder declared that “the Justice Department expects to show that the clear and intended effect” of the law “would contract the electorate and result in unequal access to participation in the political process on account of race.”

The law, which was signed by Governor Pat McCrory in August, mandates strict voter ID to cast a ballot, eliminates same-day voter registration, bans paid voter registration drives, and limits early voting, among many other measures that disproportionately affect minority voters. Election law expert Rick Hasen has referred to it as “the most sweeping anti-voter law in at least decades.”

Its passage was made possible by the Supreme Court’s June decision to throw out Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which required the federal government to “pre-clear” voting law changes in several states — including North Carolina — with a history of limiting voting rights.

“Just months after North Carolina saw the highest overall turnout sheer numbers in its history in November 2012, and within days of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the [North Carolina] state legislature took aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” Holder said. “This is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working. It defies common sense.”

Holder intends to block the law using Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act, which allows for federal supervision of a state’s voting laws if a court finds that “violations of the Fourteenth or Fifteenth amendments justifying equitable relief have occurred within the territory of such state or political subdivision.” In order for the Department of Justice to win the lawsuit, it will need to prove that North Carolina lawmakers intentionally disenfranchised voters.

Referencing the fact that in-person voter fraud is nearly non-existent, Holder lamented on Monday that “it pains me to see the voting rights of my fellow citizens negatively impacted by actions predicated on a rationale that is tenuous at best, and on concerns that we all know are not, in fact, real.”

Governor McCrory and his Republican allies in the legislature dispute that point. In an August 29 op-ed in USA Today, McCrory wrote that “assuming fraud isn’t a threat when multimillion dollar campaigns are trying to win in a state where millions of votes are cast is like believing oversight isn’t needed against Wall Street insider trading,” and argued that “the legislation I signed into law keeps North Carolina in the mainstream of election law, not the fringes.”

North Carolinians tend to side with the attorney general, however. According to an August 12 survey from Public Policy Polling, just 39 percent support the law.

Photo: The Aspen Institute via Flickr.com

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}