Bad news for Democrats!: The Supreme Court has just rejected the argument that strict voter ID laws “disenfranchise” voters, thus making voter fraud more difficult.
John Fund in the WSJ today, writes:
In ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID law – the toughest in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.
Even Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the three dissenters who would have overturned the Indiana law, wrote approvingly of the less severe ID laws of Georgia and Florida. The result is that state voter ID laws are now highly likely to pass constitutional muster.
But this case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, also revealed a fundamental philosophical conflict between two perspectives rooted in the machine politics of Chicago. Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the decision, grew up in Hyde Park, the city neighborhood where Sen. Barack Obama – the most vociferous Congressional critic of such laws – lives now. Both men have seen how the Daley machine has governed the city for so many years, with a mix of patronage, contract favoritism and, where necessary, voter fraud.
Justice Stevens has a history (as both a lawyer, and a judge) of trying to root out corruption in state government. Apparently, Obama is quite comfortable with it:
Barack Obama has approached Chicago politics differently. He came to the city as a community organizer in the 1980s and quickly developed a name for himself as a litigator in voting cases.
In 1995, then GOP Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal “Motor Voter” law. Allowing voters to register using only a postcard and blocking the state from culling voter rolls, he argued, could invite fraud. Mr. Obama sued on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and won. Acorn later invited Mr. Obama to help train its staff; Mr. Obama would also sit on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, which frequently gave this group grants.
Acorn’s efforts to register voters have been scandal-prone. St. Louis, Mo., officials found that in 2006 over 1,000 addresses listed on its registrations didn’t exist. “We met twice with Acorn before their drive, but our requests completely fell by the wayside,” said Democrat Matt Potter, the city’s deputy elections director. Later, federal authorities indicted eight of the group’s local workers. One of the eight pleaded guilty last month.
Despite this record – and polls that show clear majorities of blacks and Hispanics back voter ID laws – Mr. Obama continues to back Acorn. They both joined briefs urging the Supreme Court to overturn Indiana’s law.
Last year, he put on hold the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky for a seat on the Federal Election Commission. Mr. von Spakovsky, as a Justice Department official, had supported a Georgia photo ID law.
In a letter to the Senate Rules Committee, Mr. Obama wrote that “Mr. von Spakovsky’s role in supporting the Department of Justice’s quixotic efforts to attack voter fraud raises significant questions about his ability to interpret and apply the law in a fair manner.” Of course, now an even stricter law than the one in Georgia has been upheld by the Supreme Court, removing Mr. Obama’s chief objection.
The hold on the von Spakovsky nomination has left the Federal Election Commission with less than a quorum. As a result, the FEC can’t open new cases, hold public meetings, issue advisory opinions or approve John McCain’s receipt of public funding for the general election. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claims that, even without the von Spakovsky hold, filling the FEC’s vacancies will take “several months.”
Don’t anyone say Obama has been a do-nothing Senator. He’s had his little “victories”.
I can’t improve on John Fund’s conclusion:
So we have the irony of two liberal icons in sharp disagreement over yesterday’s Supreme Court decision. Justice Stevens, the real reformer, believes voter ID laws are justified to prevent fraud. Barack Obama, the faux reformer, hauls out discredited rhetoric that they disenfranchise voters.
Faux reformer indeed. Oh, and guess which player in all this, endorses Obama?
Hat tip: Lucianne
More on the Democrats and voter fraud, here.