“If advocates want the Voting Rights Act to remain popular among all Americans, they better start supporting using the Voting Rights Act to protect all Americans, not just some.”
Senate Finance Committee Releases IRS Targeting Report
A headline on POLITICO this Thursday morning summed up the Senate Finance Committee’s long-awaited report perfectly: “ALL THAT FOR THIS?” Considering that the Committee had unique powers to review more than 1 million highly sensitive documents over the period of 27 months, you would think that Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) could agree on more than the fact that Lois Lerner was terrible at her job. The senators actually took contradictory positions on WHY she was terrible – be it political enforcement of the law or pure incompetence. At least we learned something new: Lerner directly considered targeting Bristol Palin for her involvement with a teen pregnancy charity. We’re sure that had nothing to do with the identity of her mother.
TTV Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act on CBS Radio
Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves as we reflect on the role True the Vote is playing to restore faith in our elections across the nation. TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht sounded off on CBS News Radio this week about where enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is going in the 21st Century. If you didn’t catch it during a newsbreak on your car radio, you can replay the full segment here.
Texas Voter ID Law Suffers Setback on Appeal
Texas’ effort to appeal an activist lower court ruling striking down its voter ID law received a mixed-bag decision from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week. Although the Obama appointee Judge Nelva Gonzales found the law to be a poll tax crafted with discriminatory intent and potential outcomes while violating the Constitution, the 5th Circuit saw things a bit differently. The appellate panel found that Gonzales erred in labeling it intentionally discriminatory and unconstitutional. The statistical models presented that claimed that minorities may be disproportionately impacted under the law did win the day, however. But instead of tossing the baby out with the bathwater, the Court instructed all parties to return to the original law for improvements, since the Texas Legislature’s motives were honorable. In a press release circulated in response, TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht stated, “True the Vote has been a leading advocate for voter ID. We will continue to work, on behalf of all Texans, for common-sense election reforms and to bring voter ID back to the state.” Click here to read the full press release.
Don’t Forget to Register for the August National Webinar: DIY Election Integrity
This month, True the Vote is planning a presentation that will help you hit the ground running with independent research projects in your community. We’ll let you in on some expert tips to help you dislodge critical information that may be the difference between transparency and concealment from your election officials. Click here to get registered for the call set for Tuesday, August 11, at 7pm Eastern.
Click ‘n’ Share -- True the Vote Blog
The 5th Circuit has affirmed the district court’s findings that Texas Voter ID violated federal law. A couple of quick initial thoughts reading the opinion:
1. The ruling deals a blow to the Justice Department’s theories on intent. The opinion says that there must be the specific intention to discriminate, not just that discrimination might occur. This is a serious blow to those who would offer a legal theory that shows intent everywhere.
2. Shelby is cited for the idea that discrimination must be contemporaneous. So much for the DOJ-fueled experts who reflexively talk about reconstruction.
3. This won’t sit well with the plaintiff’s braintrust: “In turn, the relevance of this evidence rests upon the unsupported premise that a legislator concerned about border security or opposed to the entry into Texas of undocumented immigrants is also necessarily in favor of suppressing voting by American citizens of color.”
4. There is now a wider circuit split on what Section 2 results test would look like.
5. That the opinion was written by a George W. appointee only demonstrates further the “strength” of the trial defense.
6. Texas could have fixed this law in January but didn’t? Why not? There was a prevailing narrative pushed by some interests that the Fifth Circuit would reverse and uphold the law. That didn’t happen.
HOUSTON, TX. -- August 5, 2015: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today reacted to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling striking down Texas’ photo voter identification law.
“This ruling tells concerned citizens that an election integrity policy like voter ID can be struck down even after it has proven to not be enacted with any discriminatory intent,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “The sanctity of the vote will now break with whoever can best contrive conclusions through craftily curated datasets in the absence of current, concrete evidence.
“One saving grace is that the 5th Circuit has directed all concerned to correct Texas’ voter ID law -- while respecting its original intent of preventing fraud and improving trust in our elections. True the Vote has been a leading advocate for voter ID. We will continue to work, on behalf of all Texans, for common- sense election reforms and bring voter ID back to the state.”
True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.
“The Justice Department has the authority to enforce the requirement. But with this “Justice” Department, some issues of justice are created more equal than others. . . . But never mind enforcing the voter laws we have on the books and making sure that American elections operate without corrupt rolls. For the Justice Department, it’s far more important to police elections for hosting the World Cup.”
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