by Arnold Ahlert
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was filing a lawsuit against Florida over the state’s push to clean its voter roles of dead and foreign voters. The move comes on the heels of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, scheduling a vote by his panel on June 20th aimed at holding U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal. While the corrupt practices of Holder’s DOJ may finally be getting the attention they deserve, it is also becoming apparent that the department is not just degrading the principles of law and order to advance a radical leftist agenda — but to enhance president’s Obama’s re-election chances by any means necessary.
The DOJ’s lawsuit against Florida is little more than the latest evidence of the highly politicized nature of the department and the man at its helm. As mentioned above, the state has been singled out for attempting to purge its voter rolls of non-citizens. Yet as testimony by former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams to the House of Representatives revealed, the department has taken exactly the opposite approach with other states, “deliberately refusing to enforce Section 8 and require states to purge rolls because of philosophical disagreement with the purging statute.” He further testified that during his time in the Voting Section, “political appointees expressed open and outright hostility to enforcing Section 8.”
The DOJ’s sudden interest in enforcing Section 8 in Florida rests on two contentions. One, that Florida has conducted its effort “within the 90-day quiet period before an election for federal office established by the law” and that “Florida’s use of inaccurate and unreliable voter verification procedures violates the requirement in Section 8 of the NVRA that any such program be uniform and nondiscriminatory.”
Both contentions are easily debunked. On Tuesday, Republican Governor Rick Scott revealed that Florida has been forced to use state databases to cleanse voter rolls because the Department of Homeland Security has refused to allow his state access to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), a national immigration database needed to confirm citizenship status. According to Scott, the DHS has stonewalled the state for nine months. This undercuts both of the DOJ’s arguments, even as it reveals the Orwellian nature of an Obama administration willing to deny Florida a more reliable database and timely access to it, while suing the state for “violations” it forced the state to preform.
Scott has taken notice. He announced that Florida will file suit for access. “We’ve done all the right things,” he said in an appearance on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “We’re put in a position where we don’t have a choice but to sue them to get access to a database…to make sure that your right as a citizen is not diluted by a non-citizen.” Scott also revealed the critical reason why. “We tried to use our own database to do it…even with that database, we’ve found 100 people not entitled to vote and we know 50 of them have voted.”
Florida is only the latest example of the blatant prejudice that emanates from the DOJ. Both Texas and South Carolina are being sued for enacting voter photo ID statutes despite a 6-3 ruling by the United States Supreme in 2008 upholding Indiana’s right to require such identification for voting. This implies that Eric Holder and company believe each state must file individual suits before SOTUS to achieve the same right.The same prejudice is seen in lawsuits against states seeking to enforce immigration laws the DOJ routinely ignores. Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah have all been targeted–even as not a single suit has been filed against any of the numerous “sanctuary cities” whose illegal alien-protecting statutes are unambiguous violations of federal immigration law. Taken as a whole the message is clear: anything that conflicts with the progressive agenda of the Obama administration becomes a target, while anything that accrues to it remains beneath the radar.
And the primary tactic for enforcing that message is crystal clear as well: delay, delay, delay. Delay the conclusion of a gunrunning scandal that may engulf high-ranking administration officials. Delay the implementation of voter photo ID requirements in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling permitting them. Delay the cleansing of tainted voter rolls that would weed out ineligible voters. Delay enforcing immigration laws in sanctuary cities and the implementation of laws designed to address illegal immigration. Delay for how long?
Until after the general election in November, at least.
With respect to voter ID laws, immigration statutes and voter rolls, such delays are likely a slam dunk. The wheels of justice grind slow, and there is no doubt that every effort will be made by the DOJ to appeal every decision that goes against them all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. And until Darrell Issa finally reached the limit of his patience, it was virtually certain that the Fast and Furious investigation, already more than a year old, would have continued past next November as well.
It probably will anyway. Speaking before a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Mr. Holder, much like Iranian nuclear negotiators, claimed he was willing to work out a compromise with the House Government and Oversight Committee. “I want to make sure it is very clear that I’m offering–I myself–to sit down with the [House] speaker, the chairman, with you and work our way through this in an attempt to avoid a constitutional crisis and come up with ways, creative ways, in which to make these materials available,” Holder told Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). Grassley remained skeptical. “Here we are, one year later, and the Terry family is still waiting for answers, they’re still waiting for justice,” he said.
Yet Holder’s newfound attitude apparently resonated with Issa. Yesterday he sent a letter to Holder urging him to make the Committee an offer.
“Let me be clear–if the Department of Justice submits a serious proposal for how it intends to alter its refusal to produce critical documents subpoenaed by the Committee, I am ready and willing to meet to discuss your proposal,” Issa wrote. No other conditions were set by Issa, but Sen. Grassley kept up the pressure. He wants to see the 80,000 documents that were subpoenaed, of which the DOJ has so far produced only 7,600. Grassley told Fox News that he would be satisfied only “when they cough up” the rest of those documents.
As for timeliness regarding the investigation, i.e. the public disclosure of top secret national security secrets, forget it. Even with the appointment of a special prosecutor in the far less serious “outing” of CIA agent Valerie Plame, that investigation took two years. The president opposes the appointment of a special counsel in this case, leaving Eric Holder to conduct the investigation. Holder has appointed two prosecutors, Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, to direct “separate probes that are already being conducted by the FBI.” The phrase separate probes suggests that, at some point those probes will have to be reconciled, undoubtedly lengthening the time of an investigation.
Whether the American public can put the pieces of these various efforts together remains to be seen. They’re certainly not going to get any help from the mainstream media. For example, CNN has characterized potential contempt charges against Holder as “politics,” while Tuesday marked the first time NBC news saw fit to cover Fast and Furious at all. Apparently some prominent players in the Fourth Estate are every bit as invested in obscuring reality as Eric Holder and the Obama administration. All of them remain fully committed to getting Barack Obama to the finish line in November relatively unscathed and unchallenged by legitimate concerns about the voting process.
And their tactic is as simple as it is corrupt. It is best described by an old aphorism: justice delayed is justice denied.Arnold Ahlert
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