Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Holder Messed With Texas

Holder Messed With Texas
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 13, 2012

Betraying an oft used slogan in the Lone Star State, once the battle cry against littering, “Don’t Mess With Texas,” US Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department struck down the Texas voter identification law requiring all citizens to produce a photo ID prior to casting a ballot.

To paraphrase the late, great President Ronald Reagan, here we go again, as my December 25, 2011 column “A Picture Worth A Thousand Votes,” discusses the feeblemindedness of the federal government thwarting states from “imposing” photo identification requirements upon its citizens in an attempt to cull voter fraud. (www.sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com)

Texas Governor Rick Perry rightfully called the Obama Justice Department’s decision an “overreach,” as it said the state failed to prove the ID law is not intentionally discriminatory toward Hispanic voters. How does one prove a negative, or in this case, a double negative?

"Texas has a responsibility to ensure elections are fair, beyond reproach and accurately reflect the will of voters. The DOJ has no valid reason for rejecting this important law, which requires nothing more extensive than the type of photo identification necessary to receive a library card or board an airplane. Their denial is yet another example of the Obama administration's continuing and pervasive federal overreach," Perry said.

Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division claims the reason for the rejected photo ID law is attributed to supposedly 11 percent of Texas’ Hispanic voting population lacks a state-issued form of identification. It is not discriminatory to expect people to identify themselves as qualified registered voters in order to cast a ballot. The Supreme Court said as much in a 2008 case involving the State of Indiana. That case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board was decided by a 6-3 margin with Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the High Court’s most liberal jurists, authoring the majority opinion.

Texas follows South Carolina as two states to have voter ID laws struck down by the Obama administration’s Justice Department – the first time such actions have been taken in more than 20 years.

This is a Justice Department not only rife with corruption that turns a blind eye away from voter fraud, but has an incompetent leader encouraging such vicissitudes to become pandemic in an insidious effort bordering on anarchy.

I don’t think it is at all hyperbolic to suggest that not combating voter fraud borders on anarchy. After all, if left unchecked all anyone need do is arrive at the polling places, demand to vote, cry racism when denied, and the Justice Department jumps to their rescue. Oh, wait, that already happens.

When photo identification is required in so many aspects of one’s life – boarding an airplane, opening a bank account, cashing a check, when using a credit card, renting a vehicle, driving that vehicle, redeeming the winnings of a lottery ticket, gambling at a casino, filing a W-4 for employment, renting an apartment, buying a house, as well as purchasing alcohol, tobacco, firearms and even Sudafed, why are the rules so lax when it comes to one of the most sacrosanct activities an American can perform – casting his or her vote in determining who will lead the greatest nation on earth?

There is nothing unfair about expecting ALL legally registered voters to identify themselves. It is for the protection of the voter to ensure that no one else steals their identity or their vote. It is by design to uphold the integrity of not just a single election, but the confidence of voters that all elections will be decided fairly by those people legally qualified to participate in the electoral process. Somehow the Obama administration, which continues to use the United States Constitution like a roll of Charmin®, has lost sight of that simple, yet vital concept.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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