When the Department of Justice Undermines Justice

This has to be the most politically partisan Justice Department in American history. I want to be cautious in making such a bold statement; as a historian, I need to be careful not to exaggerate—there’s a whole lot of history to review. Yet consider the latest moves. In my state of Florida, the governor, Rick Scott, tasked the Florida Secretary of State to clean up the voter rolls to ensure that only American citizens were actually voting in elections. That sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Only American citizens have that privilege, and if people are voting who should not be, that would be against the law. Also, based on the 2000 election—surely that hasn’t faded from anyone’s memory yet—it’s evident that even 500 invalid voters could determine the next president of the United States.

So what does the Justice Department, under Eric Holder, do? It is suing the state of Florida for moving forward with the effort to guarantee that only real voters are voting. Frankly, this is a stunner. The DOJ tries to justify its action by saying the effort was not approved by the Voting Rights Act. This is ludicrous, and only those who are hopeless Obama partisans can really believe the rationale. The DOJ declares, without proof, that this is discriminatory, aimed at minorities, especially Hispanics, since Florida has a large number of illegal immigrants. It implies that the effort is an attempt to purge the voter rolls of genuine Hispanic citizens who can vote. There is no evidence that this is behind the cleanup process; it’s merely a duty of government to make sure those who are ineligible to vote don’t break the law and unduly influence elections.

What does the DOJ want here? It’s not hard to believe the political appointees at the top, starting with Holder, want to look the other way if illegals vote. They know where those votes will go. To its credit, the government of Florida is now suing the Department of Homeland Security for refusing access to its database of illegals. Governor Scott has declared the cleanup will proceed. He is right to stand up to this obvious political ploy.

This comes on the heels of Holder’s attempt to stop states from requiring a photo ID for voting. Again, the old canard is dragged out to justify it: this is an attempt, they say, to depress minority voting. It’s fascinating where Holder sees discrimination and where he doesn’t. He’s the one who killed the prosecution of Black Panthers who stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia threatening voters. How are we to believe this isn’t political?

It was kind of funny last week when it became known that anyone wanting to meet the First Lady at a book signing had to provide a photo ID to be allowed access. So people need a photo ID for that, but not for voting? In fact, a photo ID is required for lots of things in our society:

It’s time to call their bluff. Florida has chosen to do so. More power to Governor Scott and his administration for standing up to federal bullies who misuse the authority of their offices for partisan purposes.