The Palmetto State's new law actually provides free state-issued photo identification cards to all that need them just like the laws of all the other states with such laws that the Department of Justice either pre-cleared or decided not to contest.
So what is the difference between the South Carolina law as opposed to the laws of Georgia (also upheld by their state's highest court), that DOJ approved and Indiana (also upheld by the nation's highest court) that DOJ declined to contest?
It is not the language of the respective laws, all of which avoid any semblance of a Jim Crow-style poll tax by, not only providing for the issuance of free photo ID voter registration cards, but also by authorizing a proactive educational campaign as well as allowing for non-photo ID voters to cast provisional ballots on Election Day that can be authenticated later with photo IDs obtained after Election Day.
Despite the above, no less than former President Bill Clinton has characterized photo ID laws as a "return to Jim Crow", but I digress. I defer:
The court's liberal lion, then-Justice John Paul Stevens, wrote for the majority that Indiana's law "is unquestionably relevant to the State's interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process." Indiana offered free voter ID cards to all citizens, so the inconvenience of picking up an ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn't an undue burden and was reasonably balanced by the state's interest in reducing fraud, Justice Stevens wrote.
So, could it be that South Carolina's sin was the passage of their law too soon after the failure of President Barack Obama's economic policies became apparent and too soon before his re-election bid?
Holder's assistant deputy AG in the Civil Rights Division claims in his pre-clearance denial letter that the new law "abridges" the right to vote of an alleged 81,938 "minority citizens who are already registered to vote [in S.C.] and who lack DMV-issued identification", thus rendering them "effectively disenfranchised"; and that the state has not yet finalized the proposed procedures to implement the issuance of free photo IDs and an education campaign necessary to "mitigate" the new law's "discriminatory effects".
S.C., not DOJ, purposefully identified non-photo ID holders for the purpose of facilitating the issuance of free state-issued such voter ID cards to them.
The irony in this claim is that South Carolina, unlike Indiana and Georgia, mandated that the state identify all those registered voters without photo IDs solely for the purpose of making sure that they were issued photo IDs!
The claim of such effects is based upon a disparity of 1.6% between whites and non-whites who lack photo IDs. Disparities of this kind do not and should not legally establish illegal discrimination, which should ordinarily require proof of intent, but even judged by the standards of the "pro-institutional racism" crowd, 1.6% is microscopically and insignificantly puny.
S.C. law treats all citizens equally. Is that what upsets liberal Democrats?
But let us return to the fundamental, underlying allegation, i.e. that to require that voters present photographic proof of their identification as a valid registered voter somehow "abridges the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group" under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. How so, especially when one can obtain the required photo-ID for free from the state?
Does there exist a constitutional right to vote without showing a photo ID? Of course not. But there does exist the right of the DOJ under Section 5 of the 1965 law to harass, er ah, I mean, "pre-clear" voting law changes in mostly Southern states. Those states have the burden of proof under the Act to show that proposed changes have neither the "purpose or effect of denying or abridging" the right to vote.
Shouldn't the fact that citizens of all races, colors and language minority groups, i.e. ALL voters, must submit photo-Ids to vote meet that burden? Obviously.
Real Jim Crow vs. Democratic Party-versions of same
We should remind those that think South Carolina circa 2011 A.D. equals the antebellum or pre-1965 A.D. Jim Crow South, that neither involuntary servitude nor one-drop rule, race-based voting laws applied to ALL citizens or voters. The progress obtained after the War between the States, Brown v. Board and the Civil and Voting Rights Acts was that no person could be a slave of another and that all citizens are entitled to equal protection of the laws.
It seems that too many liberals and Democrats refuse to be content with equal rights. Holder's own DOJ has expressed the sentiment that the intent of civil and voting rights laws are only to protect non-white victims from white perpetrators, which sentiment was vividly on display when charges were dropped last year against billy club-wielding, voter suppressing-New Black Panther Party members in Philadelphia.
Not being content with equal protection of the laws, having to run for re-election during Great Depression II despite the passage of the liberal Democrat legislationwish list that was supposed to fix the economy two years ago, and not being able to defend liberal legislation wish lists but desiring to retain and wield power anyway; the Bill Clintons, Eric Holders, and Barack Obamas (and, sadly, even civil rights hero John Lewis) of the world end up contorting themselves into positions that essentially insult the intelligence of Blacks and other minorities as too stupid to obtain a free, state-issued photo ID.
The contortions continue when they deny the fraud-prevention intent of new photo Id laws by insisting that we "know" that voter fraud is not a problem in the United States. Really? This from the same crowd that still thinks the presidency was stolen from Al Gore in Florida 2000 and that a conspiracy between President George W. Bush and Diebold rigged voting machines in Ohio in 2004 to deny John Kerry the office?
Will 90%-plus of African-American voters continue to say "Thanks, may I have another" after having their intelligence insulted once again by the Democratic party?
Now, we are confident that the Democratic Party of Joseph Kennedy and Richard Daley can still get photo IDs for enough dead to re-elect Rahm Emanuel, but can anyone deny that photo Ids serve the purpose of accurate identifications? Of course not. But then again, the Attorney General that makes fast and furious claims of racism against he and Obama when confronted with his Fast and Furious incompetence or worse, let us know last week that he favors "universal and automatic" voter registration!
So much for identification due diligence from the Obama Administration unless you are a minor child or octogenarian seeking to Fly Delta?
The real denial of equal protection is the application of the Voting Rights Act as a racist tool against Southern States, which Justice Clarence Thomas deems unconsitutional. This action, coupled with NLRB's coercive and unjustified actions against Boeing that cost South Carolina 20,000 jobs for the past three years; Obama's gangster/Chicago-style government threatening Bank CEOs with pitchforks; court order-violating oil drilling moratoriums; EPA executive overreach; and vows by the nation's Chief Executive to "go around" Congress while not enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act reveals a Candidate as President willing to do anything to gain a second term.
Would he really refrain from Motor Voter-style, universal Democratic, citizen or non-citizen suffrage to garner at least 270 Electoral College votes? If you think so, I have a bridge to sell you so you can get to future Brooklyn Nets games.
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist – Examiner.com
Editor - Hillbilly Politics
Co-Founder and Editor - Political Daily
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson