Politics

Another Suit to Stop Trump’s Voter Commission Fails

Federal judge in Washington becomes latest to strike down efforts to thwart data collection

Progressives seeking to shut down President Donald Trump’s voting integrity commission suffered another defeat in a federal courtroom in Washington this week.

Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on Tuesday slapped down a request by Common Cause to prohibit the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from getting publicly available voter registration records from all 50 states.

Democracy Forward lawyer Josephine Morse, who was representing Common Cause, pointed to statements by commission Vice Chairman Kris Kobach in arguing that he intends to involve federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security in searching for ineligible voters on the rolls. She argued that the commission essentially converted itself into a federal agency.

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Lamberth ridiculed that assertion, according to an account of the hearing by Politico.

“I don’t use internet evidence like videos as court evidence,” he said, according to the news outlet. “I don’t take judicial notice of TV interviews … I don’t take judicial notice of news articles and all that junk.”

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Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told LifeZette that the lawsuit is just a distraction.

“This really is just trying to throw up every roadblock they can,” said Churchwell, whose boss is a member of the commission.

By Churchwell’s count, this is the seventh lawsuit seeking to thwart the commission. Two of those cases currently are before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. One that the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed was defeated last month.

“There’s a reason for this winning streak, and it’s because they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said of the commission.

Churchwell noted that Kobach, in a revised letter to the states, made specific reference to the commission’s desire for public information public that must be disclosed in keeping with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, known as “Motor Voter.”

“It’s not like they are going on a fishing expedition,” he said.

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The Public Interest Legal Foundation has gone to court to force local voter registration officials to regularly remove ineligible voters as required by law. The foundation battled in federal court this week in Miami, where Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes testified that she has witnessed fraud.

The foundation also uncovered the existence of more than 3,000 non-citizens on the voter roll in Virginia. More than 1,000 had cast ballots in an election.

Churchwell questioned why opponents are fighting so hard to impede a commission that they argue will find no evidence of widespread fraud.

“Worst-case scenario is they prove their own point,” he said. “But they can’t take that risk.”

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