On December 11, federal judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an Obama nominee, denied a motion by True the Vote to intervene in a lawsuit filed in Corpus Christi, Texas, against the state’s new voter-ID law by liberal advocacy organizations and the Holder Justice Department. This is the same voter-ID law that was implemented without any problems in the November state election.
True the Vote is a Houston-based nonprofit organization started by Texas residents, including its president, Catherine Engelbrecht, who were concerned about voter integrity in the Lone Star state. I’m on its board of advisers, and it is a great organization made up of ordinary citizens trying to clean up our election process and make it more fair and secure.
Yet it has been targeted by the IRS in Washington and by the Democratic party in lawsuits in Texas. Trying to make sure everyone’s vote counts and is not stolen by fraud is a legally hazardous occupation these days.
It is not surprising that the Justice Department opposed the intervention of True the Vote, but it is unprecedented. The Justice Department has a policy of not opposing motions to intervene by citizen groups interested in voting issues, such as the NAACP, LULAC, ACLU, MALDEF, and the League of Women Voters.
But all of those organizations are liberal advocacy organizations that oppose all election-integrity efforts. True the Vote is a conservative organization that is made up of Texas residents and voters. Apparently if you are a political ally of the Obama administration, your participation in attacking voter ID is welcome. But if you oppose the administration, then the Justice Department’s lawyers will vigorously oppose your intervention.
In addition to individual plaintiffs, the Texas case has the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Texas League of Young Voters, the Brennan Center, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and the Texas Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners (TAHCJCC) on the other side, joined with the Justice Department in going after Texas. Illustrating the complete hypocrisy and potential bias of the Justice Department is the fact that at almost the same time that Justice was opposing True the Vote’s intervention, it filed a response to the motion to intervene of the TAHCJCC and Maria Longoria Benevides saying it did “not oppose permissive intervention.”