Bet on the feds to throttle the state’s new voter ID law

Expect the Justice Department to reject voter ID laws in all the Southern “covered jurisdiction” states. Why? Because the law empowers them to do so and it’s politically advantageous to the party in power. Those who fail to accept that the U.S. Justice Department is a political animal as much as a legal one are either na•ve in the extreme or simply disingenuous.

When the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush in 2007 prosecuted Noxubee County Democratic Party Chairman Ike Brown for systematically violating white voters’ rights and disenfranchising white voters in Noxubee County in violation of the Act, Democrats howled about partisanship and politicization of election law enforcement by the Bush administration.

When Justice eventually torpedoes Mississippi’s voter ID law, Republicans will make the same accusations against the Obama administration. But as yet, Justice can’t kill Mississippi’s voter ID law until after the Legislature passes enabling legislation and the final voter ID plan is formally submitted by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann to the Justice Department for federal preclearance.

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
3/21/12