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Posted at 8:27 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Left-wing legal group snookers Ezra Klein on Voter ID

By Jennifer Rubin

In discussing the photo ID bill passed in Wisconsin, Ezra Klein repeats a favorite talking point of liberals: "Such laws tend to exclude groups of voters who move a lot, don't drive or can't afford the fees required to keep their identification current -- groups that just happen to overlap with traditionally Democratic constituencies."

The problem is that this is false. In a 6-3 decision with the majority opinion written by a liberal icon, then-Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court upheld the Indiana voter ID law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a similar Georgia law.

The lower courts in these cases (the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in the Indiana case and the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Georgia) found that there was no evidence that anyone was denied the ability to vote because of lack of photo ID. The 7th Circuit found:

There is not a single plaintiff who intends not to vote because of the new law -- that is, who would vote were it not for the law. There are plaintiffs who have photo IDs and so are not affected by the law at all and plaintiffs who have no photo IDs but have not said they would vote if they did and so who also are, as far as we can tell, unaffected by the law. There thus are no plaintiffs whom the law will deter from voting. No doubt there are at least a few such people in Indiana, but the inability of the sponsors of this litigation to find any such person to join as a plaintiff suggests that the motivation for the suit is simply that the law may require the Democratic Party and the other organizational plaintiffs to work harder to get every last one of their supporters to the polls.

The 11th Circuit found:

The district court determined that the burden imposed on Georgia voters who lack photo identification was not undue or significant, and we agree. The NAACP and voters argue that the burden is "severe" and affects "between 5 and 10 percent of all registered voters," largely minorities, but the record tells a different story. The NAACP and voters are unable to direct this Court to any admissible and reliable evidence that quantifies the extent and scope of the burden imposed by the Georgia statute. . . .

The data relied on by the NAACP and voters are incomplete and unreliable. The data matches fail to account for other forms of identification that are acceptable under the statute, including the free voter identification cards. The lists also contain inaccuracies. The district judge, for example, erroneously appeared on one of the data match lists as not having a driver's license. As in [the Supreme Court's ruling on the Indiana case], "on the basis of the evidence in the record it is not possible to quantify . . . the magnitude of the burden" imposed on voters who do not possess an acceptable photo identification. 128 S. Ct. at 1622.

The voting results in the 2008 election confirmed the spurious nature of the argument that minorities would be disproportionately denied voting rights because of ID laws. In fact, the states with the strictest photo ID laws (Georgia and Indiana) had higher minority turnout than those with no photo ID requirements.

What Ezra's post doesn't reveal is that the group he cites, the Brennan Center for Justice, is a left-wing outfit that litigated against voter ID laws and went on a multi-year crusade against Bush Justice Department officials who defended voter ID laws. No wonder its assertions, and hence Ezra's post, are unsupported.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 8:27 AM ET
Categories:  law  
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Comments

It's entirely discriminatory to require photo IDs to cash a check, buy a pack of cigarettes, or a six-pack of Bud heavies. Obviously, being required to have a photo ID, when none is required any longer to execute those other transactions ... oh. Never mind.

***

This is why people like Klein should have to spend some time as an actual reporter. A guy writing the police blotter can't keep his job by just making stuff up.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | February 25, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

But when they wrote to constitution over 100 years ago there were no photo ID's so how can they require them now?

I thank God that in Chicago they still accept death certificates as valid ID at the polls.

Posted by: Bobo4 | February 25, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Jennifer for exposing the obvious fact that Ezra Klein is a left wing hack and a Journolist fraud.

Posted by: jkk1943 | February 25, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Democrats will explain that Obamacare works because each person in the country will either have a health care card from their employer, the government - medicaid, medicare - or they will be charged a tax via the mandate through the tax system. They have argued in front of federal judges that every single US citizen must be in an insurance system - WITH AN ID CARD!!!!

So, Obamacare requires an ID, but voting ID is discriminatory?

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 25, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Thank you again for exposing as a left wing propaganda arm another "public interest group" of the sort routinely cited as neutral civic outfits by this very paper. Perhaps some day more readers will understand this. Less likely that the Post and its writers and editors will catch on that the game is up.

Posted by: clarice2 | February 25, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

scalia thomas roberts alito would all vote against voter id because it didn't exist in 1776.

it's not conservative.it's not in the constituion.

and by the way columnist.. you didn't prove ezra was snookered by typing other people's opinion on voter id.

you just typed in other peoples opinions.

Posted by: newagent99 | February 25, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Here in Colorado, we're finally getting a similar law. Unfortunately, the previous governor directed the DMV to issue licenses to illegal immigrants. So yeah, they'll be required to produce their drivers licenses to vote, but they don't have to be a citizen. There's more than one way to pervert civilization.

Posted by: pablo1753 | February 25, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

What Ezra's post doesn't reveal is that the group he cites, the Brennan Center for Justice, is a left-wing outfit that litigated against voter ID laws and went on a multi-year crusade against Bush Justice Department officials who defended voter ID laws. No wonder its assertions, and hence Ezra's post, are unsupported.
*********************************
What a bizarre and hypocritical claim. Jennifer relies on right wing groups or persons with specific agendas to support whatever assertion she happens to be making in many of her columns, often without identifying the groups as being right leaning or explaining that the group or person being quoted has often opposed the current Administration.

Posted by: mustangs79 | February 25, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

There are two occasions when I say "Thank you" when I am asked to show an identification card:

1. When I go to vote.

2. When I use my credit cards.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 25, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

They asked me if I could identify myself so I looked in the mirror and saw George Kirby looking back. (Rip Van Winkle waking up from 1972.)

Posted by: aardunza | February 25, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Come now, lets not be so hard on lil Ezra. Remember, the Constitution was written, like a 1,000 years ago by some white dude and it didn't include pictures. Talking voterID would just tax his little JournOlist head.

But I bet you he can name the cast of "Jersey Shore" though.

Posted by: luca_20009 | February 25, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Jen - I can't believe the Post hired you on. But keep up the good work as long as they can stand you.

You know it is really not polite to point out when liberal journalists cut'n'paste from left wing advocacy groups. As long as you have the proper feelings and high minded intentions, then stuff like empirical evidence and facts don't matter.

Posted by: JohnBoy3 | February 25, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

scalia thomas roberts alito would all vote against voter id because it didn't exist in 1776.

it's not conservative.it's not in the constituion.

"and by the way columnist.. you didn't prove ezra was snookered by typing other people's opinion on voter id.

you just typed in other peoples opinions.

Posted by: newagent99 | February 25, 2011 9:40 AM"

Really - is that all you have? Remember that we used to restrict voting to men who owned land. That actually got changed over the past 230 years.

It is pretty clear that Democrats, in supporting groups like acorn, really enjoy pushing voter fraud. How does showing an ID - which you would need to buy a case of beer - is overly burdensome?

The gaping hole, however, remains the absentee ballots. I am afraid that the rats will just find new ways to cheat.

Posted by: JohnBoy3 | February 25, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"What a bizarre and hypocritical claim. Jennifer relies on right wing groups or persons with specific agendas to support whatever assertion she happens to be making in many of her columns, often without identifying the groups as being right leaning or explaining that the group or person being quoted has often opposed the current Administration. "

She's far more transparent about it. That's also moot here, all Jennifer did here was note two judicial determinations which totally undermine what Klein asserted. Klein has had a bad few months, from the age of the Constitution thing to this. Youthful vigor is no substitute for fact checking.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | February 25, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I was a republican candidate for the indiana legislature last fall. I was unable to vote for myself because of voter ID. You have misrepresented the Supreme Court and Georgia cases. Crawford v Marion County, in which I participated as an amicus, was decided on procedure, not on the merits. It did not decide that voter ID is always constitutional; it decided that that particular case failed because the complaint was defective. A different georgia court found that voter ID was an unconstitutional poll tax, but was later reversed on standing, not on the merits.
In 2006 1000 indiana voters were defrauded of their votes by voter ID. I don't have the numbers for 2008 and 2010, but it was similar. I am currently litigating the denial of my vote in 2008, where I was not given even a provisional ballot,just told that I could not vote. When the GOP introduced the poll tax amendment in the 1940s, they had good reasons,and those reasons are still good today.Under the 4th amendment, voter ID is an unconstitutional roadblock at the voting booth.

Posted by: robbinstewart | February 25, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Then vote absentee.

Posted by: gopthestupidparty | February 25, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, also, you say the Wisconsin bill passed. Unless something changed since yesterday, it did not pass, and was tabled until if and when the Democrats return, since it is a fiscal bill requiring a quorum. And I note that Justice Stephens is no longer on the court. When voter ID returns to the Supreme Court, it could go either way.

Posted by: robbinstewart | February 25, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Facts are irrelevant to liberals. It is wholly sufficient that if you *wish* something was true, you can say that it is.

Posted by: TheMSMControlsUs | February 25, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Voting Id is a danger to the Dems unique ability to find "new uncounted" ballots closets and car trunks like they did in getting Al Franken elected and other places.

Hard for those dead Dems to keep voting in Chicago when they have to show having Photo Id.


Posted by: LogicalSC | February 25, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Count us among those bored to tears by the moonbat juiceboxer set. Thanks for putting a baby monitor on Young Ezra so we don't have to bother.

Posted by: thebump | February 25, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, in one of the court cases challenging a state voter ID law, the liberal group suing recruited a snow bird as a named plaintiff to testify that her right to vote was being denied. The voter in question turned out to be double registered, both in that state introducing the ID law, and at her winter home in Florida.

Of course all parties would like their own voters to have a larger voice, but only the crooks try to do it by multiple voting.

A while back BOTWT reported that while the ACLU was suing to overturn one of these voter ID laws, the public was not allowed to enter the building where the ACLU affiliate had its office without showing photo ID.

I guess they thought their own safety required a higher standard of protection than the integrity of our elections.

Posted by: mikem23 | February 25, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@robbinstewart

The voter id is not a fiscal bill. How in the world could you ever have confused the voter id bill with the bill to require union members to contribute to their health and pensions. They are separate topics, separate bills, and only one is a fiscal bill.

Posted by: RickCaird | February 25, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"What a bizarre and hypocritical claim. Jennifer relies on right wing groups or persons with specific agendas to support whatever assertion she happens to be making in many of her columns, often without identifying the groups as being right leaning or explaining that the group or person being quoted has often opposed the current Administration."
-----------
Notice that this criticism doesn't try to refute any of the facts Rubin presents. It's just an ad hominem attack. Weak.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | February 25, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Ezra. After the Wisconsin legislature takes away diversion of taxpayer money to Democrat politicians via union dues-cum-camapign contributions, and makes rampant voter fraud harder by requiring people to prove they are actually eligible to vote and are who they claim to be, Democrats will still need the power of media hacks like you to skew the playing field their way. One out of three may be bad for Democrats, but they will need the Ezra Kleins of the world all the more. Job security, Ezra!

Posted by: victorerimita | February 25, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

victorerimita.

Yep. Public sector unions are primarily funnels to transfer taxpayer money directly to demorat politicians.

Posted by: econrob | February 25, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Poor little Ezra Toohey. Nobody wants to listen to his one small voice. It's hard to be partisan and logical. The guys got a tough job.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | February 25, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@RickCaird
http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2011/02/24/state-senate-fails-to-pass-voter-id-bill.aspx
@gopthestupidparty
I can't vote absentee in Indiana, unless I actually leave, which I'm not willing to do, or unless I lie about it, which I'm not willing to do. Indiana will let me vote again when I turn 65, 15 years from now.

Posted by: robbinstewart | February 25, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

BOTWT? Pronounced similar to 'but what'...but what BOTWT? Don't worry, just joking, I shall be doing the google on...BOTWT!! (or...BOTTWT -- (to the tune of Raggmopp) here it goes...

I say Bee -- I say Bee Oh -- Bee Oh Tee -- Bee Oh Tee Tee ---- Bee Oh Tee Tee Double-you Tee BOTTWT! deedle-dee dee dee dum dum... BOTWT!!

Posted by: aardunza | February 25, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Here in Cal. poll workers are forbidden to ask for any form of ID. It occurred to me that if I beat my neighbor to the poll, I could sign in as him, vote, and there would be nothing anyone could do about it. I find it amazing that there is such resistance over a commonsense thing as requiring IDs to vote.

Posted by: invention13 | February 26, 2011 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein should change his name: he's exceeded his quota of Stupidity for both Ezra & Klein.

Posted by: jdmedarb | February 26, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

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