Tuesday, October 28, 2014

True the Vote loses another lawsuit

0 for 2 in court over the past month.

True the Vote, the Republican voter suppression movement, lost a round in its battle against the IRS yesterday when U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton dismissed its lawsuit against the IRS. True the Vote had claimed it had been targeted for greater IRS scrutiny due to its conservative point of view.
Judge Walton also dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by Linchpins of Liberty and 40 other groups. According to Forbes:
It’s important to understand that Judge Walton, a Presidential Bush nominee to the court, did not rule on the merits of the case. He didn’t decide that the IRS conduct was okay or that no harm was done. He ruled, rather, that procedurally, the case had nowhere to go. Since the plaintiffs in both instances could not prove ongoing harm – nor could they prove that there were not other remedies available – Judge Walton dismissed these cases.
A copy of the ruling is here.

However, True the Vote is continuing its vigilante tactics at voter suppression, emailing its supporters a call to arms, claiming "Elections will be stolen" on November 4.

James O'Keefe has beaten this dead horse over and over again.  The latest Republican talking point is that "photo IDs are free".  This is deliberately misleading.  Here's the evidence.

To get an EIC, (Eric) Kennie needs to be able to show the Texas department of public safety (DPS) other forms of documentation that satisfy them as to his identity. He presented them with his old personal ID card – issued by the DPS itself and with his photo on it – but because it is more than 60 days expired (it ran out in 2000) they didn’t accept it. Next he showed them an electricity bill, and after that a cable TV bill, but on each occasion they said it didn’t cut muster and turned him away.

Each trip to the DPS office involved taking three buses, a journey that can stretch to a couple of hours. Then he had to stand in line, waiting for up to a further three hours to be seen, before finally making another two-hour schlep home.

In one of his trips to the DPS last year they told him he needed to get hold of a copy of his birth certificate as the only remaining way he could meet the requirements and get his EIC. That meant going on yet another three-bus trek to the official records office in a different part of town.

The cost of acquiring a birth certificate in Texas is $23, which may not sound much but it is to Kennie. He is poor, like many of the up to 600,000 Texans caught in the current voter ID trap.

There's also a 93-year-old veteran in Houston who begs to differ with the state's definition of 'free'.

Now if you want to read a cogent argument in favor of voter photo ID, Mona Charon manages a few (through the fog of thinly disguised partisan ad hominem).  But the point remains that photo IDs required for voting should actually be free and unrestricted, unlike what the Texas law stipulates.  Which is why the Supreme Court will eventually strike it down, as even Republican election law attorneys understand.

For this election, whether or not the law is working as intended seems to be the $64,000 question.  Update: FWIW, Greg Wythe's numbers show some reasons to be pessimistic.

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