Monday, May 07, 2012

Greg Abbott is either incompetent or defiantly ignorant

Or he's playing some kind of long con game that nobody else can decipher.

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a panel of federal judges to postpone the trial in Texas' Voter ID case because of complaints that state Attorney General Greg Abbott continues to stall requests for information.

The inability to get documents and Abbott's fight to keep Republican legislators from having to testify make a July 9 trial date impractical, Justice Department lawyers said in their motion to a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C.

Abbott wanted a quick trial to put the Voter ID law in place for the Nov. 6 general election.

"If Texas wants a speedy trial, then Texas will have to follow the rules. They shouldn't cherry-pick which rules they want to enforce and which rules they want to ignore," Mexican American Legislative Caucus Chair Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, said Tuesday. 

The court agrees with the DOJ.

In a harshly worded order issued this afternoon, the court in the Texas voter ID case reprimanded the state for what it said were “well-documented” discovery violations “that can only be interpreted as having the aim of delaying the Defendants’ ability to receive and analyze data and documents in a timely fashion.”

The court said:

Texas has repeated ignored or violated directives and orders of this Court that were designed to expedite discovery, and Texas has failed to produce in a timely manner key documents that Defendants need to prepare their defense.  Most troubling is Texas’ conduct with respect to producing its key state databases, which are central to Defendants’ claim that S.B. 14 has a disparate and retrogressive impact on racial and/or language minority groups.  The record reflects that these databases are voluminous, complex, and essential to the preparation of the opinions of Defendants’ expert witnesses. Yet, according to Texas, the full production of such databases to the United States was only complete on May 4, 2012 - 35 days after they were initially due.  The production to Defendant-Intervenors is still not complete.

The court told Texas that “[b]ased on the record to date, this Court would be well within its discretion to continue the July 9 trial date, to impose monetary sanctions against Texas, or to keep the July 9 trial date and impose evidentiary sanctions such as an adverse inference upon Texas.”

I simply don't understand what the Attorney General of Texas thinks he's going to accomplish here. His stonewalling might delay the trial he claims to want that he believes will settle the Photo ID business just in time to suppress November voting. But the judges seem more inclined to simply punish him for his sloth, or his deception, or whatever it is.

His refusal to comply with basic rules of discovery -- while attempting to create some kind of long-game legal precedent with this 'legislative privilege' BS that seems designed to produce a victory at the SCOTUS -- actually appears more directed to win in the court of TeaBagger opinion when the GOP finally loses the case. "Oh well, we lost because they forced the legislators to testify, and that's why the Ill Eagles are still able to vote 50 times..."

Greg Abbott is an abject failure at the simplest of tasks of an attorney's practice, and yet the very worst people representing the Republicans of Texas throw rose petals at his chair wheels.

Is this some parallel universe I have stumbled into?


Greg said...

If the rules were being followed, the challenge would be dismissed. The Supreme Court ruled such laws acceptable in 2006.

PDiddie said...

What rules and which laws?

Greg said...

Let's clarify -- voter id laws were upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2008 (my apology for my earlier typo) as a legitimate and constitutional way of protecting the integrity of elections --

The challenge to this law ought therefore have been dismissed as at odds with the Constitution.

PDiddie said...

That was one state and one law. The rights of states to craft their own laws -- and the constitutionality implied -- have to be weighed individually. As you have read, AG Abbott is screwing his chance up.

Don't worry; I'm sure a still-significant Republican majority in the Texas Lege will take a run at fixing it in 2013 so that even Abbott can't fuck it up.