DOJ "preclearance" ruling is ridiculous (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland)

I would like to thank the Obama Department of Justice for issuing a ruling so ridiculous that its lawyers made my case against Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act better than I ever could.

This week, the DOJ refused to “preclear” Georgia’s plan for assuring that all voters in our state are U.S. citizens. Since most Americans have no idea what “preclearance” is, this means that the Department of Justice has authority to accept or deny any changes in electoral laws in nine states that had discriminatory laws more than 40 years ago.

Members of Congress and any other American from other states don’t understand and wouldn’t believe how arbitrary and pull-your-hair-out frustrating it is to operate under DOJ’s thumb. In this case, the state of Georgia worked with DOJ attorneys to develop an appropriate program. Then, like Lucy jerking the football away just as Charlie Brown tries to kick it, DOJ rejects Georgia’s system.

This is just one – out of many – examples of how DOJ continues to justify Section 5. It strikes down a perfectly fair and reasonable law to protect the sanctity of the vote of every American citizen in Georgia. Then, the DOJ and its timorous allies in Congress uses that rejection as evidence that Georgia continues to discriminate against minorities and should remain under this 44-year-old “emergency” provision that was supposed to expire in 1970.

But there’s a silver lining in all this. It appears the Supreme Court is poised to strike down the anachronistic Section 5, just as I warned Congress in 2006 when the law was reauthorized for another 25 years as if nothing as has changed since 1965. I hope that soon Georgia will be treated like all other states and have its sovereignty restored – as it rightfully deserves after decades of amazing racial progress and equity.

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