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WaPo on The DOJ Hiring "Scandal":

Orin linked the article, but he failed to highlight the truly scandalous nature of the hiring process, as reported by our diligent scribes:

According to a former deputy chief in the civil rights division, one honors hire was a University of Mississippi law school graduate who had been a clerk for U.S. District Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. about the time the judge's nomination by President Bush to a federal appeals court provoked opposition by congressional Democrats, who contended that Pickering was hostile to civil rights.

A few months after he arrived, that lawyer was given a cash award by the department, after he was the only member of a four-person team in the civil rights division who sided with a Georgia voter-identification law that was later struck down by the courts as discriminatory to minorities, according to two former Justice lawyers.

Another honors hire, a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law who had been president of the campus chapter of the Federalist Society, displayed a bust of President James Madison in his Justice office, according to a former honors program lawyer who was hired during the Clinton administration. A profile of Madison's face is the logo of the society, which is based on conservative precepts.

Oh my goodness--a bust of James Madison in his very office! Gracious, a civil rights lawyer who clerked for Charles Pickering--who "congressional Democrats ... contended" was hostile to civil rights (apparently since some congressional Democrats "contended it," all of his clerks are disqualified from working in the office).

The other example cited in the article seems odd as well--why is it supposed to be a problem that a graduate of Regent Law School might be interested in working on "some religious liberties" cases. Would we be similarly shocked if a minority graduate of Southern Law School, for example, expressed a particular interest in working on Voting Rights cases, or a former intern at a pro-choice organization was interested in reproductive rights cases?

The unintentional irony of this is that these examples are provided as examples of the "nonideological" bona fides of the career lawyers who offered them as examples. The career lawyer who is cited (as well as the authors of the article) seems confident that any right-minded person would shocked and outraged that a lawyer was a member of the Federalist Society and had a bust of James Madison in his office or that one of Judge Pickering's clerks worked in the civil rights division.

This is not to say one way or the other whether the new policy is a good one. Or that there may be real examples that actually prove the reporters' point. Or that there were improper ideological pressures in this case that were fundamentally different from Democratic administrations, or that political favoritism is somehow different or more pernicious than all of the other sorts of preferences and favoritism that also play into hiring processes. I don't know the answer to these questions, but it seems obvious that merit alone has never the sole criterion for securing these positions, and that a variety of other personal, geographic, and demographic factors have always played into these decisions.

But if these are the "smoking gun" examples that are the best ones that career attorneys can offer as conservative ideology run amuck at the DOJ, then it seems to me that this says more about the real biases of the supposedly "nonpolitical" attitudes of DOJs career attorneys and the ideological parochialism of the Washington Post than about some sort of hiring "scandal" at DOJ. If these are the sorts of trivialities that career DOJ attorneys consider to be evidence of an extreme ideological shift to the right at the DOJ, then forgive me for being skeptical that the end result of giving career lawyers a monopoly on hiring for these positions is going to eliminate ideology from the hiring process.

Moreover, it is naive to think that putting these career lawyers in charge of hiring will remove ideology from the hiring process (not to mention the thinly-veiled elite snobbery in the otherwise-irrelevant references to University of Mississippi and University of Kentucky Law Schools in the article). It seems evident that a Federalist Society member or Pickering clerk would have those credentials held against him or her by at least this particular career lawyer. If so, is that different from the concern expressed by congressional investigators that senior political appointees appeared to reject applicants who "had interned for a Hill Democrat, clerked for a Democratic judge, worked for a 'liberal' cause, or otherwise appeared to have 'liberal' leanings?"

wuzzagrunt (mail):
In their day, people like Madison were considered by some to be dangerous radicals. In certain circles, they still are.
4.28.2007 6:22pm
Steven:
You're not really going to defend this Justice Dept, are you?

Stick to credit cards--those companies have more credibility than the DOJ.
4.28.2007 6:23pm
Randy R. (mail):
There is a difference between hiring someone who happens to be conservative, and hiring someone *because* he is conservative.

Considering the fact that out of the last 27 years, 19 of them were conservative running the government, I'd say your worry over the 'liberals' having some undue influence is overwrought.
4.28.2007 6:28pm
JonC:
I also enjoyed the offering of the Madison bust as a supposed example of right-wingery gone wild.
4.28.2007 6:40pm
riptide:
Why did you skip mentioning the cash award with regards to the Georgia identification law? If cash awards are given, why wouldn't they be given to the lawyers who picked the winning side?
4.28.2007 6:42pm
Justin (mail):
Regardless of Professor Zywecki's mocking tone, the connection to this and the profoundly disturbing politicization of DOJ's political corruption and civil rights division's is patently obvious.

And yes, paying money to someone to support a rule that disenfranchises African Americans strikes me as downright criminal.
4.28.2007 7:12pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I wonder how many of these "scandals of the week" we're going to see before 2008? I suppose it means the war effort must be going better than expected if the press is spending so much time on things like this.
4.28.2007 7:19pm
Justin (mail):
Daniel, no, the war effort isn't getting any better. Even President Bush admitted that yesterday when he "redetermined" how long the surge would take to show positive results.
4.28.2007 7:22pm
Cornellian (mail):
(not to mention the thinly-veiled elite snobbery in the otherwise-irrelevant references to University of Mississippi and University of Kentucky Law Schools in the article)

Ah yes, elitism rears its ugly head. I for one can't think of any possible reason why one might prefer a graduate of Yale or Harvard law school over a graduate of the University of Kentucky, other factors being equal.

I think you can make your point without dismissing their view of the University of Kentucky as mere snobbery.
4.28.2007 7:25pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Justin. The voter ID law discriminates against minorities? A court said so? Courts can say anything they want, whether it has any connection to reality.
Voter ID laws discriminate against cheaters. Calling it racist is a cheap way of covering up the intent of the law, and the intent of opposition to it.
This, I am sure, is not new to you. Nor, I hope you now understand, is it new to anybody else.
4.28.2007 7:26pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Isn't it racist to argue that minorities cheat more in elections? Isn't that what Justin's arguing?
4.28.2007 7:29pm
Jaime Roberto:
Isn't condeming someone for working with Pickering or being a member of the Federalist Society akin to McCarthyism? Wait, I forgot, by definition Democrats don't practice that.
4.28.2007 7:33pm
Random Commenter:
"Regardless of Professor Zywecki's mocking tone, the connection to this and the profoundly disturbing politicization of DOJ's political corruption and civil rights division's is patently obvious.

And yes, paying money to someone to support a rule that disenfranchises African Americans strikes me as downright criminal."

If it were "patently obvious" one would think a motivated WaPo reporter could find a better use for column-inches than to discuss the presence of a bust of Madison in someone's office.

I hope it won't seem rude for me to observe that I'm glad Justin isn't in charge of hiring DOJ attorneys either.
4.28.2007 7:34pm
Cenrand:
"thinly-veiled elite snobbery in the otherwise-irrelevant references to University of Mississippi and University of Kentucky Law Schools"

You mean the same 'thinly-veiled elite snobbery' engaged in by every top law firm -- not to mention just about every corporate legal department in the country? Is this the 'thinly-veiled elite snobbery' to which you refer?
4.28.2007 7:38pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Random Commenter,

I don't like your mocking tone. ;)
4.28.2007 8:02pm
Justin (mail):
The intent of the law, Richard, is to keep poor black people in Georgia from voting, so that the GOP (who get about 6% of the black vote in Georgia) can maintain control despite the state's demographic change.

The EXCUSE is voter fraud - but, as mentioned, there's no evidence of voter fraud occurring. Josh Marshall at TPM has a whole lot more, as does Kevin Drum.
4.28.2007 8:03pm
Justin (mail):
If the problem with the politicization of the honor's program wasn't so obvious, how come this administration, whose got a phobia of admitting mistakes, has backtracked and depoliticized the process?

You can be insulting all you want, to me or to the Washington Post, but eventually the facts will catch up with you.
4.28.2007 8:05pm
MDJD2B (mail):
The intent of the law, Richard, is to keep poor black people in Georgia from voting, so that the GOP (who get about 6% of the black vote in Georgia) can maintain control despite the state's demographic change.

The EXCUSE is voter fraud - but, as mentioned, there's no evidence of voter fraud occurring. Josh Marshall at TPM has a whole lot more, as does Kevin Drum.


If there is minimal voter fraud, then there is no worry that requiring voters to show reasonable identification will disadvantage any class.
4.28.2007 8:09pm
Kovarsky (mail):
odd post.

the point is that the civil rights division wasn't intended to prosecute/bring religious liberties cases. that's not to say that the the mission of a particular division can't change, but the point in the excerpt is not particularly unusual in pointing out that the bush division has brought what, 1, employment discrimination case on behalf of a racial minority? again, i'm not saying the role can't change, but there's nothing exceptional about pointing out that it has.

not to mention the fairly obvious point that a program that dimishes a cost, rather than eliminating it, would still be preferable to the status quo.
4.28.2007 8:13pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

If there is minimal voter fraud, then there is no worry that requiring voters to show reasonable identification will disadvantage any class.


Non sequitur. You appear to be assuming that poor people/minorities engaged disproportionately in voter fraud and that therefore cutting down on voter fraud discriminates against them. That is not the argument.

The argument is that stricter identification requirements discriminate against the poor, and minorities insofar as they are disproportionately poor, because they are less likely to have the necessary identification. That is because they are less able to afford the fees and may receive no other benefit (if, e.g. they cannot afford a car).
4.28.2007 8:16pm
Mac (mail):
From Natonal Review onlne:

Imagine Mississippi federal district judge Charles Pickering's frustration at being called racially insensitive. He cannot reply that Charles Evers, brother of assassinated civil-rights leader Medgar Evers, said Pickering "was standing up for blacks in Mississippi when no other white man would." Pickering testified against KKK Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers in his 1967 trial for allegedly using a firebomb to murder civil-rights activist Vernon Dahmer.

I can't imagine anyone having the nerve to call this man a rscist. For those of you too young to know, going up against the Klan in 1967 could get you killed, your family killed and anyone else who was in the way. For a bunch of Democratic jack asses in Congress who have never stood for anything to call Pickering a racist is beyond belief.
4.28.2007 8:27pm
Enoch:
The argument is that stricter identification requirements discriminate against the poor, and minorities insofar as they are disproportionately poor, because they are less likely to have the necessary identification. That is because they are less able to afford the fees and may receive no other benefit (if, e.g. they cannot afford a car).

Balderdash. Nobody is so poor they cannot afford $20 for a state-issued picture ID card, and anyone too lazy and worthless to stand in line at the DMV in order to get an ID card shouldn't be allowed to vote.
4.28.2007 8:31pm
Randy R. (mail):
Well, apparently, Pickering 'went up against the KKK' and neither he nor his family was actually killed.

Pickering aside, a society in which one small group is given so much power is a society that pretty much agrees with that one small group. In other words, perhaps the reason that KKK WAS so powerful is because so many people agreed with it.
4.28.2007 8:31pm
TMac (mail):
"In other words, perhaps the reason that KKK WAS so powerful is because so many people agreed with it."
Do you mean like people who support democrat Senator Robert Byrd?
4.28.2007 8:40pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
The intent of the law, Richard, is to keep poor black people in Georgia from voting, so that the GOP (who get about 6% of the black vote in Georgia) can maintain control despite the state's demographic change.

That's only part of the reason. The Bush administration has been taking a series of steps to ratchet down people's reasonable expectations of privacy. In voter ID, requiring citizens who have a right to vote to first obtain and display a voting license ratchets down our reasonable expectations of when the government can go through your pockets without a warrant. It's a slippery slope. Next, they'll want you to have and display a pedestrian license, or a flying-on-a-plane license, or a going into federal courthouses to petition the government for redress of grievances license. Oh wait. Currently, you don't have to get a social security number or a driver's license or passport, as long as you willing to not drive, work, leave the country, bank, vote, etc.
Perhaps soon the government will propose some form of mandatory ID. Whether by microchip or tattoo, it will be convenient to have a paperless scanable ID. As we get used to being scanned and tracked, our reasonable expectation of privacy diminishes, in a process sort of like Moore's law.
On thursday, I tried to vote in my county's primary elections for mayor and council, in Indiana. My ballot is sitting in an provisional envelope and won't be counted, because I am unwilling to display a voting license. There's no genuine controversy that I'm not who I say I am, or that I'm not registered to vote, or that my signature doesn't match the one in their records.
I have standing to sue to have my vote counted. What I need is counsel. Anybody interested? gtbear at gmail.
People like me, who were officers in their federalist society chapters at Generic Midwest Law School, should be especially concerned when the government tries to engage in mass unwarranted searches. James Madison was.
4.28.2007 8:45pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
The "smoking gun" of course was the anonymous letter to Leahy mentioned in comments to Kerr's post. I assume that Zywicki is simply ignorant, not dishonest.

Having taught at a 4th-tier Baptist law school in Mississippi, Z. is apparently sensitive on the subject. I graduated from Ole Miss Law myself (which hangs by its fingernails to the bottom of the 2d tier), but if you want to practice law in Mississippi, it's a fairly sensible decision. I was never under the illusion of being at, say, Vanderbilt. (Though, on information &belief, one can graduate from Vandy without even taking Evidence.)

Re: Pickering, this yellow-dog Dem believes he did indeed get a raw deal. There were a couple of genuine improprieties that were seized upon, but P. was a moderate conservative who was considered as plaintiff-friendly a federal judge as one would find in Mississippi.

Significantly, the blacks in his own community spoke highly of him, leaving people like Bennie Thompson to imply they were Uncle Toms.

("Was" a moderate conservative; his experience with the Senate Dems seems to've unhinged him a bit, understandably so.)
4.28.2007 8:46pm
Taltos:
The intent of the law, Richard, is to keep poor black people in Georgia from voting, so that the GOP (who get about 6% of the black vote in Georgia) can maintain control despite the state's demographic change.


"While no single piece of data confirms that blacks will [be] disparately impacted compared to whites, the totality of the evidence points to that conclusion," the memo said. It added later: "The state has failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the change is not retrogressive."

But Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella cited the state's data in an Oct. 7 letter to a senator that argues the number of eligible voters without a photo ID is "extremely small."

"All individual data indicates that the state's African-American citizens are, if anything, slightly more likely than white citizens to possess one of the necessary forms of identification," Moschella wrote to Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) in defense of the department's decision.


So yeah, not one piece of evidence showed that blacks would have been more effected by the law, yet somehow all of it put together does?
4.28.2007 8:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
taltos,

So yeah, not one piece of evidence showed that blacks would have been more effected by the law, yet somehow all of it put together does?

you're missing the point - the other poster is speaking euphemistically. the point is to keep poorer voters and immigrants from voting. it's not that within that group that whites are favored, it's that the group is disproportionately nonwhite.

i think it's fairly well documented that, whatever the "intent" behind voter fraud prosecutions, they have a disproportionately severe effect on Democratic constituencies.

Also, to my knowledge, the DOJ has successfully prosecuted less than 3 voter fraud cases since the civil rights division made this an objective. the result: all chilling effect, no convictions. sound familiar?
4.28.2007 9:04pm
Taltos:
I've never understood the theory that requiring people to prove they are allowed to vote(a rather important thing) before doing so is somehow bad. A lack or prosecutions for voter fraud doesn't mean that it's not happening. We know that tens of thousands of ineligible voters vote in elections, it's just not necessarily worth the effort to prosecute them all. Requiring proof to vote is the most effective deterent with the lowest cost. The "they're taking our rights away" 1984 nonsense is laughable. You have to prove you are who you say you are for many things in life, what plausible reason is there for voting to not be one of them?
4.28.2007 9:12pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"The argument is that stricter identification requirements discriminate against the poor, and minorities insofar as they are disproportionately poor, because they are less likely to have the necessary identification."

And what a lame argument this is. When I lived in the DC area I had to show ID for everything. Any visit to a doctor's office required I show ID. I couldn't even look at a model rental unit without filling out a lengthy form and showing ID. Without ID in modern America you're a non-person. If someone is really so poor they can't even get ID then that's a separate problem to be solved. BTW How do they food stamps without ID? How do they cash a check? We know very well what's going on. Illegal aliens are voting in elections and the Democrats don't want that stopped. They even solicit their votes out in the open.
4.28.2007 9:16pm
ny (mail):
"i think it's fairly well documented that, whatever the "intent" behind voter fraud prosecutions, they have a disproportionately severe effect on Democratic constituencies."

so the rule against cheating catches cheaters? that must stop.

"Also, to my knowledge, the DOJ has successfully prosecuted less than 3 voter fraud cases since the civil rights division made this an objective. the result: all chilling effect, no convictions. sound familiar?"

wait, less than 3 convictions creates a "disproportionately severe effect" on Democratic cheaters voters? Shouldn't, under a cost-benefit analysis, the reasonable party official, and Democratic voters in general, commit voter fraud, since regardless of the laws and the enthusiastic prosecutors, they still can't catch you?

Moreover, are libbers now conceding that there's little to no voter fraud occuring? (See Justin and Marshall above.) Further, are they stipulating that $20 per person is too high a price to pay for the integrity of the system? Would they buy onto the system if the ID were given free?
4.28.2007 9:27pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
When I lived in the DC area I had to show ID for everything.

And of course, living in rural Georgia is just like living in D.C., in all relevant respects.

We know very well what's going on. Illegal aliens are voting in elections.

Interesting if true; your sources, please?
4.28.2007 9:31pm
Cornellian (mail):
I've never understood the theory that requiring people to prove they are allowed to vote(a rather important thing) before doing so is somehow bad.

It's not a question of whether you require someone to prove he's eligible to vote or not, it's a question of how much proof you require. Just requiring the guy to say "I'm eligible to vote" is proof, albeit at a very low standard. Requiring a passport would be proof too, but at a much higher standard. The more more hurdles you throw up en route to your desired level of proof, the harder you make it for people of limited resources and education to vote. Conversely, the fewer hurdles, the easier you make it for people to vote who aren't eligible to do so. So it's not either/or, it's a continuum. Strict requirements have a bit of a bad aroma to them in light of the history of how things like literacy tests were used to supress minority votes. It's not that hard to achieve a similar effect with voter identification requirements in the name of deterring voter fraud if that's what you really want.
4.28.2007 9:34pm
bkleinman (mail) (www):
Heck, illegal aliens are probably more informed about more of the issues than the average legal resident is. After all, they certainly have quite a lot at stake. If the democratic party is soliciting their 'votes' and they are, indeed, successfully voting (after all, we discount the chilling effect and we have limited evidence of actual convictions) then wouldn't it behoove the republic party to solicit their votes as well?

Then, with all this targeting and soliciting, maybe we could appeal to quality of the electorate grounds and just give illegal immigrants the vote?

I'm not sure where I'm kidding and where I'm serious.
4.28.2007 9:36pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Most states where voter ID is an issue have offered to provide some alternative to the drivers license for FREE, guys, as Justin already knows.
Much voter fraud takes place in cities. Cities, as it happens, have large proportions of minorties in their population. Every legitimate voter from a minority group whose vote is offset by an illegitimate vote is being disenfranchised.
But we mustn't talk about that kind of disenfranchisement. Some disenfranchisement is more equal than others.
The intent of voter ID law is to reduce all disenfranchisement, not to select for the disenfranchisement the liberals want.
And I don't want to type "disenfranchisement" any more.
Oh, yeah. Cities, having dense populations, have relatively frequent locations for various services, such as the DMV. And cities have buses. I would think anybody who likes the idea of clean voting would not quibble at the necessity to take a bus ride to the DMV to get whatever ID the state is providing. It would be an action to help protect his own vote.
4.28.2007 9:47pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
ReVonna LaSchatze:

"Maybe if some of you Republicans would start cutting your own grass and cleaning your own toilets, you wouldn't have to import them *wink wink* for the cheap labor."

I'm not a Republican and I clean my own toilets. I clean the rest of my house too. I employ no personal labor of any kind except for the lady who feeds my cats while I'm away. She's not an illegal immigrant, and she's not cheap. I give her $15 for about 15 minutes of work—that's a rate of $60 bucks an hour. It's the liberal Democrats I know that employ cheap illegal alien help and they brag about it.
4.28.2007 10:12pm
a bean:

"thinly-veiled elite snobbery in the otherwise-irrelevant references to University of Mississippi and University of Kentucky Law Schools"

You mean the same 'thinly-veiled elite snobbery' engaged in by every top law firm -- not to mention just about every corporate legal department in the country? Is this the 'thinly-veiled elite snobbery' to which you refer?

No, its the assumption they saying they graduated from those schools demonstrates their incompetence. When looking to label new hires after the fact for being incompetent, it might be good to judge them on their personal merits, not based on a generic classification such as graduate of xyz university.

Put another way. A justice department entirely filled with UofK graduates would be a suspicious sign of something wrong. A handful of examples, invites no reasonable immediate conclusions except to play upon our prejudices. Or do you presuppose that such graduates even after adding the DoJ to their resume be frowned upon by top-firms automatically based on their law-school.
4.28.2007 10:12pm
BT:
Just for the record folks, the State of Georgia's web site reports that you can get a voter ID card for free. Not good enough for the Justin's of the world no doubt.
4.28.2007 10:26pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"If the democratic party is soliciting their 'votes' and they are, indeed, …"

Speaking before a Latino crowd, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District in 2006 said, "You don't need papers for voting." She got recorded, and you can listen to her say it here.
4.28.2007 10:29pm
Mac (mail):
If I am not mistaken, Georgia offered to come to any home where the voters could not get to the DMV for FREE and give them an ID FOR FREE. I fail to see how that could possibly disenfranchise anyone.
I find it odd that Dem's are always screaming voter fraud, but never want laws to ensure one man one vote.
And re Bush requiring ID, in AZ the people passed a referendum that withstood court challenge that you must have an ID that matches your voter registration address or have 2 (I think) other current form of ID i.e. utility bill with your current address. You can always vote provisional until your address is confirmed. If you are registering for the first time, you have to show proof of citizenship.
It has been upheld, so far.
VOTERS not BUSH put this through. Had to be a referendum so our Dem gov. could not veto it. She really didn't like the proof of citizenship thing. I wonder why?
Also, as a poll worker, remember when you vote that the volunteers there are just that, volunteers who did not write the law. After 15 hours I was ready to commit some serious harm to the next jerk who acted like ID requirements were all OUR fault.
In the 2 elections I have worked since this law took effect, 1 vote at our polling place got messed up. ONE. Such disenfranchiseement. No one was denied the right to vote. It may not be counted if they don't go and provide the proper info, but every effort is made to ensure everyone gets to vote.
4.28.2007 10:32pm
a bean:

In voter ID, requiring citizens who have a right to vote to first obtain and display a voting license ratchets down our reasonable expectations of when the government can go through your pockets without a warrant.

Quite so. IDs for voting is crazy. What we do need is a little ink on the finger system like they used in Iraq. But that aside, you should not be flogging the republicans for reacting as they are. You should be flogging the democrats for so many years of cheating at the polls that the 'honor' system no longer works. Until the old voter-rolls &signature system is trusted again with regards to one man, one vote, there will rightly be pressure for something different.
4.28.2007 10:32pm
Donald (mail):
Back to the original topic: I'm not sure anyone believes the article constitutes a "scandal of the week." When the Bush administration made the change to have Honors program hiring decisions made by political appointees rather than career DOJ attorneys, it seemed like a big story in law school land, but no one else paid attention. Now, in the wake of other stories related to Dubya's fondness for cronyism over meritocracy (including a failed SCOTUS nomination and a terrible FEMA director), it smacks of more of the same. And the return to the old way of hiring is welcome and long overdue.

As to Professor Z's comments about the Regent student example: it's probably not surprising that this student is interested in religious issues, but fairly surprising that a student from Regent would be considered sufficiently credentialed to be hired into the Honors program.
4.28.2007 10:36pm
Anonymous Reader:
I get such a kick reading about the voter ID law and how that's akin to poll taxes, etc. Do the critics really mean that voting is less important than cashing a check? Less important than a random DUI checkpoint? And if I hear this talk about people too poor to afford a "free" ID card, I think I'm going to throw up in my mouth. That is probably the most snobbish, elitist statement I have ever heard. Wow, it boggles my mind that people actually think that way.

And I know Justin knows better. Damn, if the poor people here in the US would be "chilled" from voting... we better keep the troops in Iraq for a LONG TIME!! Those people are even poorer!! How will they fend for themselves!?!!?

Anonymous Reader
4.28.2007 10:38pm
Blindgambit:
Well, I was an honor's hire within the last four years and I wasn't a member of the Federalist Society, though I did clerk for a conservative circuit court judge. I don't recall being asked during my interview anything about my political views, or even touching on a legal philosophy.

Of course, I can also add that the time I spent with DOJ was some of the most miserable of my life, and that political appointees were having a large effect on morale in my Division.
4.28.2007 10:41pm
Cenrand:

"No, its the assmption they saying they graduated from those schools demonstrates their incompetence. When looking to label new hires after the fact for being incompetent, it might be good to judge them on their personal merits, not based on a generic classification such as graduate of xyz university. "

Graduating from those schools does not demonstrate their incompetence -- but it does go to show their lack of qualification for such positions. Especially when such people would not even be given a second glance in the private sector -- where the people doing the hiring have an actual stake in there qualifications and performance.
4.28.2007 10:48pm
Anonymous Reader:
Geez, whatever happened to affirmative action!! Those lower tier schools should get a chance too right?

Anonymous Reader
4.28.2007 10:50pm
Mac (mail):
Truth in posting. I forgot. I got paid, maybe $4-5.00 an hour to work at the polls. OK, for that kind of money, I should take abuse.

So, please, enlighten me. Exactly what do you get at Yale that you don't get at the University of Kentucky and Mississippi? Do they teach a different law or what? Are the boards in those states a lot easier? Just what is the difference?
4.28.2007 10:57pm
Anonymous Reader:
So, if a Yale law school grad fails the bar in a particular state, and a Kentucky Law school grad passes that same bar, who's the better lawyer?

I guess it doesn't really matter, because if that person didn't show his ID card before taking the test, maybe "they" really didn't fail.

Anonymous Reader
4.28.2007 11:06pm
a bean:

Graduating from those schools does not demonstrate their incompetence -- but it does go to show their lack of qualification for such positions. Especially when such people would not even be given a second glance in the private sector -- where the people doing the hiring have an actual stake in there qualifications and performance.

You aren't particularly listening are you? It is perfectly reasonable when hiring people and lacking much information, to use school as a proxy for qualification. After you are on the job though, it is not where you went to school that is the best indicator, but how well you perform the job.

Consequently, looking at people that have already been working ad Justice for a while, and then judging them on their schools is backwards. It isn't the 'best evidence'. The best evidence is how well they performed their job.
4.28.2007 11:20pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
So suppose (just suppose) I got a 173 on my LSAT, but decided to go to Regent because I'm (1) an Xian and (2) interested in public service, where they will work harder than any other school to place me. I graduate at the top of my class. Should I get accepted to the Honors program? Vote...
4.28.2007 11:41pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"So, please, enlighten me. Exactly what do you get at Yale that you don't get at the University of Kentucky and Mississippi? Do they teach a different law or what?"

Here's the theory. Yale and Stanford and other top-ranked law schools are harder to get admitted to than say Mississippi. Unless of course you qualify for affirmative action, or come in under a "Critical Race Studies" program such as they have at UCLA. Therefore the competition is tougher, so in theory a 3.8 GPA at Stanford should be harder to get than at Mississippi. So employers can use school ranking and GPA as an easy filter in hiring. They don't have to think, and that's fine with them. But for a given person it should not matter where he goes to school, unless you think the greater competition will urge him on to learn more.

I personally don't subscribe to the theory. I prefer to evaluate the candidate myself and ask questions. As a general rule, I don't like hiring graduates from Harvard, as I find them insufferable. But that's just me. Others I'm sure differ.
4.28.2007 11:41pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
The discussion has gone a long way afield from the article, though, which seriously cites a bust of Madison as an ominous sign.

Now, I'm no fan of Madison--history has proven him wrong and Jefferson and Henry right--but yeesh.
4.28.2007 11:43pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
I get such a kick reading about the voter ID law and how that's akin to poll taxes, etc. Do the critics really mean that voting is less important than cashing a check? Less important than a random DUI checkpoint? And if I hear this talk about people too poor to afford a "free" ID card, I think I'm going to throw up in my mouth.



Here's what I'm able to glean from this discussion:

1) There is scant evidence of voter fraud.

2) Democrats adamantly refuse to permit the gathering of said evidence by means of requiring proof of voter eligibility.

To put it in plain English: voter fraud is too important to the election of Democrat candidates, and must never be restricted. It's all right there in the Constitution under the Balance of Power Clause *cough*.
4.29.2007 12:14am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Justin, you might want to look up "disenfranchise" in a dictionary.
4.29.2007 12:26am
Blindgambit:
Joe Bingham:

I say "yes," you should. I hate using school as a proxy. I actually got a 174 on my LSAT, and was PhiBetaKappa undergrad, but I went to a top 25ish school, not a top 5 school, for financial reasons. As I mentioned above, I was hired through the honor's program following a circuit clerkship. I think there are a great many outstanding lawyers at lower ranked schools.

Not everyone is drawn to the allure of the Ivy's. If you know (as I did) that you wanted to pursue public service, it's not always worth it to rack up $100K in debt.
4.29.2007 12:26am
Jim FSU 1L (mail):
Oh no, not the dreaded secret society of the federalists! They talk about it like he joined the illuminati and put up a bust of hitler on his desk. Talk about blowing things out of proportion.
4.29.2007 1:11am
TDPerkins (mail):
Now, I'm no fan of Madison--history has proven him wrong and Jefferson and Henry right--but yeesh.


No history hasn't. The regrettable evolutions in the body politic and in the forms and practices of government seen today do not depend on fidelity to Madison's document, but on deviations from it. The adoption of Jefferson's preferred modes of governing would have had no effect when society became determined to tolerate the rise of socialism and the use of government to achieve forced changes to American society.

Instead of the argument you just made, Mr. Bingham, if the anti-federalists had won you'd now be lamenting that the much more firmly written and explicit constitution of Madison was not adopted, for surely its delineated powers and bill of rights would have checked the spread of majoritarianism.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
4.29.2007 1:43am
Cenrand:
Anonymous reader:

"Geez, whatever happened to affirmative action!! Those lower tier schools should get a chance too right?"

It seems like everyone here is a huge fan of the meritocracy -- except when it is conservative christians getting the affirmative action.

Mac:

"So, please, enlighten me. Exactly what do you get at Yale that you don't get at the University of Kentucky and Mississippi? Do they teach a different law or what? Are the boards in those states a lot easier? Just what is the difference?"

I'm not really sure what you get - maybe its the quality of the student body, maybe its the quality of the faculty - my gut tells me it might even be elitism - but private industry seems to put an awful lot of stock into such things, and i'd have to say they are more reliable than my gut instincts.

A bean:

"You aren't particularly listening are you? It is perfectly reasonable when hiring people and lacking much information, to use school as a proxy for qualification. After you are on the job though, it is not where you went to school that is the best indicator, but how well you perform the job.

Consequently, looking at people that have already been working ad Justice for a while, and then judging them on their schools is backwards. It isn't the 'best evidence'. The best evidence is how well they performed their job."

I am listening, and I don't disagree that once they are hired, performance on the job matters. I'm simply saying they probably should not have been hired in the first place :)

What exactly is it in their backgrounds that got them hired in such a prestigious program?
4.29.2007 2:02am
Joe Bingham (mail):
No history hasn't. The regrettable evolutions in the body politic and in the forms and practices of government seen today do not depend on fidelity to Madison's document, but on deviations from it. The adoption of Jefferson's preferred modes of governing would have had no effect when society became determined to tolerate the rise of socialism and the use of government to achieve forced changes to American society.

Maybe. But the anti-federalists were remarkably prescient in predicting the way the constitution would be "interpreted."
4.29.2007 2:12am
18 USC 1030 (mail):
Threads like this really make me love the fact that I'm a 1L studying hardcore at a school with a lower rank than I'd like to admit, that's lost more professors and members of the administration this year than I'd like to admit, and oh yeah, our dean was one of those to leave--in order to become a professor at another (read: much higher ranked) school. Ahhhh I'm sure in 2 years there will be a place behind a McDonalds counter for me. If only I'd gone to an even lower ranked school, I too could be in charge of the Justice Department....
4.29.2007 2:32am
Eli Rabett (www):
I know you guys prefer opinions to fact, but take a look at the Ga law. Interestingly, if you vote absentee by mail, well hell, they accept a utility bill. Wonder who votes absentee by mail. If nothing else this proves what a sham the whole thing is.

Also, FWIW, the original version of this law did not contain any provision for free ID, evidently after getting slammed by the the courts, the legislature changed this. Still, a lot of people don't have the documents needed to get even the free ID (see for example the article which describes the troubles one 84 year old had.

And yes friends $20 is a big deal for a lot of people, including the homeless, but I guess you think those kind of people don't have the right to vote.
4.29.2007 2:51am
Taltos:
And yes friends $20 is a big deal for a lot of people, including the homeless, but I guess you think those kind of people don't have the right to vote.

I'd be willing to wager that the vast majority of homeless people couldn't care less about voting as they have more pressing concerns. Though paying the homeless to vote is a common tactic in some cities.
4.29.2007 3:18am
Grover Gardner (mail):
"I'd be willing to wager that the vast majority of homeless people couldn't care less about voting as they have more pressing concerns."

Setting aside your perceptions of the homeless, what does this have to do with anything at all? Do homeless people have a right to vote or not? Since the "vast majority" of black males age 18-24 did not vote in 2004, should we rescind their right to do so?
4.29.2007 3:49am
Kovarsky (mail):
"I'd be willing to wager that the vast majority of homeless people couldn't care less about voting as they have more pressing concerns."

Ew.
4.29.2007 3:50am
Swede:
"i think it's fairly well documented that, whatever the "intent" behind voter fraud prosecutions, they have a disproportionately severe effect on Democratic constituencies"

Absolutely right. Democratic constituencies such as illegal immigrants, the family pet, and the dead would be overly burdened.

But let's all continue like that's not what this is all about.
4.29.2007 3:58am
James968 (mail):
At the time I seam to remember some press outcry b/c the DOJ investigative committee had come out recommending again the GA Voter ID law, but somehow the DOJ took a position the other way around. Now it turns out that the only guy on the committee who voted with what the DOJ political leadership got a bonus.

It doesn't sound kosher.
4.29.2007 5:11am
Taltos:
Setting aside your perceptions of the homeless, what does this have to do with anything at all? Do homeless people have a right to vote or not? Since the "vast majority" of black males age 18-24 did not vote in 2004, should we rescind their right to do so?

First, you have no clue what my perceptions of the homeless are. If thats in response to paying people to vote, I've seen it happen.

Second, who said anything about the right to vote? Assuming they're citizens, not felons, and of legal age then yes they have the right to vote. I'm unaware of any law barring the homeless from voting, on the contrary generally they are allowed to list city hall as their residence in order to register. The issue was in regards to whether a $20 fee for a photo ID was somehow untenable because homeless people would be unlikely able to afford it. My point was that I doubt most homeless people care about voting, they're more concerned with, I don't know, being homeless.
4.29.2007 5:32am
Mr L:
"Also, to my knowledge, the DOJ has successfully prosecuted less than 3 voter fraud cases since the civil rights division made this an objective. the result: all chilling effect, no convictions. Sound familiar?"

One supposes that it would be very difficult to detect and prosecute vote fraud when all you need to 'prove' identity is a signature, leaving an investigator with nothing more than a hazy description from an overworked poll operator who processed thousands of people that same day -- and that's assuming the fraud was detected at all. There's no way to distinguish a fraudulent vote from a legitimate one unless the legit voter tries and is refused a ballot, and given the existence of complaints about double-votes I don't think they even check.

Besides, you forget the nature of the beast -- elections have winners and losers. Winners do not want to prosecute vote fraud because there's no benefit to it and it weakens confidence in the election results (and hence their victory). Losers may want to pursue vote fraud, but they have by definition lost and are in no position to do so -- and of course the accusation is likely to be percieved as sour grapes even if correct and damage what's left of their career.
4.29.2007 5:38am
A. Zarkov (mail):
If anyone thinks that fraudulent voting is a fantasy then read Seymour Hersh's book, the Dark Side of Camelot. In particular the chapter called The Stolen Election. Why do you think JFK appointed his brother? Let's remember RFK had no legal experience other than serving on McCarthy's committee. Answer: the Attorney General investigates election fraud.
4.29.2007 5:54am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"And yes friends $20 is a big deal for a lot of people, including the homeless, but I guess you think those kind of people don't have the right to vote."

Yes the homeless do have the right to vote. But should they? How far should we push universal franchise? Should insane people have the right to vote? Should ten-year olds? Some people seem to have the idea that having as many people vote as possible is a good thing regardless of the consequences.
4.29.2007 6:00am
Josh_Jasper (mail):

It's the liberal Democrats I know that employ cheap illegal alien help and they brag about it.


You mean like WalMart? Big Agribusiness? Cleaning agencies in major cities that clean entire skyscapers? Those are all run by liberals?

Which liberals? Do you have names? I'd like to see how the liberal/copnservative split is for hiring illegal migrant labor.

If you don't have statistics, then you're just making stuff up.
4.29.2007 7:21am
markm (mail):
Every time the voter ID issue has come up, I've asked one question, and it's never been answered: How do poor people get welfare if it's so hard for them to get ID's?
4.29.2007 8:08am
Federal Dog:
"Just requiring the guy to say "I'm eligible to vote" is proof"


No it's not. It's an uncorroborated allegation.
4.29.2007 8:44am
MacGuffin:
If anyone thinks that fraudulent voting is a fantasy then read Seymour Hersh's book, the Dark Side of Camelot. In particular the chapter called The Stolen Election. Why do you think JFK appointed his brother? Let's remember RFK had no legal experience other than serving on McCarthy's committee. Answer: the Attorney General investigates election fraud.

And how does that dubious "proof" of voter fraud nearly 50 years ago outweigh the countervailing derth of recent voter fraud convictions despite the Bush administration's emphasis on obtaining same?
4.29.2007 9:27am
TDPerkins (mail):
MarkM wrote:
Every time the voter ID issue has come up, I've asked one question, and it's never been answered: How do poor people get welfare if it's so hard for them to get ID's?


And that is an excellent, even a "checkmate", question.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
4.29.2007 10:17am
riptide:
Actually, the welfare question isn't really a good one: in many states now, they take a photo and a fingerprint. The fingerprint is run thru the database of those already getting welfare - the state doesn't care so much "who" you are, just that you're not getting welfare already (hmm, could we do this for voting?). The photo part of the card could be used as ID - but you'll note that the georgia law doesn't make a provision for that.

Anyway, no one's brought up the most ridiculous part of the Georgia Voter ID act:
step 1) require a driver's license or DMV-issued ID
step 2) close the DMV in Atlanta, the largest city
step 3) insuring that anyone without a car would have to take public transit 2 hours each way to get an ID

(yea, I know that after the initial outrage they said they'd bring a van around Atlanta to register people, but come on, why didn't they think of that in the first place?)
4.29.2007 10:31am
Jim FSU 1L (mail):

insuring[sic] that anyone without a car would have to take public transit 2 hours each way to get an ID
...
why didn't they think of that in the first place?


Hahahahah. Yeah, it was a total accident. They didnt foresee that outcome at all.
4.29.2007 10:44am
noone in particular (mail):
Joe Bingham,
Could you elaborate on what you meant about Madison being proven wrong and Jefferson/Henry being proven right? One responder seemed to know what you meant, but I couldn't quite figure it out. Especially what is Patrick Henry doing in there?
4.29.2007 10:50am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Taltos: First, you have no clue what my perceptions of the homeless are.

This from the person who wrote:

I'd be willing to wager that the vast majority of homeless people couldn't care less about voting as they have more pressing concerns.

Um, why yes, Taltos, we *do* have a clue as to your perception of the homeless.
4.29.2007 11:17am
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
If anyone thinks that fraudulent voting is a fantasy then read Seymour Hersh's book, the Dark Side of Camelot.
I don't dispute that fraudulent voting is a problem. I don't regard Hersh as a reliable source, but I've read 20 other books on the Kennedys that substantiate his main points. Kennedy was a crook. His father was a crook. His grandfather was expelled from congress in 1922 for voter fraud. Johnson was a crook who stole elections. Carter, not so much. Clinton was a crook. I'm not aware of him stealing votes, although there were numerous campaign finance violations. Clinton is a crook. It's not like the democrats have a monopoly on this stuff.
But denying me the vote,and denying many of my neighbors the vote, isn't a cure. Denying me the vote is itself voter fraud. Voter ID doesn't stop voter fraud - those willing to break the law will simply use other tactics. What it does is keep enough people from voting that the results of the election are no longer a reliable expression of the will of the people.
Want to stop voter fraud? Great. Go investigate and prosecute actual cases. Contribute generously to a reward fund for successful prosecutions, or write your local police to step up enforcement of actual cases. But stop blaming the victims.
4.29.2007 11:20am
byomtov (mail):
Interesting how many market-worshippers have suddenly decided that the market for law graduates is all wrong to prefer graduates of prestigious schools.
4.29.2007 11:30am
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
A few months after he arrived, that lawyer was given a cash award by the department, after he was the only member of a four-person team in the civil rights division who sided with a Georgia voter-identification law that was later struck down by the courts as discriminatory to minorities, according to two former Justice lawyers.
This is an ambiguous use of "after". Does anybody have more info on the practice of cash bonuses to new hires? Is this common? Are their standards? Hillary (sp?)Clinton was named "after" Sir Edmond Hillary who climbed Everest, but she was not named "for" that Hillary. Correlation is not always causation. The implication of the Post article is that the lawyer got payola for a decision which I personally oppose, but I don't trust the paper's spin on events - I'd like to know more. Oh wait - the issue before justice in the GA voter ID situation was whether the Georgia Act violated the Voting Rights Act. While Georgia's voter ID program was unconstitutional on several grounds, and is bad policy, he could have been right that it didn't violate the voting rights act - I don't know enough about the voting rights act to make that call.
4.29.2007 11:40am
Cornellian (mail):
Most states where voter ID is an issue have offered to provide some alternative to the drivers license for FREE, guys, as Justin already knows.

You need to examine a particular proposal more closely than this. If your real agenda is to suppress the voter turnout among poor people, it's quite easy to do so while still claiming to offer free ID's. For example, you can claim to offer free ID's in California, while hiring a single employee to distribute them, and locating him in Malibu. Offering free ID's is a start, but it's not a complete answer.
4.29.2007 12:09pm
elChato (mail):
Well, my, I am developing a terrible case of the vapors- a Pickering clerk got a job? Scandalous! A guy had a bust of Madison? Outrageous! Those poor nonpartisan career employees are really suffering.
4.29.2007 12:13pm
elChato (mail):
I read the article and here is the last paragraph: "Harvard Law School officials said they contacted the department last fall, after students seeking internships expressed concern that they had not been notified by October whether they would be granted an interview, as the department had promised."

No followup information appears. Had the DOJ hacks concluded that there are no conservatives enrolled at Harvard Law School and decided to pack the department with incompetent, Madison-bust-owning hayseeds? Was there some other explanation for why HLS students did not get a call by October? I'm not sure what the point of this paragraph is, other than to influence us to suppose the former.
4.29.2007 12:44pm
Justin (mail):
"Yes the homeless do have the right to vote. But should they? How far should we push universal franchise? Should insane people have the right to vote? Should ten-year olds? Some people seem to have the idea that having as many people vote as possible is a good thing regardless of the consequences."

The theory of democracy - and all related theories, including the unitary executive that Zarkov is so supportive of - is dependant on the voting population representing all interests relevant to their population size. If we don't allow certain segments of people to vote - the poor, the uneducated, the insane - then the theory fails as certain groups interests are not catered to as irrelevant. That's why the drug war has lasted as long as it has - because its major victims have been (de jure) disenfranchised.

Encouraging people, even gently, not to vote, has a far more nefarious effect than damaging one's individual rights. It distorts the demoractic process. But that's the whole point, if you're a coalition of social and economic conservatives that make up a (substantial but still a) demographic minority and want to maintiain a political majority.
4.29.2007 12:53pm
Justin (mail):
I don't think the GOP disenfranchisement plans are as explicit or perverse as its defenders, but I also do not think its that big of a deal. Simply, they're adding a minor obstacle to voting. If you are poor, don't drive, and want to vote, you have to do certain things to vote, depending on the state. In some states, you have to pay a fee. In others, you have to prove you are poor - something that is not only embarrasing, but also not neccesarily easy. In some states you have to go to the DMV and wait on line, and in other states you have to call someone to come help - but in those states, you still have to know about your rights in order to enforce them.

Mostly, though, the effect is simply one of a gentle barrier promoting apathy. Most people are willing to vote, but given how unimportant their *Particular* vote is, they're not going to go substantially out of their way to get something which gives them the right to vote. That's why the Dems supported - and the GOP opposed - motor voter. The GOP is hoping to get an aggregate benefit - if they can gently depress the voting rights of those who don't drive, they can cut some portion of urban, poor, and elderly voters, who might have otherwie voted, out. They have had to do so carefully - in order to not outrage these groups and encourage them to vote, and to comply with federal law - but thats what they have done, and denying it requires some actual evidence of substantial voter fraud - not just baseless allegations of pets voting Democratic.
4.29.2007 1:00pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Joe Bingham,
Could you elaborate on what you meant about Madison being proven wrong and Jefferson/Henry being proven right? One responder seemed to know what you meant, but I couldn't quite figure it out. Especially what is Patrick Henry doing in there?


I just meant that the anti-federalists argued (if I recall correctly; I'm not double-checking myself here) that the constitution as written would lead to a vast expansion of federal powers, and that a written bill of rights would be construed as denying or disparaging other rights. Madison recognized this fear was valid, so he added the 9th amendment, which has been effectively gutted by our friendly neighborhood SCOTUS. I was using Jefferson and Henry as examples of anti-federalists, perhaps incorrectly.
4.29.2007 1:21pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
In other words, Madison thought the government could limit itself to the enumerated powers, whereas the anti-federalists didn't think it would. That's really what I meant when I said they were "right".
4.29.2007 1:27pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"The theory of democracy - and all related theories, including the unitary executive that Zarkov is so supportive of - is dependant on the voting population representing all interests relevant to their population size."

First as far as I know I have never commented on the unitary executive and I have no position on it (yet). I'm inclined to reject the idea except for the idea of limited lawsuits.

Now which theory of democracy are you talking about—your own? But it sounds like you want universal franchise without considering the consequences beyond "all interests are represented." Under your universal theory illegal aliens could vote because they are an "interest." So could convicted felons. Even children. They might want to help elect the school board so they can have less homework. How about letting people in foreign countries vote because they are certainly affected by what the US does-- they have an "interest" too. Even extra-terrestrials should vote because our space probes and manned expeditions might affect them, thus they become an "interest" that must be served.
4.29.2007 1:58pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Besides, you forget the nature of the beast -- elections have winners and losers. Winners do not want to prosecute vote fraud because there's no benefit to it and it weakens confidence in the election results (and hence their victory). Losers may want to pursue vote fraud, but they have by definition lost and are in no position to do so -- and of course the accusation is likely to be percieved as sour grapes even if correct and damage what's left of their career.

Look dude, I was being charitable in my description of the failure of the doj to successfully bring cases. You can hypothesize and theorize all you want. Republicans made prosecuting voter fraud cases a priority and have gotten, I believe, two convictions. And the zeal with which the administration has pursued it has kept many more people, who are entitled to vote, away from the polls.

If you are just comfortable pretending that everyone kept away from the polls is an illegal voter, then you're willing to overlook well established facts, and there's not much in the way of how much cost is worth the benefit that we can discuss. You just outright deny that the cost even exists.
4.29.2007 2:01pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Voter ID doesn't stop voter fraud …"

It won't stop it, but it will make it more difficult. Are you one of those people who leave their car unlocked because you really can't stop a determined thief? Or don't see the need for polio vaccine because we have virtually no cases? I don't now hard anyone looks for voter fraud and how willing prosecutors are to pursue such cases. If you don't look, you won't find. If ID is so unimportant they why does everyone want to see it?
4.29.2007 2:05pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Josh_Jasper:

I didn't say no one hires illegal aliens; I said I don't. Of course people and businesses hire illegal aliens, those 12-20 million illegals are doing something. Of course both Republicans and Democrats hire illegal aliens, both parties strongly support weak enforcement. Look at Giuliani. There are many reasons mass migrations are bad for the US, and we can go into that further. But when you hear candidates say, "you don't need papers to vote," one is inclined to be suspicious. I know people who think even illegal aliens should have the same right to vote because everyone in the world who can plant their feet on US soil should have all the rights of any American city. I see nothing wrong with requiring ID to vote as simply part of running an honest election.
4.29.2007 2:17pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
You fellers are missing the point.

First I think an ID is a good idea.

However, when you go to get your free ID you have to provide supporting documents - two or three of them and not just a phone bill, it has to be real stuff with authentication stamps. Sometimes (birth records - the doc can cost $35 from the state in question) the "free" voter ID is not free. And the supporting documents can take up to three months (when everything goes right) to arrive.
4.29.2007 3:25pm
Anonymous Reader:
Justin,

Your argument is tiring. There are already PLENTY of restrictions on our right to vote. On top of the ones already mentioned, there's the fact that you have to register to vote (another minor hurdle right?). And you can't just register wherever you feel like, you must register to vote in your county where you must prove residency. That way, you don't have people voting wherever they feel like. Which could potentially lead to some significant vote fraud where interested parties could theoretically transport people into that particular county or precinct in order to vote for a certain candidate or legislative measure. Damn, why do you think they always mention when a certain candidate goes to their homestate/county in order to vote!!??

So, you're argument that a voter ID will effectively erect some sort of hurdle to the voter is a non starter. There are plenty of other hurdles one must pass. And before you say, well, this is just one more hurdle and where does it stop?? Remember, one man, one vote. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that each vote is accurately and correctly counted. If someone illegally votes, they in fact disenfranchise a legimate voter.

Before you bring up the other tired canard about few voter fraud convictions, how in the hell do you prove voter fraud? Do you realize how hard that is? Imagine if the salesperson at the checkout counter didn't check someone's ID when they used a check or credit card to purchase an item. Let's say they stole someone's identity or wallet. Well, do you know what kind of hoops that person would have to jump to prove that they are not responsible for that purchase? And they wouldn't even know until after the fact!! The victim would have had to know that the wallet was stolen... or know that their identity was stolen AFTER THE FACT!! Without paper trails and without knowing how someone voted, how do you know voter fraud even took place?

Anonymous Reader
4.29.2007 3:33pm
Anonymous Reader:
M. Simon,

I'm sorry but proving you are who you say you are is a small burden to pay. Name one thing in this country that you can do without verified identification. Hell, even if you don't have an SSN, you can still pay taxes and be identified to the IRS. Please stop making it seem that there is this wide swath of people who have no identification at all. This is an uneducated guess on my part, but there may be at the most a handful of people who would fall into the category of not having some type of verifiable identification.

Anonymous Reader
4.29.2007 3:39pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Considering the fact that out of the last 27 years, 19 of them were conservative running the government, I'd say your worry over the 'liberals' having some undue influence is overwrought.

They never were running the government. They just held the top slots, which have little real power. The middle level management in my time (Reagan-Bush I) were all folks promoted under Carter. And it seemed to me that conservatives had little interesting in truly running the government, in terms of figuring out what type of government you wanted and promoting and hiring people who fit. At best, they figured that if they stopped things from going too far the other way, they'd done their job. At worst, they were holding down a job to fill out their resume.
4.29.2007 3:47pm
WHOI Jacket:
Dave, that would explain the very "conservative" State Dept. and Dept. of Education.
4.29.2007 3:49pm
James968 (mail):
I was just looking up Regent Law School, according to Wikipedia the graduating class size was 161. I seem to remember seeing a news story that the Bush Administration has hired 120 Regent Law School Graduates. Granted they may not be from the same graduating classes, but still it is the equivalent of hiring almost 75% of the Graduates of Graduating Class from Regents.

Wait a sec, the wiki article says that at one point there was a claim that 150 Regent Graduates had worked on the Bush Administration, on the Regent web site. So that means that the equivalent of 93% of a Regent Graduating Class went to work for Bush
4.29.2007 4:09pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Justin: is it fraud when hundreds of voters are registered to addresses that turn out to be empty lots, cemetaries, or abandoned warehouses? Is it fraud when more votes are cast in elections than there are registered voters in the district?

Democrats set the bar quite high for proof of voting fraud. They set the bar quite low for proof of minority vote suppression (like parking a police cruiser a few blocks from a polling place).
4.29.2007 4:10pm
Swede:
I love reading how dedicated some of the folks here are towards making it as easy as possible for people to vote. You know, for the poor. And if a few hundred thousand illegal votes is the price we pay to make voting easy for the guy who has no problem producing I.D. to get food stamps, oh well.

I guess we're all world citizens now.
4.29.2007 4:30pm
scote (mail):

I wonder how many of these "scandals of the week" we're going to see before 2008? I suppose it means the war effort must be going better than expected if the press is spending so much time on things like this.

Now that is a great defense. Look! Over there! A shiny war to cover. And if that doesn't work, claim that the sheer volume of scandals proves your innocence.
4.29.2007 4:58pm
anonVCfan:
James968, see my comment in the other thread. Regent Law grads aren't all going straight to DOJ.
4.29.2007 5:33pm
Stash:

Balderdash. Nobody is so poor they cannot afford $20 for a state-issued picture ID card, and anyone too lazy and worthless to stand in line at the DMV in order to get an ID card shouldn't be allowed to vote.


This is a monumentally ignorant statement. I have been poor and I have been well-off. I was unemployed for a good stretch of time and had to make about $30 stretch for a week's worth of groceries. Enoch, have you ever had to choose between buying food, paying rent and utilities and paying "only $20" for an ID? I remember writing a creditor and enclosing my entire liquid wealth of $10.00 cash along with a copy of my bank statement (showing a balance of $1.53). And yes, I did let my drivers license expire (had to junk the car long before) for so long that I had to retake the test when I finally renewed. Though I was obviously "too worthless and lazy" to deserve the franchise, I regret to inform you that I voted in every election. I still remember the first time I thought to myself, "Wow, only $20, that's cheap!" and immediately realized that life was good. I no longer had to add up the groceries I was buying in my head to see if I could afford them and to avod having to choose an item at the register to put back. Now I find myself saying "Wow, a flat-screen for under a grand, that's cheap!" but remember that it is relative.

Would I have scraped the $20 together if my right to vote depended on it? Maybe, but probably not. Gotten an ID, if it was free: absolutely. But anybody who does not understand poverty is a day-to-day struggle and a continuing series of financial crises to keep the lights on and food on the table and believes $20 is not a lot of money in this context is speaking from a position of appalling ignorance. And, if one's political opinions are formed on the basis of this ignorance, they rest on nothing.
4.29.2007 6:14pm
Taltos:
Um, why yes, Taltos, we *do* have a clue as to your perception of the homeless.

I've worked with thousands of homeless people over the years. I've been asked about finding jobs, finding public housing, getting welfare and foodstamps. Not once has any of them come up to me and asked me about voting, it's just not a priority.
4.29.2007 6:15pm
Derrick (mail):
I love reading how dedicated some of the folks here are towards making it as easy as possible for people to vote. You know, for the poor. And if a few hundred thousand illegal votes is the price we pay to make voting easy for the guy who has no problem producing I.D. to get food stamps, oh well.


What do you have to see to realize that these numbers that you put up are nothing more than a Republican bogeyman that has no basis in fact? You have a Republican president with a Republican run DOJ with Republican Senators making personal calls to seek out illegal votes, yet you haven't found any real widespread findings of illegal votes. I know that this type of rhetoric wets your appetite for some Democratic plot to steal elections, but the whole JFK-Daley thing happened decades ago (and its been reported that Nixon's people did much of the same). When you have established facts about some over-voting epidemic state them for the record instead of making up numbers.
4.29.2007 6:56pm
Enoch:
Enoch, have you ever had to choose between buying food, paying rent and utilities and paying "only $20" for an ID?

The idea that anyone "can't afford" $20 for an ID card that lasts five years is simply preposterous. If you want me to believe you never had $20 to spare in a five year stretch? Sorry, don't buy it. If voting requires an ID, and it is enough of a priority, you will find the $20.
4.29.2007 7:25pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Well said, Stash.
4.29.2007 7:26pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Enoch,

There has to be a correspondence between having the $20 and the thought that an ID would be desirable.

I personally think you should be disenfranchised. You should not be allowed to vote. You are not morally worthy, just like those who have to struggle to come up with $20 are not morally worthy.
4.29.2007 7:29pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Stash wants us to think the polling place has a $20 cover charge. That's probably why you get a ticket for a drink--well drinks only--and a basket of chips.
The place where I vote takes plastic, naturally, and does great salsa with the chips.

Well said, Enoch.
4.29.2007 7:30pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Or I have an idea. Why don't we have a progressive user fee for IDs. So, we can charge Enoch $10,000 for an ID that enables him to vote.

Hey, if it is "enough of a priority" you will find the $10,000.

Who says that the price of IDs shouldn't be based on income?? If we are going to have a poll tax, maybe it should be progressive.
4.29.2007 7:31pm
Dave N (mail):
Regarding voter identification and voting: One of the more celebrated cases involving an illegal registration concerns Mario Aburto Martinez, who registered to vote not once, but twice, in Los Angeles County.

Aburto, a Mexican citizen, became prominent in 1994 when he assassinated Mexican Presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.

Frankly, I for one want all eligible people to vote--but I want only eligible people to vote.
4.29.2007 7:39pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
I agree with Dave N about all eligible voters voting, and no one else. But I don't see the connection between assassinating a Mexican political candidate and voting twice in an American election.
4.29.2007 7:57pm
Dave N (mail):
The point is simply that Aburto had no reason to be a registered voter in the United States--and thus potentially voting in American elections.
4.29.2007 8:04pm
a bit of info (mail):
a few points:

first, the civil rights division does not prosecute or take enforcement actions to prevent or eliminate voter fraud. That is left to local/state authorities primarily and occastionally AUSA offices in federal elections.

second, a cash bonus is usally given to attorneys that show superior performance during a year. it is usally less than 2,500 so not much of a "bonus". The fact that a leftist "career attorney" is willing to write off an applicant because they are from Mississippi or kentucky or a "federalist" -- gasp!, is unsettling but has been going on for 30 years in the civil rights division.

third, the 7th Circuit (i believe) and the 9th Circuit have both upheld voter photo identification requirements in Arizona, Indiana and Ohio (i believe). this issue is still pending in GA but at least on the federal level, the Supreme Court is the only court at this time that has not "affirmed" voter identification laws as constitutional although arguably Gonzalez v. Purcell came darn close. And there are already 5-6 states (with a few pending) that require photo id. And over 20 states have a requirement for some sort of identification, and HAVA requires all states to require new registrants by mail to show identification at the polls their first time to polls.

Fourth, I believe this is all pushback from the left attempting to show that voter id laws are not needed due to supposed lack of fraud. this is directly related to the fact that the Supreme Court may decide on voter identification in the next year and the Left doesn't want the Court to use a rational basis to uphold the laws - they want to make this a race issue - thus trying to create a hybrid strict scrutiny. At this time, no federal circuit has used a higher standard than rational basis and predictably no court has struck down voter identification laws. (that I am aware of)
4.29.2007 8:11pm
a bit of info (mail):
Just a clarification. The Supreme Court did not directly address voter identification laws in Purcell but there was language in that opinion that bodes well in any challenge to this requirement.
4.29.2007 8:25pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
yet you haven't found any real widespread findings of illegal votes.
Again, Voter ID laws are a necessary predicate to finding illegal votes.
4.29.2007 9:26pm
Anonymous Reader:
Look, being poor in this country is not easy. However, I'm sure there are legal ways in ensuring that everyone has the ability to prove their citizenship. Maybe, charities can help people who can't afford to pay the fee to get a birth certificate. I personally, don't think that's the issue at all, if you really want to vote, you will find the money.

Stash, I appreciate your example, but really when you're living hand to mouth, the last thing you're thinking about is paying money for an ID, nevermind finding the time to go to a poll station and wait in line to vote. You would much rather use that time to work or find work. It's not like you can get paid for voting.

Anonymous Reader
4.29.2007 10:15pm
loki13 (mail):

I personally, don't think that's the issue at all, if you really want to vote, you will find the money.


Hey, how about.... if you want to speak, you have to pay a fee?
If you want to belong to a creligion, you have to have pay money?
If you don't want the police to search you without a warrant, you have to pay them?
Voting is a right, not a privilege.


but really when you're living hand to mouth, the last thing you're thinking about is paying money for an ID,


This is the rationale behind the original requirement behind property for voting. After all, only people who own land really have an interest in voting! Not to mention poll taxes- if voting is really important to you, why not pay to do it?

Oh yeah, that's what this is!

On most issues, I can see the reasonable disagreement. But I thought poll taxes went out of style along time ago. I have no problem with efforts to discourage voter fraud. But that's not the reason behind these efforts.... that's why they're not being extended to absentee voting (helps Republicans) and instead is only used to discourage poor and minoirty voters.

Tell you what- use an ink dot (can't vote twice), and get rid of absentee ballots. Fair?
4.29.2007 11:24pm
Justin (mail):
I'm not going to rehash the tired debate, which you can find on many Volokh threads, about voter registration fraud - when people paid to register voters register Snoopy and Woodstock in order to make money (which nobody denies) - and voter fraud, where Snoopy and Woodstock manage to vote (which there is no evidence of ever happening - at all, much less en masse).
4.30.2007 12:00am
loki13 (mail):
Um,

What Justin said. I just get all worked up when people imply that poor people don't need to vote because they're too busy being poor.

Democracy for me, but not for you.
4.30.2007 12:03am
Justin (mail):
David, you're just wrong. If there was any voter fraud of the types discussed here, it would have been fully uncovered in the Washington State election. But there was no fraud, which is why a certain US Attorney got fired - to bring us back to where we started.
4.30.2007 12:15am
Mike S.:
When I vote I am asked for no ID. There is a poll worker who has a list of register ed boters, by street address. I announce my street, she turns to the page, and I announce my street number and name. I could easily proclaim myself to be my 29 year old son, any of my neighbors whose names I know, or for that matter, since I am quite capable of reading the sheet upside down, any of my neighbors whose names I don't know. I am sure that if UI were less honest than I am I could vote, go home and change and vote again--at least 3 or 4 times.

I am not knowledgeable about the GA proposal, so I won't comment on its specifics. Certainly it is possible for a facially neutral law to be discriminitory in practice. But the claim that requiring ID to vote is the entering wedge of fascism is beyond silly. And it is surely possible to make an ID law that is does not discriminate, either by rass or income.
4.30.2007 12:34am
anon12345:
Loki, would you change your mind about this if the IDs were issued free? Or does that still create costs in the proof? Does anyone have another scheme to check voter credentials? Or must we accept the inherent reliability of the poor?
4.30.2007 12:44am
Viscus (mail) (www):
loki13,

You are absolutely right - the argument that poll taxees okay has been won by our side long ago. Basically, no one approves of poll taxes. Except an rightwing extremist fringe minority.

The thing is, this rightwing extremist fringe minority happens to be overrepresented on this blog. Don't think that just because they have such a loud voice here that their views actually matter.

On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson was right. The cost of liberty is eternal vigilance. I have heard enough racist and classist comments on this blog to recognize that there is a rightwing fringe minority out there that is a genuine threat to American values. That threat has yet to materialize in a serious way (and hopefully it never will). However, this is an important reminder of the importance of political activism if you don't want the racists and rightwing class warfare types to do serious damage to this country.
4.30.2007 1:15am
Taltos:
David, you're just wrong. If there was any voter fraud of the types discussed here, it would have been fully uncovered in the Washington State election. But there was no fraud, which is why a certain US Attorney got fired - to bring us back to where we started.

Considering some of the principles involved in uncovering the bogus votes are saying they were never even contacted by McKay's office, that's far from proven. Saying you performed an investigation doesn't mean you did. You have proof he was asked to resign because he didn't bring charges? If so I'd like to see it.
4.30.2007 1:49am
Taltos:
rightwing class warfare

The mind.... it boggles...
4.30.2007 1:52am
Grover Gardner (mail):
"Or must we accept the inherent reliability of the poor?"

What on earth does that mean? I mean, if we're going to talk about potential voter fraud, let's worry about the dishonesty of higher-ups who manipulate and take advantage of the needy to buy votes. After all, the poor, as we've been informed, have far too many other things to worry about to be busy plotting wide-scale fraud on their own--no?
4.30.2007 4:22am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
As someone may have said, the cost of having less voter fraud is having, among other things, some kind of voter ID.

The cost of not bothering people with ID requirements is more voter fraud.

Where's the balance?

That ought to be the question.

But, instead, the opposition to voter ID is so lame that it's clear the intent is other than stated. Nobody opposing voter ID laws on this board is dumb enough to believe themselves. The intent is to facilitate voter fraud by making it easier--because voter ID is not required.
4.30.2007 7:27am
Jeek:
There has to be a correspondence between having the $20 and the thought that an ID would be desirable.

Such a correspondence is manifestly obvious, because there are so many other things that an ID is good for - things that are far more desirable than voting. If there were a special "voting ID" that was good for nothing else but voting, then perhaps these asinine arguments that requiring picture ID constitutes a poll tax would have merit. However, a picture ID is not just good for voting, it is nothing less than an essential prerequisite for functioning in today's society.

People might not want to pay $20 every 5 years to vote, but it is hard to believe they cannot find $20 every 5 years for the right to drive, cash a check, open a bank account, and do the countless other things that you have to have an ID to do. The idea that there is insufficient incentive to acquire a picture ID that also, as a fringe benefit, prevents voter fraud, is simply untenable.
4.30.2007 9:47am
loki13 (mail):
Jeek,

the probelem with your proposal is it ignores the homeless and those poor who live outside of the mainstream (don't drive). If you support a govt. subsidy allowing them to easily to easily procure the government ID (no costs, and that means no cost for supporting documents and any investigative work to be born by government and ID treated as prima facia valid wile investigation is being conduted) AND, as subset of of easy to procure, that the government mke the ID available in the week leading to the election in places the poor are likely to be at... (mobile registration centers)

...then maybe. And you have to have the sname standard for absentee ballots.

But they won't. Because this isn't about fraud. It's about depressing voter turnout. the more people that vote, the more likely you are to have an Democratic winner in most districts.
4.30.2007 10:17am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
loki13. You're right about the more people that vote thing. Some precincts in Philadelphia with as much as 110% turnout a couple of cycles back did, indeed, go heavily democratic. I believe you're right about the connection.
4.30.2007 10:23am
Anonymous Reader:
Loki13,

The thing you seem to be missing is the fact that in order to function in today's society you NEED some form of identification. Whether to cash a check, get a job, etc, etc. Maybe instead of "using" the homeless for more votes, why not establish some type of charity that helps eliminate/defray those costs you mention about acquiring documentation? I'm not saying you personally have to do it, but I'm sure someone could.

Practically speaking, how does a homeless person go from living in the streets to making it in society? With all the associated documentation. I'm sure that there are ways to prove birth, whether that be by hospital records and whatnot. You make it sound as if it's next to impossible to get this information. People are not born in a vacuum. Babies that are born in airplanes or other weird situations still have documentation that prove their existence and time/place of birth.

Anonymous Reader
4.30.2007 11:00am
Eli Rabett (www):
What this entire discussion shows is a lack of imagination amongst those who think everyone has $20. They simply cannot see misfortune striking them. It happens folks.

I'm probably on all sides of this argument in a way. I've been for a national ID card since forever for lots of reasons, including immigration reform, voting rights, etc. Bringing one on line would be expensive and involve a lot of work as those who don't already have access to the needed preliminary documents would need help, but the unifying characteristic of the GOP voter suppression laws is that they offer no such help.

A final point. The voting rolls are messy because there is no central registry of citizens to cross check them against. There are lots of people on the rolls who have died. On the other hand, it is very different to have dead people on the rolls and dead people voting. You would have to show the latter to prove fraud. Instead, our friends on the right go in for indescriminatant purges of John Jones, because there is a John Jones somewhere who was a felon. How Florida.
4.30.2007 11:10am
Jeek:
If you support a govt. subsidy allowing them to easily to easily procure the government ID

It is already sufficiently easy to procure a government ID. The fee you have to pay for a license or ID card is nominal ($10 or $20), the process of obtaining them is simple, and the locations are readily available.
4.30.2007 11:22am
Jeek:
the more people that vote, the more likely you are to have an Democratic winner in most districts.

Uh, no, the history of recent elections hardly supports such a view.
4.30.2007 11:25am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Jeek.

Loki is referring to very specific circumstances, not the general proposition.
4.30.2007 12:04pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
I can also add that the time I spent with DOJ was some of the most miserable of my life, and that political appointees were having a large effect on morale in my Division.

I'm sure that DOJ was amuch more fun place when it was being run by an Affirmative Action Hire--lesbian giantess with Parkinson's disease.
4.30.2007 12:31pm
Anonymous Reader:
Eli,

I am sure there are already govt programs available that will help those people without "documentation" find their documentation. I just find it laughable that in this day and age, you would think that it's next to impossible for someone to find a birth certificate or some other proof of citizenship.

Anonymous Reader
4.30.2007 3:19pm
Stash:

The idea that anyone "can't afford" $20 for an ID card that lasts five years is simply preposterous. If you want me to believe you never had $20 to spare in a five year stretch? Sorry, don't buy it. If voting requires an ID, and it is enough of a priority, you will find the $20.


Enoch:

You have had a very nice life in that you have always had an extra $20 to spend. This is a great country, and the richest in the world. The great majority of us have never had to face real privation. Even in poverty, most of our poor have wealth beyond world standards. I did not go hungry, I had electricity, I had a telephone, and indoor plumbing. But your inability to even imagine that someone would not have $20 to spend to renew a drivers license or ID when they have no car, no credit card and generallly no day-to-day need for it is disturbing. Sure, the ID lasts for years (4 in my state at the time we are discussing), but again, the economics is about marginal cost, when, as with me, those years expired and I had priorities for very limited resources towards food, clothing and shelter. You say if it is a priority it will be paid for. So, not even talking about a necessity here, if you had to give up your telephone for 6 months to vote, would voting be enough of a priority to suffer that? (Once a phone is shut off, you need to pay a reconnection fee and a security deposit in addition to the past due bill). Go to any currency exchange, and you will see people with red phone bill notices counting out crumpled currency and even change to pay the bill and have it phoned in to prevent disconnection. I guess they are all just procrastinators, who could easily have come up with the money earlier. You may not believe me, but there was time when it was harder for me to come up with $20, then it is now for me to come up with $1000.

But ok, let's take another, simpler tack. Basic economics says when you increase the cost of anything, you reduce participation. So, to use a different rationing system, why not just make everyone in affluent suburbs wait in line for a minimum five hours to vote? On a workday, with the polls closing at 7pm (and no wi-fi or cell phones allowed), I guarantee you that turnout would go way down. The cost of voting to people with important meetings, court appearances and deadlines would go way up. Someone making minimum wage probably nets just about $20 in 5 hours, so the cost in "poor person resources" is the roughly the "same". Anyone who complains about the 5 hour wait is simply a whiner. To prevent fraud of course, we will have to carefully screen those who apply for absentee ballots. They too, will have to wait 5 hours in line on a work day to receive them. Those who do not vote under this regime, simply have their priorities wrong, no? They are just lazy and worthless, and do not deserve to have their votes counted.

All I am saying, is that if you believe people whose priorities for voting are low do not deserve the franchise, then, to be consistent, you should require the entire electorate to have the same relative marginal cost to vote. For Bill Gates, this might be several hundred million dollars--but only every five years, so what is the big deal?

Look, if the I.D. is free, I do not see a big objection. (But, as I recall, Motor-Voter laws were opposed by Republicans as well.) If you want to make the argument that we should reimpose the poll tax or other voter tests to screen out those who do not "care enough" to vote, it should be designed to measure that dimension fairly, controlling for income.

My poverty was brief, about 3 years, and a mere interruption in an otherwise middle class life. I assure you, it did not make me a bleeding-heart liberal, but I submit that an evaluation of policy--whichever side you come down on--should be based on facts and not prejudice and ignorance. The only argument for the ID law is that the benefits from preventing fraud outweigh the costs of burdening the franchise. And if so, whether the same benefits can acheived some other way without the burden. Suggesting that there is no burden simply evades the issue and is utterly unpersuasive.
4.30.2007 3:50pm
eddie (mail):
Once I am born in this country, the right to vote is mine.

What is absent from all of this polite banter about what poor people are and are not capable of is what I would have expected from actual libertarians:

What right does the government have in demanding that I acquire a government sanctioned identification, at least vis a vis voting. And the real problem: why stop at voting, why not require all occupants of the US to be required to show identification at any time. I mean, what's the problem, are you hiding something?
4.30.2007 5:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
eddie.
Yeah. We're hiding the opportunity for people to cheat on voting. In fact, we're trying to eliminate it altogether. If you're so hot on your right to vote, you'd be interested in making sure it isn't negated by a cheat.
Right? Right? Wouldn't you?
4.30.2007 5:31pm
Jeek:
What right does the government have in demanding that I acquire a government sanctioned identification, at least vis a vis voting.

Every citizen - yes, even libertarians - has the right to expect that all citizens should vote no more than once (and that the government should enforce this rule). In fact, libertarians should be especially anxious to prevent voter fraud, for the simple reason that those who perpetrate the fraud are doing so in order to create a larger and more intrusive government.

why not require all occupants of the US to be required to show identification at any time.

They are.

"Papers, please!"
4.30.2007 7:54pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Quoting Slate:
"In 1998, Miami's mayoral election of Xavier Suarez was overthrown for a host of irregularities, including the fact that a man named Manuel Yip, who had died four years earlier, had voted for Suarez. (In fact, it was the fourth time he had voted since his death in 1994.)"

Proven voter fraud, but was anyone convicted for voting in the name of Manuel Yip? How do you find out who committed the crime? [Interestingly, a city councilman in Minnesota was caught several years ago voting twice from different addresses - he was recognized while at the polling place for the registration address that wasn't in the city where he served on the council.]

For those who oppose voter ID laws, how would you prevent people from voting in the names of other people (usually people who are dead, have moved, or are otherwise unlikely to vote)?

Regarding the original topic of this thread, that it was even mentioned that a DOJ attorney had a bust of President Madison on his desk reveals far more about the complainer than the Federalist Society member.

As for whether people are being put down for having gone to Ole Miss or UK, thinking that the market looks down on these schools reveals that your market is stunted to LA, NY, DC, Boston, and a few other big cities. Being a graduate of the best law school in the state or region is more beneficial for career opportunities in many of those markets than being a graduate of a nationally highly-ranked law school is - and many students who want to practice in those markets choose to go to the local law school over a "top-tier" school for that reason.

Nick
4.30.2007 10:47pm