Justice Department Rejects South Carolina Voter ID Law

Fox News, December 23, 2011

The Justice Department on Friday rejected South Carolina’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, saying it makes it harder for minorities to cast ballots. It was the first voter ID law to be refused by the federal agency in nearly 20 years.

The Obama administration said South Carolina’s law didn’t meet the burden under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices preventing blacks from voting. Tens of thousands of minorities in South Carolina might not be able to cast ballots under South Carolina’s law because they don’t have the right photo ID, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said.

{snip} The state’s attorney general vowed to fight the federal agency in court.

“Nothing in this act stops people from voting,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson, who is also a Republican.

South Carolina’s new voter ID law requires voters to show poll workers a state-issued driver’s license or ID card; a U.S. military ID or a U.S. passport.


The Justice Department must approve changes to South Carolina’s election laws under the federal Voting Rights Act because of the state’s past failure to protect the voting rights of blacks. It is one of nine states that require the agency’s approval.

The last time the Justice Department rejected a voter ID law was in 1994 when Louisiana passed a measure requiring a picture ID. After changes were made, it was approved by the agency.


Charlie Savage, New York Times, December 23, 2011

The Justice Department on Friday blocked a new South Carolina law that would require voters to present photo identification, saying the law would disproportionately suppress turnout among eligible minority voters.


In a letter to the South Carolina government, Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney for civil rights, said that allowing the new requirement to go into effect would have “significant racial disparities.”

He cited data supplied by the state as showing that there were “81,938 minority citizens who are already registered to vote and who lack” such identification, and that these voters are nearly 20 percent more likely be “disenfranchised” by the change than white voters.

South Carolina now faces the choice of dropping the proposed change or asking a federal court in the District of Columbia to approve the law.


Gov. Nikki Haley denounced the decision, accusing the Obama administration of “bullying” the state.

“It is outrageous, and we plan to look at every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th Amendment rights,” she said in a statement.



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  • Question Diversity


    This suggests that this whole photo ID issue will be headed to a SCOTUS showdown over the Constitutionality of parts of VRA ’65. What has always bugged me about VRA ’65, among other things, is that only certain states, counties, and cities have to get DOJ preclearance. Is esiponage not a Federal crime in Iowa and is a Federal crime in South Carolina? Every jurisdiction must get preclearance or none should. This sounds like easy 14th Amendment fodder. Easy 10th Amendment fodder, too, except the Federal courts are more likely to use 14th than 10th if they find on our side.

    I don’t know if I should be pushing this “Photo ID as disparate impact discrimination” meme if I were a left winger in government. If the courts ultimately rule in their favor, then the judicial precedent will be that requiring photo ID for anything has a disparate impact on minorities. Firearm sales, alcohol and tobacco purchases, airline tickets, theater tickets (for NC-17/R rated movies), DVD rentals, bank account activity. I bet the welfare office wants photo ID! In Missouri, you need to be 18 and present photo ID to buy the canned air duster to clean electronics, because the propellant can be used to get high. There are many pursuits for which one needs a photo ID, all out the window if the Federal judiciary creates that precedent.

    If we create this judicial precedent, then eventually nobody should have to present a photo ID to do anything. These same left-wingers who say “no photo ID” to vote demanded and got photo ID to buy firearms and tobacco, their two least favorite products (allude too much to working class whites, don’t you know).

    Back to reality, I’ll say it once again – In these times, whoever doesn’t have a photo ID doesn’t want one, and they don’t want one because they want to be “off the grid,” and when I say “off the grid,” I don’t mean it lovingly in a survivalist sense, I mean it to refer to people who want to live off the grid in the criminal or civil sense, trying to avoid arrests, warrants, debt collectors, child support collections, etc.

  • Son of Galton

    In what way is this requirement unduly burdensome? Ask yourself this: do you know ANY adult US citizen (oops, there’s the rub!) who lacks a government-issued photo ID card of some sort? I know some fairly off-the-wall, off-the-grid type people, and even they have proper photo identification. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who lacks the ability to acquire such a simple-to-obtain ID is equally incapable of making any reasonable political decisions. As an aside, I guess tobacco and alcohol carding policies are racist as well?…

  • Mike Harrigan

    “Says requiring photo IDs at polls discriminates against minorities.”

    Another way of saying this would be: NOT requiring photo ID’s at polls DISCRIMINATES against Whites. Obviously not requiring ID’s allows Laquesha and Dontrelle and maybe even Jose and Marita to vote multiple times. I’d say that is very discriminatory against Whites.

  • Anonymous

    Mexico and most other nations in the world require a photo ID to vote. Will Hillary and the ACLU tell those nations to drop photo ID requirements?

  • June

    If an ID isn’t required for the most important civil act we participate in, then why should it be required for anything? This is another insanity perpetrated by the DOJ. If there is one person in this country that doesn’t have some sort of identification, I don’t know who it could be. Even to get food stamps, one must provide some sort of proof of citizenship.

  • Anonymous

    AS a Canadian I just don’t get this. What’s wrong with showing I.D. to vote? You show I.D. to rent out a DVD at the store.

  • Anonymous

    What is so outrageous about showing photo ID to vote? Most voters drive, so simply show your driver’s license. Of those who don’t drive many if not most have state-issued ID cards so they can receive their free State subsidies, (Welfare checks, food stamp card, section 8 rent vouchers, etc.). If you are a legal American citizen you almost certainly have photo ID of some kind. If you don’t, it’s a pretty fair bet that you are an illegal immigrant or a person who shouldn’t be voting anyway. Of course, many illegals and other undesirables DO have photo ID, but the requirement might help weed out a few of them.

  • Anonymous

    In other words, the corrupt criminal organized crime network called the Fedaral Government, a creation of the states, claims supremacy over states that it does not have. In addition, THE ORGANIZED CRIME NETWORK IS GIVING THE VOTE TO FOREIGNERS, INVADERS!

    The Feds do not have the authority and are not supreme. I predict that some states will seceed within the next 10 years. I will be all for it! The beaurocrats and other organized criminals of the federal govt. can look for a new job!

  • Anonymous

    Take it to the Supreme Court. Obama owns the DOJ.

  • Question Diversity

    One more bromide that must be answered: Even if you don’t have photo ID, you can still vote with a yellow provisional ballot. It’s just that the election board will verify the voter’s age, address and credentials after election day before the vote is counted. Therefore, provisional ballots aren’t a good mechanism for voter fraud, which of course, is the brass ring here.


    Ever since I was old enough to vote I have showed my photo-ID at the voting booth here in CT. This very simple rule has never been a problem to me or any of my fellow voters. I am not a rich man, but just an ordinary honest citizen that works hard for a living and believes in doing the right thing. And no doubt about it, showing a photo-ID to vote is doing the right thing. This simple rule was put in place to stop voter fraud (like those that would vote over and over for the same person) and designed to stop those that are not allowed to vote (like dead people, felons in jail, illegal aliens, ect.) So obviously in conclusion Barack Obama, Eric Holder and the whole Democratic party feel that they cannot win an election without voter fraud so they are going to attack any state tries to pass the voter ID bill.

  • Philadelphia CPA

    The voter turn out in black “wards” is always suspiciously high. Everyone knows this has nothing to do with discrimination against blacks. Its simply meant to allow Democratic voter fraud to continue.

  • Question Diversity

    12 Philadelphia CPA:

    And suspiciously late. Notice that the precinct boxes from the black wards and districts always seem to take a long time to make it to the city’s central canvassing headquarters, even though the non-black wards (if there are any left in Philly) get their boxes there within a half hour of the polls closing. It’s that way in St. Louis city often. And St. Louis is only 61 square miles — Downtown is within 15 minutes of virtually everywhere in the city limits, yet certain black precincts’ boxes don’t get downtown until after 10 PM, when the polls close at 7 PM.

  • Mr.White

    So then how do these same “minorities” buy their booze, cigarettes, and apply for welfare? Showing their library cards?

  • Anonymous

    The ghost of Tammeny Hall is lurking here.

  • thoughtcrime

    Obama and Eric “gangstah thug wid a badage” Holder are both Dems.

    Dems rely on the minority, welfare sponge vote. So of course they will not require IDs. They are relying on a high turn out of illegals at the polls to keep “Emperor Obama” in power.

  • The Bobster

    And suspiciously late. Notice that the precinct boxes from the black wards and districts always seem to take a long time to make it to the city’s central canvassing headquarters, even though the non-black wards (if there are any left in Philly) get their boxes there within a half hour of the polls closing.


    While the Philly boxes may arrive late, in 2004, they had hundreds of votes for Algore before the polls even opened.

  • Anonymous

    Prepare for mass cheating next year to get Obama re-elected. This is just part of Obama’s strategy for keeping his job. Swing states will see the most cheating, and Republicans will probably just weakly grumble about it.

    Sad, but this has been going on for a long time. and it’s always the Democrats doing it. It has been successful, therefore, cheating will be escallating. The DOJ’s racist Holder will lead the charge.

  • Question Diversity

    18 Anonymous wrote:

    Swing states will see the most cheating, and Republicans will probably just weakly grumble about it.

    Florida is one of several states that does not allow previously convicted felons to vote. Yet, the NAACP complains about Florida and only Florida. Why? Florida is a swing state, the other states that do are either solidly red or solidly blue. It’s called leverage.

    About Florida, around a month before the infamous “chad” election, Donna Braziele, Gore’s national campaign chair woman, boasted to the media that all Gore needed to do is be within the national polling margin of error, then she “could get five points on the ground.” Where do you think all those dimpled, hanging and pregnant chads came from? It was most likely a result of multiple ballot cards being loaded into a booth’s vote-o-matic and all being punched in for Gore – The top cards’ chads were totally punched out, the middle cards’ chads hung, and the lower cards’ chads were pointed in a little bit (aka pregnant aka dimpled). That’s what Braziele meant by “five points on the ground” — Black voter fraud.

  • Ron

    Due to changing demographics and voting patterns, at some point the US Supreme Court will become (and remain) decidedly leftwing. And everything we oppose will come to fruition…with full backing from the court. Open borders, instant citizenship, expanded affirmative action, reparations, elimination of gun rights, etc.

  • Anonymous


    I spent that exciting time in Tallahassee while the presidential election hung in the balance with a mere 500 votes separating America from Bush or Gore. Meanwhile a local candidate for office in Leon County (Tallahassee) told me that he was approached by an organization representing an ethnic group. They were selling votes, you take care of us with grants and we will find the votes to elect you. Well being an honest person he turned them down. What this illustrates however is that all elections are being corrupted, right from the top down to dog catcher. The culprits are the usual suspects: the Democratic Party and their comrades such as the successors to ACORN. And this Presidential election will be no different.


    This is our greatest fear for if this happens the United States and Liberty itself will cease to exist. The crushing blow of wealth transference coupled with the societal breakdown of our culture through even greater immigration will turn more than the vote against us; I believe we will experience an almost South Africa-like environment with the nation’s white core as target. Already one could say this is the case when for instance tens of thousands of white women are raped by black men and the reverse white men raping black women is nonexistent. This is a favorite terror tactic of the black majority against the white majority. We will need to wonder, will we fight or just collapse like the white people of South Africa? One more chilling thought, almost to a one, now Western nation will consider white South Africans as refugees, political or otherwise. So how would an American refugee fare in immigrating to anywhere in the world?