Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down the longstanding pre-clearance formula in the Voting Rights Act wherein certain states with decades-old histories of discrimination had to obtain permission from the federal Justice Department before changing any part of their election laws. The Obama administration didn’t like that at all, and they’re oh-so-concerned that a new legislative proposal for a revised pre-clearance formula doesn’t go far enough in designating only voter ID violations found by a court (rather than violations handed down by the DOJ) as counts toward triggering the top-down supervision of local voting rules. That, of course, doesn’t seem to offer nearly enough uncontested, centralized control for Attorney General Eric Holder, because as we all so very clearly know, the “reality is that all the studies show that this whole question of ballot integrity, in-person voter fraud simply does not exist to the extent that would warrant these kinds of measures.” Uh huh.

If we can show that that photo ID efforts are done inappropriately and for improper reasons, that ought to be the basis for federal intervention, and so I’m a little concerned that that appears, at least for now, to not be a part of the scheme. … People have to understand that we are not opposed to photo identification in a vacuum, but when it is used in certain ways to disenfranchise certain groups of people… that from my perspective is problematic. … The reality is that all the studies show that this whole question of ballot integrity, in-person voter fraud simply does not exist to the extent that would warrant these kinds of measures. … I think it’s a remedy in search of a problem, and it is being used, in too many instances to depress the vote of particular groups of people who are not supportive of the party that is advancing these photo ID measures.