27 Jul 2012 American Civil Liberties Union Relies on Flawed and Biased Report in Lawsuit Challenging Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law
National Center for Public Policy Research Legal Expert Blasts ACLU Lawsuit for Poor Legal Analysis and Reliance on Rhetoric Instead of Facts
Washington, D.C. – An attorney with the National Center for Public Policy Research, home of the Voter Identification Task Force, is criticizing the legal strategy within the American Civil Liberty Union’s lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s new voter ID legislation, saying the lawsuit relies on bombastic rhetoric, faulty legal arguments and refuted work done by the Brennan Center for Justice.
“By relying on shoddy work by the Brennan Center, the ACLU’s attorneys are showing that they lack the capacity for independent legal analysis and have little concern for accuracy,” said National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof. “Brennan Center reports are extreme progressive advocacy efforts masquerading as objective analysis. They have no place in serious legal arguments.”
On Thursday, the National Center published a new report to its educational website GroupSnoop.org that detailed the Brennan Center’s history of biased reporting, flawed research and extensive ties to convicted felon George Soros.
The ACLU complaint, which went to trial July 25, alleges that “large numbers of registered voters in Pennsylvania will not have their votes counted on November 6, 2012 because they will be unable to present an acceptable photo ID,” and that the photo ID law “will lead to elections that are no longer free and equal.” In coming to these sweeping – and unverifiable – legal conclusions, ACLU attorneys heavily relied on the Brennan Center report ‘Citizens Without Proof,’ which claims that elderly, Latino, black and female voting blocs will be particularly disfranchised by new voter ID laws. However, as the National Center’s GroupSnoop.org profile of the Brennan Center details, that report has been refuted by election scholars who called the report “both dubious in its methodology and results and suspect in its sweeping conclusions.”
Joining the lawsuit on behalf of ten named plaintiffs that the ACLU claims will be unable to vote in the 2012 election are the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the NAACP and the Homeless Advocacy Project.
“Not surprisingly, the ACLU complaint is void of any mention of the 2008 Supreme Court case Crawford v. Marion,” said Danhof. “In that case, liberal Justice John Paul Stevens authored the majority opinion upholding an Indiana voter ID law very similar to Pennsylvania’s. The Court found that state-level voter ID laws are a ‘neutral, nondiscriminatory regulation of voting procedure.'”
As an example of the hyperbole of the ACLU’s complaint, one of the ten individuals claiming to fear disfranchisement at the Pennsylvania polls is “Asher” Schor, a transgender man who was “assigned a female sex at birth” but has undergone surgery and hormone therapy in recent years to change his gender. Asher fears that, since his driver’s license and passport still have photos that present him as a female, he may be turned away from the polls.
“If this extreme example – that has yet to be proven as a problem – is one of the the best arguments against Pennsylvania’s voter ID law the ACLU can muster, its case should be thrown out in two minutes,” said Danhof. “Transgender surgery and hormone therapy can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Is the ACLU really saying that Schor cannot afford to renew his Pennsylvania driver’s license to update his photo at a cost of $29.50?”
“The ACLU complaint ignores Supreme Court precedent, refers to several absurd ‘victim’ sob stories and is predicated on a refuted report from the highly-partisan Brennan Center,” said Danhof. “The judge should summarily dismiss the ACLU’s complaint and allow the Commonwealth to protect its citizenry’s sacred right to vote.”
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