Rep. Sensenbrenner Slams Holder on Voting Rights Act

Monday, 30 Jul 2012 10:18 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., is hopping mad over Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that GOP-backed voter identification laws violate the Voting Rights Act.

“The fundamental goals and bipartisan legacy of the Voting Rights Act are imperiled by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department and the administration he serves,” Sensenbrenner writes on Politico.

Holder has branded the voter ID laws a modern poll tax, notes the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who is now chairman of its Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

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“Holder’s legally undisciplined allegations, steeped in election-year politics, ignore the 24th Amendment’s prohibition on any taxes that deny or abridge a citizen’s right to vote,” Sensenbrenner writes.

“He also overlooks that state voter identification laws permit citizens to obtain necessary voting identification free of cost. More troubling, Holder’s reckless and incendiary remarks reflect a profound and potentially malicious misrepresentation of the Voting Rights Act.”

The Voting Rights Act’s legislative history contains nothing to indicate that it meant to eradicate efforts to make sure that only eligible voters cast ballots, Sensenbrenner explains.

“The legislation was enacted to remedy forms of racial discrimination — literacy exams, moral character requirements and subjective interpretation tests — relied upon to disenfranchise minority voters. . . . It does not allow unlawful voters the right to usurp lawful voters’ constitutional franchise.”

Holder’s effort to suppress voter ID laws contradicts the Act’s principles and is “destructive to its constitutional imperative to protect the voting rights of eligible citizens,” Sensenbrenner says. “Both the Voting Rights Act and state voter identification laws serve the same purpose: ensuring voting integrity.”

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