J. Christian Adams Statement on AG Jeff Sessions’ Resignation

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – November 7, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commented on the departure of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“Attorney General Sessions will hopefully leave a lasting legacy on the Department and law enforcement in general,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “During his tenure, he reversed a dangerous trend of selectively and often politically enforcing federal voter protections. He returned enforcement to equal aspects of the Voting Rights and National Voter Registration Acts for the benefit of all. He led the DOJ to course-correct multiple litigation positions ranging from voter ID, redistricting, voter list maintenance, and more–all to eventual success before the Supreme Court and Appellate Circuits. General Sessions has done more in two years than most can accomplish in four or more. I wish him only the best moving forward.”

The Foundation praised former General Sessions’ leadership leading up to the 2018 Midterms.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections – bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Commends DOJ Vote Monitoring Plan

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – November 5, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commended the U.S. Department of Justice’s plan to monitor and enforce federal election laws with personnel across 19 key states.

Jeff Sessions is doing a wonderful job directing the Department to enforce all federal election laws in sensitive jurisdictions and at large,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “What a refreshing restoration of the rule of law. This DOJ leadership, unlike the last administration, are clearly setting a course for how to deter, detect, and confront violations of election law. The work will not end when the polls close tomorrow. The Public Interest Legal Foundation is committed to sharing its data and investigative leads gathered in the weeks to come.”

The federal press release struck a new tone not seen in a decade:

Citizens of America control this country through their selection of their governmental officials at the ballot box. Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot.”

Read more about the Justice Department’s 2018 monitoring program, here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Applauds DOJ Voter Fraud Indictment in New Jersey

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – November 2, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commended a U.S. Department of Justice case against a New Jersey real estate developer’s alleged cash-for-votes scheme.

Jeff Sessions is doing a tremendous job reversing the sorry record of the Obama-Holder era in prosecuting voter fraud,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Their record was they turned a blind eye to it while their allies in nonprofit groups like the Brennan Center deceived America and said it was a myth.”

Read more about the Frank “Pupie” Raia case in Hoboken, here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Granted Amicus Position Defending 2020 Census Citizenship Question at Trial

(NEW YORK, NY.) – October 30, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) received leave to file an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Southern District of New York in support of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s positions at trial regarding the proposed citizenship question for the 2020 Census.

The United States is currently defending the reinstatement of a citizenship question on the general 2020 Census survey against multiple lawsuits brought by the State of New York and others. The Foundation was previously granted entry before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to share the value the citizenship data would have in federal voting rights law.

Collecting robust citizenship data in the 2020 Census is good government policy,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Citizenship data helps the Justice Department and private parties protect voting rights. I know the Trump administration is correct about this because I’ve won voting rights cases in federal court because citizenship data has been available in the past.”

The proposed brief notes:

The DOJ, as statutorily designated enforcer of the Voting Rights Act, understands the importance of a “reliable calculation of the citizen voting age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected.”

The Foundation offers four arguments related to voting rights enforcement.

Disagreement between current and former executive political appointees cannot serve as evidence of discriminatory intent

Plaintiffs are conjuring evidence of discriminatory intent due to administrative policy changes after an election. The brief notes: “Plaintiffs repeatedly attempt to tarnish the legitimate need for reinstating the citizenship question with political rhetoric … Elections must mean something, and an executive may depart from the policies of the prior executive” without crossing discriminatory boundaries.

Robust citizenship data is necessary to determine if redistricting maps properly protect minority voters

In the decades-long absence of general citizenship data provided by the Census, the DOJ had to selectively employ citizenship estimates – yet only in jurisdictions where such data were available. Without it, DOJ and others live in a statistical fog to determine whether a minority group is sufficiently large and geographically compact to necessarily yield a single-member district. In one example, DOJ officials had difficulty discerning differences between eligible African-Americans and resident Caribbean noncitizens when assessing the fairness of city council boundaries. The Foundation notes seven additional cases where citizenship data was clearly used to make DOJ redistricting cases since 2001.

Previous Census citizenship data was critical in deciding a voting rights case in 2017

Citizenship data derived from the 1950 Census helped a trial court in Guam determine in the 21st Century that a “Native Inhabitants” standard for voter registration was a race-based discriminatory measure against mainland American citizens. The DOJ currently promotes the use of the 1950 data as Guam appeals the summary judgment finding to the 9th Circuit.

Citizenship data helps facilitate private efforts to enforcing voting laws

Census data are critical to determining which jurisdictions are falling behind federal mandates to maintain voter rolls free from bloat and corrupted entries. Courts have repeatedly relied on the ratio between registered voters and resident citizens in a locale as valuable insights—yet the citizenship data in its current form is not without flaws and can risk skewed interpretations. Improved data quality will also help empower private interests to ensure that federal law is being followed.  

The brief was filed in support of the Government’s position at trial before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in New York et. al. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 1:18-cv-02921 (which was consolidated with New York Immigration Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 1:18-cv-5025). Related filings can be found, here.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections – bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Texas SOS Refers Democrat Party Noncitizen Mailers to Attorney General

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 23, 2018: the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commends the Texas Secretary of State’s decision to refer the Rio Grande Valley noncitizen voter registration mailer matter to Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The TxSOS circulated an announcement Monday evening. A copy of the official referral letter may be read, here.

“This is a critical step in protecting both resident citizens and immigrants alike from the consequences of ineligible voting activity,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “It was wholly unnecessary for the Texas Democrats to alter voter registration forms. They invited confusion and potentially unlawful activity where the consequences would only be paid by immigrant communities.”

Texas Democrat Party mailers circulated around the Rio Grande Valley region of south Texas landed in the hands of lawfully present noncitizens in late September and early October. The envelopes contained voter registration applications where the answers to questions “Are you a United States Citizen?” and “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” were pre-printed “Yes” for each.

Complaints from PILF went to district attorneys in the region, in addition to Texas and federal officers, explaining why pre-printing answers about eligibility are problematic:

[W]hen Congress passed the NVRA, it envisioned a registrant making two separate affirmations of citizenship – both the checkbox as well as the signature attestation. This enables prosecutors to easier establish intent and state of mind when noncitizens illegally register to vote.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott assured the public via Twitter Thursday, October 18, that an investigation was underway.

Digital versions of the referral letter and witness affidavit are linked here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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PILF Applauds SCOTUS Decision on Wilbur Ross Census Deposition

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – October 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block the deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding the return of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

“I commend the Supreme Court for staying Secretary Ross’ deposition at this time,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “It’s perfectly reasonable to return the citizenship question to the Census and will prove beneficial for all Americans. Racial minorities will particularly reap the benefit of robust citizenship data gathered.

“After 2020, the DOJ will be empowered to litigate against discriminatory political boundaries in urban and rural locales, and in both large and small jurisdictions.

“The activist groups opposing a robust collection of data suffered a big loss, and the Supreme Court seems ready to deliver more blows to their case if they persist,” Adams added.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation currently serves as amicus curiae in the lower court matter.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Report: At Least 1400 Noncitizens Registered to Vote in Detroit Metro

1500+ Voters Aged 105 or Older

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released Motor Voter Mayhem, a new report detailing how noncitizens were caught within Michigan’s voter registration process—particularly in the Detroit metro area. The study also reveals problems related to voter duplication and implausibly old dates of birth listed on active registration files.

Michigan, like other states and jurisdictions studied before, demonstrates how noncitizens become registered to vote through DMV transactions and others like it required by the National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter). The State does not have a verification system keeping false claims of citizenship (intentionally given or otherwise) from being accepted during voter registration. Immigrants and citizens alike continue to suffer the consequences. Several Michigan jurisdictions also exhibited alarming problems with other voter roll maintenance obligations like duplications and potentially deceased registrants remaining on the rolls for years on end.

Noncitizen Data Findings Summary

Detroit: 822

Sterling Heights: 164

Warren: 85

Dearborn: 84

Westland: 71

Clinton Township: 48

Canton Township: 37

Taylor: 36

Ann Arbor: 31

Livonia: 23

St. Clair Shores: 22

Others: 21

1,444 Disclosed Noncitizen Removals

 

Duplicated Active Registrations

Detroit: 1,748

Flint: 358

Livonia: 57

Grand Rapids: 54

Dearborn: 47

2,264 Total

 

Registrants Aged 105+

Detroit: 1,244 (20 from the 1800s)

Flint: 202 (50 from the 1800s)

Livonia: 35

Dearborn: 31

Grand Rapids: 2

1,514 Total

 

“Motor Voter is failing Motor City,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Like this Foundation has seen in other jurisdictions, Motor Voter is inviting noncitizens onto voter rolls. This report also encourages state and local officials to take a closer look at procedures that are yielding alarming numbers of duplicate and potentially deceased registrants.” 

The Foundation advances solutions necessary to close off the voter registration system from ineligible noncitizens in the latest report:

The PILF is currently engaged in federal litigation to seek the release of similar documents representative of the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Harris County, Texas.

Motor Voter Mayhem follows the Foundation’s previous reports studying noncitizen voter participation in “sanctuary” cities, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Access to Motor Voter Mayhem: Michigan’s Voter Rolls in Disrepair is available, here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Motor Voter Mayhem: Michigan’s Voter Rolls in Disrepair

Michigan, like other states and jurisdictions studied before, demonstrates how noncitizens become registered to vote through DMV transactions and others like it required by the National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter). The State does not have a verification system keeping false claims of citizenship (intentionally given or otherwise) from being accepted during voter registration. Immigrants and citizens alike continue to suffer the consequences. Several Michigan jurisdictions also exhibited alarming problems with other voter roll maintenance obligations like duplications and potentially deceased registrants remaining on the rolls for years on end.

Read Motor Voter Mayhem here.

Noncitizen Data Findings Summary

Detroit: 822

Sterling Heights: 164

Warren: 85

Dearborn: 84

Westland: 71

Clinton Township: 48

Canton Township: 37

Taylor: 36

Ann Arbor: 31

Livonia: 23

St. Clair Shores: 22

Others: 21

1,444 Disclosed Noncitizen Removals

 

Duplicated Active Registrations

Detroit: 1,748

Flint: 358

Livonia: 57

Grand Rapids: 54

Dearborn: 47

2,264 Total

 

Registrants Aged 105+

Detroit: 1,244 (20 from the 1800s)

Flint: 202 (50 from the 1800s)

Livonia: 35

Dearborn: 31

Grand Rapids: 2

1,514 Total

“Motor Voter is failing Motor City,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Like this Foundation has seen in other jurisdictions, Motor Voter is inviting noncitizens onto voter rolls. This report also encourages state and local officials to take a closer look at procedures that are yielding alarming numbers of duplicate and potentially deceased registrants.”

Our press release is available here.

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PILF Briefs 6th Circuit in Support of Ohio’s Voter Roll Maintenance Program

(COLUMBUS, OH) – October 22, 2018: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) recently briefed the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals as amicus curiae against last-minute requests to provide ballot access to hundreds of thousands of cancelled voter registrants whose “current residencies remain in doubt.”

The plaintiffs are bent on forcing Ohio to import hundreds of thousands of former registrants now apparently living elsewhere into the provisional balloting process this November,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “These demands are ill-timed and would encourage a chaotic 2018 Election for Ohioans actually residing in the state.

Having lost trial court motions for last-minute relief two weeks ago, the plaintiffs are now asking the 6th Circuit to guarantee provisional ballot access to roughly 1 million former Ohio registrants whose residential addresses are held in doubt and may be located outside of the state. 

The Foundation offers three primary arguments for the appellate court to consider.

The trial court found plaintiffs’ actions foreclosed their standing to bring the action

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”) requires any private party wishing to bring an action against a jurisdiction for an alleged failure to first provide “mandatory” notice of grievance(s) in order to give election officials an opportunity to cure the violation before facing litigation. The trial court determined that plaintiff Larry Harmon never provided such notice. The organizational plaintiffs provided only “vague” descriptions of Ohio’s alleged violations of the NVRA, which placed undue challenges on state officials to cure any potential shortcoming. The plaintiffs’ failure to provide the required notice means the court does not have jurisdiction to give the plaintiffs the relief they are seeking.

Plaintiffs’ demands are untimely and a threat to the integrity of the 2018 Midterms

On September 14, 2018, the plaintiffs for the first time asked the court to reinstate cancelled registrants previously in receipt of an allegedly “deficient” voter confirmation notice in time for the 2018 General Election. The Foundation argues this 11th-hour request—whether intentionally or negligently timed—is prohibited by legal doctrines which protect states from burdensome judicial intervention(s) against the regular administration of elections. Such a request would alter the administration of elections with early voting already underway.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly shown caution in exercising judicial intervention

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly declined interventions under the Purcell principle for fear of harming the integrity of an “imminent” election to be administered. In Ohio, ballots are already being cast. The Foundation’s brief urges the 6th Circuit to exercise proper restraint and decline to upend the orderly administration of an ongoing election.

The Foundation’s brief was filed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted, No. 18-3984. Related filings can be found, here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, the Foundation seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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Complaint: TX Democrat Party Sent Altered Voter Registration Forms to Noncitizens

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN.) – October 18, 2018: the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today alerted local, state, and federal law enforcement to campaign mailers directed at noncitizens in south Texas which encouraged voter registration via altered forms indicating they were U.S. citizens.

Texas Democrat Party mailers circulated around the Rio Grande Valley region of south Texas landed in the hands of lawfully present noncitizens in late September and early October. The envelopes contained voter registration applications where the answers to questions “Are you a United States Citizen?” and “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” were pre-printed “Yes” for each.

 

“Noncitizens usually register to vote at the prompting of another party—usually a DMV clerk,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Today, we are raising awareness to how the Texas Democrat Party—unintentionally or otherwise—is offering voter registration to noncitizens. Without some form of official intervention, confused noncitizens rather than the Texas Dems will end up paying the consequences of this matter.”

The letters from PILF went to district attorneys in the region, in addition to Texas and federal officers, explains why pre-printing answers about eligibility are problematic:

[W]hen Congress passed the NVRA, it envisioned a registrant making two separate affirmations of citizenship – both the checkbox as well as the signature attestation. This enables prosecutors to easier establish intent and state of mind when noncitizens illegally register to vote.

The Foundation urges the recipients of the referral to “investigate if and how many returned applications arrived in your local county elections office(s) … The Foundation yields to your office in addition to the state and local election officials on how best to protect ineligible registrants from casting ballots during the 2018 Election.”

Attached with the Foundation’s referral is an affidavit from a former employee of the 229th Judicial District Attorney, David. C. Kifuri, Jr., who initially came forward with the documents in question.

Digital versions of the referral letter and Kifuri affidavit are linked here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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