Statement in Support of Trump’s Decision Ending Texas Voter ID Opposition

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 27, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today celebrated the Trump Administration’s decision to end the federal government’s opposition to Texas’ photo voter identification law.

“Texans are one step closer to having a common-sense voter protection that has been demanded for years,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Since the Obama Administration’s initial filing, the federal government’s position has only grown weaker. The Texas Legislature is on its way to implementing the adjustments called for by the 5th Circuit to help voters in need, while the doomsday scenarios pitched by voter ID foes have proven to be a farce. We are seeing early reminders of what a Justice Department looks like when it drops the ideological pet projects and follows the law.”

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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Public Interest Legal Commends Ohio for Pursuing Noncitizen Voting Cases

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 27, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today offered its support for the Ohio Secretary of State’s continued investigation into potential noncitizen registration and voting, now subject to prosecution.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s ongoing effort to identify, remove, and refer to law enforcement individuals identified ineligible to vote for reasons related to citizenship now totals 821, with 126 casting ballots before discovery.

“This is a good first step to detect and clean aliens from the rolls,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “This latest finding continues to build the case for legislative reform that requires proof of citizenship as a component to voter registration. We need a system that protects electoral integrity at the point of registration with proof of citizenship, not years down the road with a chance discovery.”

The State of Ohio compared attestations of U.S. citizenship on voter registration forms to Bureau of Motor Vehicle data. The State noted in its announcement that more cases are likely left undiscovered due to a “lack of access to more real-time data maintained by the federal government.”

These findings echo similar work done by PILF to better quantify reported noncitizen voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The organization’s 2016 report found more than 1,000 registered aliens removed from voter rolls with roughly 20 percent casting ballots before discovery. The Public Interest Legal Foundation will update its report with additional findings in 2017.

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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Public Interest Legal Backs Texas Voter ID Upgrade

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 21, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today backed a bill to improve Texas’ photo voter identification law.

Senate Bill 5, authored by Senator Joan Huffman (R-Harris County), would make permanent the voter ID “safety net” allowing voters without proper ID to attest to the reason for their noncompliance and cast a regular ballot thereafter.

“Senate Bill 5 is a necessary step to improve and protect Texas’ voter ID law,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Making permanent the ‘safety net’ like the bill calls for will help those in genuine need and place strict penalties for those that wish to abuse it.”

Days before the bill was filed, various county election officers told the Associated Press that “hundreds” of voters misused the voter ID affidavit, admitted their refusal to follow existing law. Senate Bill 5 notes that a “false statement” on the form would be a third degree felony.

A copy of SB 5 can be accessed 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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Lawsuit to Clean Wake County, NC Voter Rolls Advances

(RALEIGH, NC.) – February 21, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement applauding the court’s decision to proceed with its client’s case against the Wake County Board of Elections to clean voter rolls (Voter Integrity Project NC v. Wake County BOE).

Senior U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Voter Integrity Project NC, denying motions to dismiss its case brought against the Wake County Board of Elections over allegations that voter rolls were not being properly maintained and disclosed on February 21.

“This is a welcome, but expected development in the case to clean Wake County’s voter rolls,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “No county should have more registered voters than eligible residents, especially to the tune of 105 percent registration. Wake County is leaving multiple tools on the table to better serve its voters – now even the court is beginning to show signs of agreement. PILF will continue to press for close examination of apparent breakdowns in maintenance procedures and transparency guidelines.”

Below is a summary of observations made by Judge Britt in his decision to deny dismissal of the case.

VIP-NC’s methodology for determining whether Wake County’s voter rolls had become bloated in violation of federal law is ‘reasonable’.

“Considering VIP-NC’s allegation that the number of registered voters in Wake County has exceeded, and continues to exceed, the number of eligible voters, which allegation is in turn supported by reliable data and WBOE’s failure to use available jury excuse information, a reasonable inference can be drawn that WCBOE is not making a reasonable effort to conduct a voter list maintenance program in accordance with the NVRA.”

Wake County cannot shift maintenance burdens to the State.

The court rejected the argument that legal action with respect to maintenance can only be directed at states, a key element of the defendants’ position to dismiss the suit.

A copy of the ruling, entered on February 21, 2017 has been made 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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DOc. 37 – Order Denying MTD by Public Interest Legal Foundation on Scribd

Trump Wins Deportation Case Against Noncitizen Voter

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 13, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today applauded a U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision ruling that a noncitizen could be deported for illegally registering to vote and casting ballots.

Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick is a Peruvian national who registered to vote at an Illinois DMV and cast ballots twice in 2006 for federal candidates. She appealed her deportation ruling to the 7th Circuit.

“This case demonstrates how difficult it is to pursue noncitizen voting crimes without verification measures in voter registration and a federal government that has expressed clear disinterest in combating the problem until now,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The Trump Administration has the right and responsibility to study the true extent of illegal voting by ineligible persons. Hopefully, this case marks a new chapter for election integrity in the years ahead.”

A copy of the ruling can be accessed 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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J. Christian Adams’ Statement on Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 8, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. Attorney General.

“Finally, the United States will again have an attorney general that stands for all of the law—not just what he agrees with,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “General Sessions has an immense task before him. He will inherit a Department filled with employees that have dedicated their careers to prioritizing ideological advancement over equal enforcement of law. Despite this, I am wholly confident that Jeff Sessions is the right man for the job.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation penned a letter of support for General Sessions’ nomination, promoting his record of prosecuting election crimes in the 1980s. The letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary can be read, 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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Public Interest Legal Backs Virginia Bill Checking Citizenship in Voter Registration

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 7, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a letter of support for House Bill 1598 in the Virginia Legislature, requiring proof of citizenship during voter registration.

The letter of support was addressed to Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester), chairwoman for the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

HB 1598 “requires persons applying to register to vote to provide proof of United States citizenship.” For those unable to comply, they will be registered to vote in federal elections only. The Public Interest Legal Foundation notes that this is a necessary measure to protect Virginia’s voter rolls from a documented trend of individuals casting ballots that are later removed from the rolls for reasons related to citizenship status.

“Virginia voters deserve better than an honor system that trusts first and only verifies after wrongdoing has apparently been committed – all while obscuring the public’s view into the process,” the letter notes.

The letter, submitted to the Committee on February 7, 2017, makes clear the when critics of the bill claim that noncitizen voting is a non-issue, they are not only wrong, but are abetted by jurisdictions that attempted to conceal contrary evidence from the public. In October 2017, the organization released a limited study of eight voting jurisdictions throughout the Old Dominion; finding more than 1,000 registered voters were removed for reasons related to citizenship status after the fact.

“In various cases, federal courts have ruled that states have the power to proactively prevent illegal behavior,” PILF Research Director Logan Churchwell said. “More than a thousand voter registrations and counting were quietly removed from the rolls. Virginia can do more to protect eligible voters’ ballots from being cancelled by illegal ones. HB 1598 helps in that regard.”

PILF announced on January 30 that it had successfully ended lawsuits in two other Virginia locales (Manassas and Chesterfield County) which provided the disclosure of additional voters that were removed for citizenship reasons.

The PILF letter makes note of Virginia’s recent, rocky history of securing elections from ineligible voters. Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill in August 2015 that would have required jury commissions to notify voter registrars when self-proclaimed noncitizens declined calls for duty. In 2016, the Commonwealth also considered making portions of the voter registration form, like the selection of citizenship status, optional.

A copy of the letter to the Virginia Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections has been made 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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2017.2.7 VA HB 1598 letter by Public Interest Legal Foundation on Scribd

Public Interest Legal Statement on the Clearing of Sessions’ Nomination

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – February 1, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement in support of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s clearing of Jeff Sessions’ nomination for the next U.S. Attorney General.

“The United States is one step closer to having an attorney general that stands for all of the law—not just what he agrees with,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Mr. Sessions has proven throughout his career to be a diligent prosecutor of election crimes and is keen to return the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ to its great tradition of protecting the rights of all voters.”

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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Public Interest Legal Foundation Statement on Gorsuch Nomination

(ALEXANDRIA, VA.) – January 31, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement in support of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This selection should hearten any believer that the role of the judiciary is to consider what the law says—not what it should say,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Former colleagues speak of Judge Gorsuch’s tested adherence to the honorable tradition of strict constructionism just like the late Justice Antonin Scalia before him. The Rule of Law is on firmer ground tonight, and we will have Judge Gorsuch to thank for that.”

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 Backs North Carolina’s Bid for SCOTUS Voter ID Hearing

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – January 31, 2017: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) today released a statement announcing the filing of an amicus brief in support of North Carolina’s petition for a U.S. Supreme Court hearing regarding its voter identification reform package (North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. North Carolina).

“The Supreme Court has a golden opportunity to stop abuse of the Voting Rights Act in this case and beyond,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Earlier in this case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals behaved as if it were a fact-finding trial court and left North Carolina vulnerable without its common-sense election integrity laws before the 2016 Election. Granting North Carolina’s petition will provide the State with the proper appellate review it was due last year.

“Second, the Court can put an end to the well-funded efforts to turn the Voting Rights Act into a partisan tool,” Adams added. “Unless the Court takes this case, the Voting Rights Act will be turned into a federal law to help Democrats win elections, not fix violations of civil rights.”

Below is a summary of observations made in support of North Carolina’s petition for Writ of Certiorari.

The trial court properly reviewed North Carolina’s voter ID package according to the Voting Rights Act. The brief notes that the NC law withstood two trials; was reviewed under a totality of circumstances; and was not subjected to simple statistical analyses to render a decision.

SCOTUS can contain the activist reading of the Voting Rights Act currently targeting NC and others. Activist plaintiffs have pushed and sometimes failed to convince lower courts that reforms like voter ID should be struck down unless states can prove the absence of any negative impact to a protected demographic. The Court has an opportunity in this case to set clear standards as to how such laws should be judged.

Plaintiffs are trying to apply erroneous standards to tear down the voter ID reform package. North Carolina’s reform package should be judged based on a suite of indicators whether its election integrity reforms are actually discriminatory, such as: actual impaired access to voting; minority disparate impacts; and demonstrable effects on electoral outcomes. Plaintiffs should not succeed solely based on presumptive statistical analyses. How the trial and appellate courts arrived at polar conclusions demonstrates the gulf in legal interpretations.

A copy of the brief, submitted on January 30, 2017 has been made 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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PILF Amicus Brief (Jan. 30, 2017) by Public Interest Legal Foundation on Scribd

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