DOJ Abuse of Power of the Week: South Carolina Voter ID

Published On: October 06th, 2021

Under H.R. 4, Bureaucrats at the DOJ Would have the Power to Reject Voter ID Laws.

(Alexandria, VA) – October 6, 2021: Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on H.R. 4 or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This bill would put bureaucrats at the DOJ in total control of our elections. The DOJ previously held this power under Section 5 of The Voting Rights Act and had a history of abusing it. This preclearance power even resulted in millions in sanctions before the Supreme Court ruled Section 5 was unconstitutional.

This week’s DOJ Abuse of Power of the Week focuses on an objection to South Carolina’s voter ID law. In 2011, the Justice Department rejected to South Carolina’s voter ID requirements claiming that minority voters are disproportionately unlikely to possess a photo ID. In 2012, South Carolina resubmitted its voter ID law to the DOJ for reconsideration and the DOJ rejected it again.

Eventually the state sought preclearance from the District Court for the District of Columbia. The Court ruled the law was not inherently discriminatory and it went into effect in 2013.

“H.R. 4 would resurrect Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “Bureaucrats at the Department of Justice would have to approve nearly every single change to elections including voter ID laws, which they will almost certainly reject. States have the power to run their own elections and enact election integrity laws without interference from the federal government.”

Public Interest Legal Foundation