Days after John Hood offered his analysis of the political nature of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s federal suit challenging North Carolina’s new election law, the print edition of National Review features a brief article outlining NR editors’ assessment of the issue.
The Supreme Court has approved voter-ID laws and struck down perpetual preclearance requirements under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and one might think these decisions had restored the VRA to its intended role of stopping true voter suppression. But, as Blutarsky said in Animal House, “Nothing’s over until we say it is!” In that spirit, Attorney General Eric Holder is suing North Carolina over recent changes in its election laws, most notably a photo-ID requirement and a reduction in the number of days for early voting. And Holder is asking not just for these provisions to be struck down, but for the entire state of North Carolina to be placed under preclearance (not even the original VRA went that far), using Section 3′s little-known “bail-in” provision. To win, Holder must prove that North Carolina has intentionally violated the Constitution with the goal of restricting voting rights on racial grounds, admittedly a tall order. But even if he doesn’t succeed, this black attorney general, serving under a twice-elected black president, can still use the allegation to give his dwindling band of liberal true believers one more excuse to convince themselves that nothing has changed since 1963.