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AG Stein’s “Orphan Defense” Fails the Sniff Test

Jan 3, 2020 (Raleigh) Less than five hours after Thursday’s noon protest against federal court Judge Loretta Biggs’ killing of North Carolina’s latest voter ID law, NC Attorney General Josh Stein responded to demands that he fight the court’s decree by promising to do it . . . someday.

Stein justified his stalling tactic that forgoes his filing an emergency stay of the Biggs edict, by claiming he wanted “to avoid any further voter confusion [and] to ensure that the primary election proceeds on schedule and is administered in an orderly manner.”

We’re throwing the flag on this one.

Stein–himself–created the confusion in the first place when he looked the other way after Judge Biggs announced her intention to block the law just days before a critical SBOE mailing would have advised 7 million voters on the IDs now required.

The partisan activism of Judge Biggs (an Obama appointee) derailed a 12-month-long implementation program that threated our next election’s “orderly manner.”

Had Stein sincerely cared about preventing “voter confusion,” he would have motioned to enjoin Biggs’ specious fiat before her ink was dry.

Stein’s filing would have been approved for at least three reasons:

  1. When adults are in control of SCOTUS (as is currently the case), they have shown an aversion to letting federal judges tinker with a state’s election laws this close to an election.
  2. Given the numerous fraud-friendly provisions in our current voter ID law, the plaintiffs failed to produce a victim who could demonstrate any irreparable harm from letting elections be conducted with the voter ID law in force.
  3. When Judge Biggs based her oracle on an unprovable “discriminatory intent” of the Legislature, she ignored last June’s SCOTUS majority opinion that stressed the court’s need for actual proof of discrimination and “an actual discriminatory effect on that [victim] group.” Biggs’ typically rambling decision did neither.

Stein had the last and best shot at unscrewing the chaos Biggs created for our upcoming elections. Instead, he punted. But this wasn’t the first time he shirked his constitutional role to defend the people of North Carolina.

In fact, had Stein done his job in 2017, the 2013 voter ID law would have remained on the books and none of this would have been necessary. But his dereliction that time invited accusations of judicial malpractice.

We have already documented eyewitness accounts of voter impersonation fraud in North Carolina and voter ID helps prevent these civil rights crimes. But our state’s highest law enforcement official abused his authority to block such common-sense reforms. He also singlehandedly blocked the will of 2,049,121 voters who approved 2018’s voter ID amendment.

Truth is, Josh Stein is the only reason North Carolina is the last state in the Southeast that still allows people to vote with no proof of identification. His imperious excuse for the dereliction of duty seems as shameful as a juvenile who gets convicted for murdering his parents and then begs the court for mercy . . . on account of his being an orphan.

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~ Jay DeLancy, Founder, Voter Integrity Project – NC

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