- Get me Civics, and make it an emergency: West Virginia legislature “moves to withhold judicial retirement benefits until state supreme court overturns a ruling” [Gavel to Gavel]
- Do threats to publish intimate pictures of Jeff Bezos fall under provisions of criminal blackmail law? [Eugene Volokh]
- Manuel Reyes, head of the Puerto Rico Food Marketing, Industry and Distribution Chamber, argues that policy shifts have heightened the costs of the Jones Act [Cato Daily Podcast with Caleb Brown, earlier]
- Battle of the Ilyas: Ilya Shapiro vs. Ilya Somin on sanctuary city and state litigation [Federalist Society podcast]
- “Most comprehensive study to date on the effects of voter ID argues that these laws have no effects on overall turnout or on the turnout of any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation,” or on real or perceived fraud; results “cannot be attributed to mobilization against the laws” either [Enrico Cantoni and Vincent Pons, National Bureau of Economic Research] [via]
- Worst Pigouvian tax idea of the year? Oklahoma lawmaker proposes taxing Uber surge pricing to combat DUI [Ryan Bourne]
- Weekly Standard runs my parody song about the local governor’s race, “Show Me the Way to Frederickstown, or, Lost in Maryland“; Update: Here’s Lauren Weiner’s rendition, to the tune of “Sweet Betsy from Pike.” Freelance writer Lauren Weiner has lived in Baltimore since 1992. [improved YouTube link with video]
- Also on Maryland governor’s race: it’s not every day a GOP challenger blames a Democratic incumbent for issuing too few pardons [Radley Balko; more on clemency]
- Harry Reid forces are latest to demagogue Stand Your Ground laws and role of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), but Glenn Kessler calls them on it with Four Pinocchios [Washington Post “Fact Checker”]
- Enough non-citizens vote illegally “that their participation can change the outcome of close races.” [Jesse Richman and David Earnest, Washington Post Monkey Cage; a response]
- State attorney general offices are now politicized and targets of lobbying, and why should we be surprised at that given all the power they’ve grabbed for themselves as business regulators in recent years? [David Boaz, Cato] Hot state-AG races this year include Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, Arkansas [John Fund]
- Two views on Alabama proposed Amendment One, curbing use of foreign law: Paul Horwitz (adds nothing to Alabama constitution not already there), Quin Hillyer (insurance against bad judicial decisionmaking);
- More about the Greg Abbott tree-fall settlement called into question by opponent Wendy Davis [Hugh Kelly, TLR, earlier]
- Long Island legislator withdraws from State Senate race after charges of high-dollar law-firm misconduct [Newsday]
- Defaulted mortgages: “Coakley lawsuit has ties to key backer’s interests” [Boston Globe via Funnell] Flashback: Radley Balko in 2010 on Martha Coakley’s awful prosecutorial record (up to that point) [Politico; related, Harvey Silverglate on prosecutors who run for higher office; earlier]
- Cuomo appointee Jenny Rivera, lawprof on “social justice” beat, likely to pull NY’s highest court leftward [Reuters; Kerr, with additional comments-section background on chief judge Jonathan Lippman] Notable plaintiff’s litigator Brad Seligman (Wal-Mart v. Dukes, etc.) elevated to bench by Gov. Jerry Brown [San Leandro Patch]
- With Jeffrey Toobin assuring us that voter fraud is “essentially nonexistent,” tales like this from Cincinnati must not be real [John Fund, NRO]
- Time for Republicans to get serious about an urban-policy pitch [Ed Glaeser, City Journal] “As the GOP looks for issues it can win on, how about lowering the drinking age?” [Instapundit]
- Boldly smiting straw man, NYT says young people see government as possible “constructive force” [Ira Stoll, SmarterTimes]
- Politics by other means: “From Statehouse to courtroom: Many Illinois issues being decided by judges” [Kurt Erickson, Bloomington Pantagraph]
- Florida attorney John Morgan, of personal injury fame, became an inauguration bigwig the old-fashioned way [Orlando Sentinel, earlier here, here, here, here, etc., etc.]
- Granholm at front of “not so bad when our guy Obama does it” parade [Damon Root]
You mean there might be than one legitimate point of view on vote-integrity legislation? Hans von Spakovsky spots some ideological assumptions going unquestioned at the Association of American Law Schools, and mentions the larger pattern as sketched out in Schools for Misrule [National Review]
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking the UN high commissioner on human rights to rule various American states in violation of international law because of the states’ insistence on various restrictions on the franchise, including ID requirements for voters, denial of the vote to convicted felons, and measures that “have reduced the ease of early voting, a convenience that is disproportionately heavily used by African-Americans.” [Guardian; Caroline May, Daily Caller]
The notion that present-day Democrats regularly steal elections by engaging in concerted efforts to vote multiple times in funny mustaches is a myth, unsupported by data or fact.
As outlined at trial, the vote fraud scheme infected not only the actual voting process in November, but also the voter registration process preceding the election. Several persons, including the defendant Cusack, falsely registered to vote by claiming to reside at addresses within the precinct when they actually resided elsewhere. The actual residents at these addresses were asked to place name-tags on their doors that bore the names of the non-resident registrants. The defendants, and several others acting under their direction, also participated in a canvass of the precinct …. Although the canvass disclosed that a number of persons who were registered to vote in the precinct had died, moved away, or for some other reason had become ineligible to vote, these persons were not struck from the list of eligible voters. Finally, on election day the defendants, either personally or by acting through others, caused numerous false ballots to be cast for the straight Democratic ticket.
[T]he U.S. Attorney in Chicago at the time, Daniel Webb, estimated that at least 100,000 fraudulent votes (10 percent of all votes in the city) had been cast. Sixty-five individuals were indicted for federal election crimes, and all but two (one found incompetent to stand trial and another who died) were convicted.
Update: Some commenters complain that the 1982 example is irrelevant to Lithwick’s claim, because it is modified by “present-day.”
Present-day examples include 2007 cases in Hoboken, NJ, Noxubee, MS, and King County, WA—not to mention the unprosecuted voter fraud in Washington state in 2004, which affected the gubernatorial election. There may be many more examples, except Democrats are using lawsuits to block attempts to compare voter rolls with addresses.
Lithwick’s argument against present-day voter fraud is that there are very few prosecutions, and that therefore prevention measures are not needed. This is akin to arguing that, because very few people are ticketed for running red lights, there is no need for traffic signals. If there’s less voter fraud today, it’s in large part because of the prosecutions in the 1980s. Given Senator Obama’s appalling block on the van Spakovsky nomination to the FEC, and the liberal activism against preventing vote fraud, one worries that an Obama Justice Department will cease prosecuting voter fraud, and that there will be a return to the bad old days, in which case 1980s examples from when the DOJ first started prosecuting vote fraud are quite relevant.