Last week PJ Media posted a short story that reported that certain operatives in the Republican Party establishment wanted to buck the Supreme Court of the United States of America and look to ways to re-instate federal oversight over elections and redistricting in southern states. The Republican National Committee immediately denied the report and said they absolutely were not looking to re-impose federal oversight on the states.
In June the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down part of the voting rights law and returned oversight of redistricting and elections back to the several southern states. Since 1965 these states had to plead to the federal government to get approval for such things all due to civil rights violations during the days of Jim Crow.
This decision was hailed by conservatives as a move in the right direction but Obama’s racebaiting Attorney General, Eric Holder, has vowed to return the states back to federal oversight quite despite what the SCOTUS decided.
Now, in the original PJ Media report (RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States), it was reported that “the RNC have been spending RNC donations plotting to do exactly what Eric Holder is seeking to do–return Texas and other states to federal oversight.”
Within hours RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer immediately denied that PJ Tatler’s report was true, and he denied it rather vehemently at that.
IF the denial is correct, this is a good thing. The idea that the federal government should have the power to tell a state what to do with its electoral process is unacceptable in 2013.
But that is IF the denial is correct.
J Christian Adams has his doubts and he should know, he was actually in the Department of Justice when Republicans had only as late as 2006 argued to keep federal oversight in place.
Adams wrote a very informative and revealing pice at PJ Media this weekend that you really need to read: “Yes, the RNC Really DID Support Federal Oversight of State Elections.”
For me, here is the key paragraph that gives the flavor of the violation of conservative principles inherent in the way the establishment Republican Party operates–or at least has operated until just recently.
Speaking of what the RNC was responsible for in recent years, Adams wrote:
He who rides a redistricting tiger becomes afraid to dismount. As the RNC clutched the tiger’s ears tightly and created safe racially gerrymandered districts using federal oversight, Section 5 was also used to destroy election integrity and aid the institutional left. Until you see the abuse of power as it happens from inside the DOJ Voting Section as an employee, you simply cannot fathom how the federal power over the states is abused by DOJ bureaucrats.
This is a description of the very sort of establishment GOP that the Tea Party grew to oppose. Yes Tea Partiers stand foursquare against the left, but the TP also arose over GOP violation of conservative principles, too.
So, perhaps the RNC has decided to accept the new decision by the SCOTUS to stop the decades old federal oversight policy and maybe Mr. Spicer is correct that this stand against oversight is the new RNC position. But the GOP cannot act as if it never supported oversight because it flat out did.
Whatever is going on, the right move would be for the Republican Party to oppose federal oversight of state elections. Period.