JULY 13, 2006
A Georgia federal judge appointed to the bench by Jimmy Carter, sided with a variety of so-called civil rights groups in blocking an important state law created to prevent voter fraud.
The law simply requires voters to provide an official, government-issued identification at the polls to assure the identity of the person voting. The American Civil Liberties (ACLU) Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and several other groups argued that requiring identification amounted to a poll tax that would prevent many minorities and the poor from voting because they may not be able to afford the fee to obtain one.
Never mind that the state offers citizens without driver’s licenses and passports free Georgia voter identification cards and that the law allows voters to present any federal or state-issued, military or tribal ID card.
U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy disregarded that information and delivered a heartwarming lecture during a five-hour hearing that was capped by his ruling that the new law violates the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments. In his sermon, he said that it was “sad” that after more than 200 years of trying to extend the right to vote to women and minorities, “now we pass legislation tightening up access to the ballot.”
One state senator said that all registered voters should be outraged. A prominent online publication wrote that dead people, felons and illegal aliens were given the go-ahead to vote in next Tuesday’s Georgia primary election.
The Liberty Papers sarcastically thanked Judge Murphy because now Georgia can enlist the help of people who may not even be legally registered.
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