We continue to get rapid developments in the noncitizen voter-registration lawsuit involving the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
DOJ has been siding with the League and the NAACP instead of defending the EAC. The latest actions of the Justice Department (DOJ), which include filing a motion for a protective order, seek to shield from discovery potential government misbehavior that could affect election outcomes.
Last week, federal district judge Richard Leon refused to grant the Temporary Restraining Order requested by the plaintiffs (and acceded to by DOJ), and set March 9 for a hearing on their request for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs — and DOJ — want to stop the EAC from changing the instructions on the federal voter registration form to accommodate state laws in Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, and Arizona that require residents using that form to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.
On February 24, EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to allow the EAC to hire its own special counsel to defend the agency. McCormick expressed her “grave concerns regarding the potential conflict of interest and failure of the Department of Justice to provide” the EAC with proper representation. A similar request was sent to Judge Leon. Two days later, Benjamin Mizer, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division of DOJ, sent a letter to Judge Leon refusing Commissioner McCormick’s request.