A DOJ Double Standard on Photo IDs

by Hans A. von Spakovsky

Note to states such as Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas that will no doubt soon be fighting the Holder Justice Department over their new voter-ID laws: Andrew McCarthy brings word that the Civil Rights Division is co-sponsoring a conference at George Washington University on Oct. 19 titled “Confronting Discrimination in the Post-9/11 Era.” According to McCarthy, the event features the president of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing conspiracy.

What I found fascinating about the notice of the event from the ISNA newsletter was that it specifically says that to attend, you must register — kind of like registering to vote. And the notice then says that “a photo ID is required on site to confirm registration.” So the Civil Rights Division requires you to have a photo ID to confirm your registration and attend its event at George Washington University. Additionally, as someone who worked at the Justice Department, I can tell you that you are similarly required to show a government-issued photo ID to get into the main Justice building. So if you want to exercise your First Amendment right to petition the government (DOJ) for “a redress of grievances,” you can’t do it without a photo ID.

Of course, that makes perfect sense — as does requiring a photo ID to vote. But those states that will soon be battling the division over this issue might want to ask the division lawyers who claim that ID requirements are discriminatory why you are required to show a photo ID to get into a Justice Department conference or to get into the main Justice building for a meeting. In other words, representative of groups such as the NAACP, the ACLU, and others who have called on the Justice Department to object to the states’ new photo ID laws will have to show photo ID to get into any meetings they arrange with the division lawyers to complain about photo-ID requirements.

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