Monday, February 4, 2013

DOJ Escalated Voter ID Lawsuit Cost to Millions

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has penned an op-ed to set the record straight on the outrageous behavior of the Justice Department in opposing every effort of South Carolina to get its voter ID law implemented.  Wilson declared, “Had DOJ granted pre-clearance at the outset, as my office requested, it would only have cost the price of a postage stamp to mail a copy of the law to Washington. Instead, DOJ’s actions cost the citizens of South Carolina approximately $3.5 million.” 

Just how does a $0.45 pricetag jump to over $3 million?  Wilson identifies the “extraordinary lengths” the Justice Department went to prolong the litigation and raise costs:

- DOJ and Interveners utilized more than three times the lawyers than the state did (36 to 11);
- DOJ required South Carolina to produce more than 165,000 pages of documents;
- it delayed proceedings by 120 days (via two 60-day delays);
- it even filed an emergency motion at 10:51 p.m. one night challenging the use of 12-point type font in a brief filed by the state.

The South Carolina attorney general’s office “examine[d] similar laws passed by other states and to analyze previous decisions issued by various courts, including the United States Supreme Court” to determine that the South Carolina “law was constitutionally and legally sound.”

Wilson laments that the “DOJ fought us every step of the way.”  The Justice Department’s aggression against voter ID laws surely comes at a great price.

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