When Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) will likely press him for using a Democratic-leaning firm to analyze data in the Texas voter ID case.
Smith wrote a letter earlier this month which stated that DOJ choosing the “left-leaning” Catalist to review Texas’ voter ID data was “a disturbing misuse of taxpayer dollars and undermines the credibility of the Department’s challenge to the law.”
“Imagine the outrage if a Republican administration intervened to block a New York City election law on the basis of data provided by a firm run by Karl Rove,” Smith wrote.
As it turns out, Smith doesn’t really have to imagine much: The expert Texas used to defend their law used to work for Karl Rove.
University of Texas Professor Daron Shaw, who testified that Texas’ voter ID law “will not have an impact on turnout,” worked for both of President George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, the RNC, Fox News’ election desk and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who signed the voter ID bill into law.
A spokeswoman with Smith’s office did not respond to an email asking whether Smith believed it was also inappropriate for the state of Texas to “ask a federal court to adopt a voting rights theory that is based on partisan political strategy rather than neutral analysis of the facts and law,” as he accused the Justice Department of doing. Shaw did not respond to requests for comment.
Three federal judges, who were skeptical of Texas’ voter ID law during the trial earlier this month, are expected to issue their ruling in the next few weeks. Ultimately, the case may be destined for the Supreme Court.