Democrats’ Second Attempt to Federalize Elections & Control Courts with Bill H.R.4

af bronco

August 26, 2021

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Fatal Attraction

If we remember, H.R. 1 “For the People Act,” was Democrats’ attempt to federalize elections. The bill is 791 pages long and is salvageable only insofar as it supports voting machines to be manufactured in the United States; however, within the bill also contains questionable constitutional interpretations.

H.R.1 bill would make it illegal to check the eligibility of voters; removes mandatory signature and witness verification; allows illegal immigrants to vote; mandates that any challenge to H.R.1 must be subject to the U.S. District Court of Columbia only; and much more. For a full comprehensive list, see Epoch Times.

Despite the Constitution giving states the discretion to administer and run their elections, H.R. 1 states “Congress finds that it has broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections under the Elections Clause of the Constitution, Article I, section 4.”

But Section 4 explicitly states that “Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof” giving states the authority to administer their elections. However, it continues that “Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations…”

As we’ll see when considering the new bill introduced in the House, H.R.4, it seeks to circumnavigate the law by dictating to the courts how they may or may not do their job.

The bill’s last action was on March 11th, 2021, when it was received in the Senate.

It comes as no surprise that Democrats are now attempting to push through another bill, the aforementioned H.R.4 conveniently named John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.

The bill’s summary states, “This bill establishes new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices may take effect. Preclearance is the process of receiving preapproval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.”

In other words, states that seek to change their voting laws must first consult with the Department of Justice or the Democratic controlled U.S. District Court of Columbia. This bill would effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in BRNOVICH v. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE.

On March 2nd, 2021, the DNC brought against the state of Arizona a lawsuit alleging that the state’s requirement for residents to vote in their designated location, as well as HB 2023, the crime of harvesting ballots, disproportionately affected minorities, in violation of §2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Court held that Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and HB 2023 did not violate §2 of the Voting Rights Act nor was enacted with discriminatory purposes.

Justice Alito, writing the court decision, reflects on §2 of the VRA:

In 1982, Congress proposed an amendment to the section.

“The bill that was initially passed by the House of Representatives included what is now §2(a). In place of the phrase “to deny or abridge the right . . . to vote on account of race or color,” the amendment substituted “in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right . . . to vote on account of race or color.”

“What is now §2(b) was added, and that provision sets out what must be shown to prove a §2 violation. It requires consideration of “the totality of circumstances” in each case and demands proof that “the political processes leading to nomination or election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation” by members of a protected class “in that its members have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.” 52 U. S. C. §10301(b) (emphasis added). Reflecting the Senate Judiciary Committee’s stated focus on the issue of vote dilution, this language was taken almost verbatim from White.”

H.R.4, however, does not respect the Court’s right to consider the “totality of circumstances” that may or may not have resulted in the “denial or abridgment of the right to vote.”

If 99% of minorities are unaffected by a voting procedure, a court is unable to consider that majority in determining whether or not the procedure resulted in a denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race or color.

This move, and those to follow, would subject any small infraction or seemingly unequal outcome to the whim of the Democratic Party, making it easy to shout racism with legal reinforcements.

The nonprofit organization Lawyers Democracy Fund continues to delineate what the bill entails.

Here, Democrats can claim a racist voting procedure that results in racially unequal outcomes, whether or not that procedure is in use in other states. For instance, if Democrats are challenging a procedure in a Republican state, a Democratic state that uses the same procedure may not be lawfully or relevantly considered.

This bill would also make it unlawful for a court to consider the intent of the challenged voting procedure or provision if it prevents crime, such as ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting, therefore, is not a concern to the consideration of voting procedures.

 

If a state is interested in preventing fraud, thereby enacting voting provisions that reduce the capacity for fraud, this intent cannot be used by a court when considering the challenged provision.

 

If Democrats call something racist, it must be so. This bill would abridge a court’s necessary role in determining whether a voting procedure is or is not unjust. The attempt to restrict or limit a court’s role speaks to the Democrats’ intention to subject the court to their whim, thereby making it easier to challenge a provision they don’t like that may cause an undesirable outcome for the Democratic Party.

When conservatives speak to the potential of voter fraud and election integrity, this is what they mean. Attempts like this to federalize elections is not in accordance with the Constitution, despite Democrats’ interpretation of the Elections Clause, Article I, section 4, where Congress has a right to amend regulations.

Through this bill, however, Democrats are going around the law and upending it by dictating to the courts how they can or cannot consider a challenged procedure that Democrats might bring to them. It not only confiscates authority of states to administer their elections but deliberately politicizes the courts to be appendages for the agenda of the Democratic Party.

The bill passed the House on August 24th with the yeas and nays 219-212.

 

 

 

 

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