Democrats are succeeding at another game of “never let a crisis go to waste without getting more votes.”
The federal judicial assault on state sovereignty has grown out of control to such an extent that some states might want to cancel their elections and have the judges vote in place of the people. After all, they not only decide every political issue — thereby rendering the results of elections moot — but are now determining all of the methods and procedures for elections in the first place. The latest example in the train of usurpations is a judge forcing Florida to extend the voter registration deadline for as many days as Democrat activists demand because Hurricane Matthew disrupted several days of mail and registration activity.
On Monday, Judge Mark Walker of the Northern District of Florida, an Obama appointee, castigated Florida Governor Rick Scott for not extending voter registration past the existing deadline of Tuesday night, October 11. In one of the most political decisions I’ve ever seen, Judge Walker ordered the state to keep voter registration open for Wednesday, October 12. Then after a brief hearing yesterday, Judge Walker agreed to the Democrat request to extend registration until next Tuesday, even though voter registration was only disrupted for a few days.
In this column, I’ve written about numerous cases where federal judges have nullified the most common sense state election laws, a sphere of policy over which states have near complete power. Just over the past few months, federal judges have mandated specific days for early voting, pre-registration of 16-year-olds, required straight ticket voting options, mandated extra polling stations, blocked states from verifying citizenship of voters, forced Ohio to place 465,000 dead voters back on the voter rolls, and terminated photo ID laws in a number of states. On Monday, and then again on Wednesday, the Florida judge took this judicial civil disobedience and nullification a step further by striking down Florida’s inaction! He contended that the lack of “a provision [in state law] that extends the voter registration deadline in the event of an emergency” is unconstitutional.
Earlier in the week, Governor Scott rebuffed requests from Democrats to extend the voter registration period. It’s important to remember that this is a judgment call and a political question. Voters had months to register and there is no constitutional right to any specific number of days to register, any number of days to vote early, or any special methods and procedures of mailing in forms. If anything, given modern transportation and communication, it is now easier to register to vote and cast a ballot than at any time in our history. Yet, somehow the absence of more and more registration days requested by Democrats is somehow unconstitutional.
What’s next? Are the judges going to comb through the two-year period between federal elections and determine on how many days there was inclement weather and extend the period further? October 11 is more than a reasonable registration deadline for voting four weeks later, especially given that early voting is already under way in most states. Scott was well within his right to stick to the statute and not elect to offer an extension. If voters want to punish him for that decision, they have the ability to do so, but that is a political issue, not a legal or constitutional question.
In a classic display of legal subterfuge, in an attempt to disguise his radicalism, Judge Walker asserts that he is “not suggesting that Florida has to allow voter registration up to Election Day,” even though he speaks meritoriously about the states that offer same-day registration. Wink, wink, nod, nod. In other words, for this case, it will be sufficient to deliver more Democrat votes by merely extending the registration period to an unknown period prior to the election under the judge’s discretion. But if same-day registration ever comes up in court, one never knows what could happen. In the one-directional, post-constitutional legal ratchet, a Fourteenth and First Amendment right to same-day registration might appear!
In his Wednesday order, Judge Walker cited evidence of naturalization ceremonies being cancelled as a result of the storm, and that “through no fault of their own, they [aspiring citizens] would not have had the opportunity to vote in the 2016 election.” Where do we draw the line? What about those who might be naturalized next week or right up until Election Day? Which shouldn’t they get to vote in the election?
The legal system now believes that anything short of molly-coddling people into registering and voting under every and all circumstances is tantamount to disenfranchising voters. Yet, clamping down on voter fraud and non-citizens voting — the most profound manifestation of disenfranchisement — is rendered illegal.
Most importantly, a federal court should never have jurisdiction over basic state voting laws. At best, lawsuits against state election laws should be filed in state court.
Then again, Governor Rick Scott has nobody to blame but himself and Republicans like him. A few months ago, he declared gay marriage “the law of the land” because “the Supreme Court has already made a decision.” Scott must suffer through the judicial supremacy he legitimized. Heck, if a federal court can redefine the building black of all civilization, it most certainly can control voter registration.
When will states learn to finally fight back?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.