26 July 2017

A Mixed Day for Voter Suppression

First, a Federal judge has ruled that Trump's voter suppression commission is not required to do a privacy review, allowing them to request data and make no real effort to protect personal data from hackers or other nefarious entities.

It appears that the judge found it irrelevant that the commision had already doxxed people who had made comments.
A federal judge on Monday allowed President Trump’s voting commission to go forward with seeking voter data from 50 states and the District, ruling that the White House advisory panel is exempt from federal privacy review requirements, whatever additional risk it might pose to Americans’ information.

The ruling averted a public setback for a president who has claimed that widespread fraud cost him the popular vote in November. The commission’s request for the voting information of more than 150 million registered voters remains controversial, with many state leaders from both parties voicing objections about its potential to reveal personal information, suppress voter participation and encroach on states’ oversight of voting laws.

The panel’s June 28 letter to the states requested that they turn over “publicly-available voter roll data,” including names, addresses, dates of birth, party registrations, partial Social Security numbers and voting, military, felony and overseas histories, among other data.
In related news, another Federal Judge just just approved sanctions against commission co-chair Kris Kobach for lying to the court:
A federal judge on Tuesday denied Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request to reconsider a magistrate judge’s sanctions, finding Kobach has shown a pattern of misleading the court in a voting-rights case.
In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson refused Kobach’s request to reconsider a $1,000 fine issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara, as well as O’Hara’s order that Kobach submit to a deposition in an ongoing case between the secretary of state and the American Civil Liberties Union over Kansas’ requirement of proof of citizenship for registered voters.

O’Hara sanctioned Kobach for misleading the court regarding the nature of voting-policy documents he was photographed with in a November meeting with President Donald Trump. The top sheet of the documents visibly showed suggested policy changes to the National Voter Registration Act which had been requested by the ACLU. After a review, O’Hara ordered Kobach to hand over the documents after finding them relevant to the case.

Kobach fought the order, arguing they were protected by Trump’s executive privilege and attorney-client privilege since an attorney in Kobach’s office had seen them. When he did hand them over, he marked the documents as confidential, a classification the ACLU is currently trying to overturn in an effort to make them public.

In her ruling, Robinson used three examples of Kobach’s previous behavior to chide him for habitually making misleading statements.
Heck of a commission there, huh.


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