This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on February 12, 2014 on The PJ Tatler website.
Justice Department lawyer Bradley Heard was in court today trying to stop Kansas from ensuring that only citizens register to vote. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, relying on a United States Supreme Court opinion of last year, asked the federal Election Assistance Commission to permit him to ensure that only citizens were registering to vote.
The Election Assistance Commission said no, so Kris Kobach went to federal court. Enter Eric Holder’s Justice Department, as usual, opposing election integrity measures.
Despite harping about resource concerns (which apparently means that the DOJ can do nothing about corrupted voter rolls), Holder found the time and money to send Bradley Heard to a hearing in Kansas to argue against Kobach’s election integrity measures.
Things didn’t go well for Bradley Heard before Judge Eric Melgren today. The Wichita Eagle:
Judge Eric Melgren repeatedly pressed Department of Justice lawyer Bradley Heard to explain how a Supreme Court decision last year on Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law allows the federal Election Assistance Commission to reject requests from Arizona and Kansas to add state-law requirements to the instructions for filling out the voting form.
“The single pivotal question in this case is who gets to decide … what’s necessary” to establish citizenship for voting, Melgren said.
Heard said that decision lies with the EAC under the federal National Voter Registration Act, also known as the motor-voter law. He said the law empowers the commission to decide what questions and proofs are necessary to include in the federal registration form.
Take note, Heard argued both that Kobach can’t take steps to prevent foreigners to register to vote, and, that federal government power over state elections is supreme.
So who is Bradley Heard?
Hans von Spakovsky wrote about Heard’s background in the PJ Media Every Single One Series installment on the DOJ Voting Section:
Before joining the Voting Section, Mr. Heard worked for a number of years at the Advancement Project, a radical left-wing voting organization. The Advancement Project has worked closely with the ACLU, NAACP LDF, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and other liberal advocates to oppose voter ID statutes, felon disenfranchisement laws, and citizenship verification regulations, and to take myriad other militant positions on state and federal voting rights laws. Mr. Heard fit right in at the Advancement Project, having previously founded the Georgia Voter Empowerment Project, which describes its mission as increasing the “civic participation levels of progressive-minded Georgians.”
Amusingly, before moving to Washington, Mr. Heard had a nasty breakup with his plaintiff’s civil rights firm in Atlanta. He commenced litigation against his partners, who in turn claimed he was engaging in misconduct. Heard then sought criminal arrest warrants against his former partners, charging that they had engaged in false voter registration and voting by an unqualified elector, both felonies. The court declined to issue the warrants.
When Bradley Heard isn’t suing his law partners or trying to make it easier for non-citizens to register to vote, he runs this “activist” blog called Prince George’s Urbanist. There, Heard rails about various left wing causes like changing the name of the Redskins and urging family unfriendly government mandates on development. His Twitter feed (@BradleyHeard) calls himself a “Voting Rights Gladiator. . . Outside Agitator.”