On Friday, a federal judge ruled against Georgia Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp’s attempt to stop people from voting. It was not the first time a judge had ruled against Kemp, nor was it the second. Or the third. Or fourth.
U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross ruled that the Kemp’s requirements for voters to prove their identity raised “grave concerns for the Court about the differential treatment inflicted on a group of individuals who are predominantly minorities,” according to the Washington Post, becoming at least the sixth time that a court has told Kemp to slow his racist roll.
At issue was Kemp’s use of Georgia’s “exact match” rule. In Georgia, if a voter’s registration doesn’t exactly match his state records such as DMV data, the registration is flagged and the voter must provide proof of identity to a deputy registrar, who is not available at every polling location. Kemp’s office had flagged at least 3,100 voters using this made-up rule but Judge Ross ruled that the NAACP and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who filed the complaint, would likely win if the case continues, so she halted the practice, allowing anyone whose registration was flagged to simply present ID to a poll manager.
On the exact same day as Ross’s ruling, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that a separate court had ruled against Kemp’s attempt to throw out absentee ballots because workers with no handwriting analysis training whatsoever were tossing ballots whose signatures they didn’t think matched other state records.
Kemp has a long history of engaging in the discriminatory practice of “trying it.” And every time he does, he seems to lose. Some of his greatest non-hits include:
- Being forced to settle an ACLU lawsuit alleging that his office purged voters who moved within the same voting district.
- A judge’s refusal to dismiss a lawsuit by Common Cause that he illegally purged registered voters who hadn’t participated in recent elections.
- Having a judge block “burdensome” proof-of-citizenship requirements after reviewing a lawsuit filed by the Brennan Center and the League of Women Voters.
- Wiping everything off an election server after the Coalition for Good Governance filed a lawsuit forcing Kemp’s office to hand the server over to the FBI to see if it had been breached.
- A federal judge forcing Kemp’s office to give Project Vote the list of voters he purged.
- Restoring 10,000 voters to the rolls after being sued by the NAACP in 2016.
What Brian Kemp is doing is illegal. He never wins a court case and he is aware that what he’s doing is against the law. But like a brave soldier, he presses on because, despite his facile, patriotic aphorisms, he hates America. He despises democracy. He only likes winning. And if he has to cheat to do it, laws be damned.