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Federal judge hands Gov. Scott voter purge victory

by Dara Kam | June 27th, 2012

A federal judge denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for an emergency restraining order to halt Florida’s non-citizen voter purge and said the controversial scrub does not violate federal law.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle heard arguments this morning from the Justice Department and Michael Carvin, a Washington lawyer representing Gov. Rick Scott’s administration. Carvin was one of the lead lawyers for President George W. Bush in the protracted 2000 recount legal wrangle.

Hinkle denied the request for the emergency stop to the program in part because he said the state was no longer doing it.

But he also rejected Justice Department attorney John Bert Russ’s argument that the non-citizen voter purge violates federal law.

He also chided both administrations, saying the “federal government and the state government ought to be working together” to ensure honest elections.

Wednesday’s hearing is the first of multiple lawsuits over the voter purge. Scott is suing the Department of Homeland Security over access to a federal database the state contends would allow them to create a less error-prone list than the Secretary of State Ken Detzner distributed to county supervisors in April.

While he denied the emergency restraining order, Judge Hinkle allowed the lawsuit to move forward.

And he put Detzner on notice that he would be available for future emergency hearings if the state “ramps up” the voter purge without making sure the list was less error-riddled.

Scott insists that no citizens have been wrongly removed from the voting rolls as a result of the purge but that about 100 non-citizens were found to have been registered to vote.

Many of the 2,600 flagged individuals on the list given out in April turned out to be naturalized citizens and therefore eligible to vote, Hinkle noted.

“Questioning someone’s citizenship unnecessarily is not as trivial as the state would have it,” Hinkle scolded. “But leaving an ineligible voter on the list is not a solution. People need to know we are running an honest election.”

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14 Responses to “Federal judge hands Gov. Scott voter purge victory”

  1. Bill Neubauer Says:

    Hurrah for Judge Hinkle and his insistance that BOTH PARTIES should be working to assure honest elections. I am a sort of Johnny-One-Note on some issues. I so often wonder, as tempers flare, WHO GETS HURT? Crirics of the plan to purge voter rolls for ineligibles contend that “there are errors on the list.” Maybe so. But if somebody asks a questionable voter to identify himself/herself as a legal resident, WHO GETS HURT? Nobody gets hurt. And a carefully double checked voter registsration drive gives valid voters the comfortable feeling that their vote really counts and that everything has been done to conduct a 100 percent valid election.

  2. Tony F. Says:

    The law has always been that in order to cast a vote a person has to be of a certain age and a citizen. The court made a proper decision so what is the crying all about–That you wanted illegal voting to help that amateur in Washington?

  3. GO OBAMA Says:

    This was actually a pretty decent ruling.

    The purge has stopped, so it’s no longer breaking the law.

    The judge reminded both sides of a need for cooperation, which makes a ton of sense.

    Common sense that apparently eluded Gov Scott in, first, asking for the impossible and, second, moving forward with a corrupt illegal purge.

    My only hope is that the SOE’s continue to resist the purge and refuse to re-start it.

    Going by the complete professionalism of the vast majority of SOE’s (on a bipartisan basis), I am actually not so worried about a new purge going through without further outcry and lawsuits. The die has been cast. The purge is done. Thank God.

  4. nelson howard Says:

    Having citizens who are elgible to vote being allowed to vote is proper. Having a whole lot of inelgible peple voting is very wrong. There are 11,000,000 illegal aliens in the U.S. Allowing any of them to vote would make a mockery of our democratic system of government.
    Just like giving Eric Holder exectutive privilige when congress wanted to cite him with contempt, goes toooo far.

  5. Tea Lady Says:

    See!! It’s as I’ve said all along! There is nothing wrong or unconstitutional with ensuring the integrity of Florida’s voter rolls!

    The State of Florida has a constitutional right, nay duty, to ensure that only eligible citizens vote! Illegal aliens should not be influencing our democratic process.

    This is a great triumph for Governor Scott .. and for Florida .. and for democracy! =)

  6. LicenseToSteal Says:

    I am not a Rick Scott supporter, but I am for common sense and it makes sense to check the voter list periodically.

    I find nothing wrong with this. I just think you will always find people on either end of the polticial spectrum that cannot think for themselves.

  7. JoeThePimpernel Says:

    Thank God the Democrat vote fraud can go on.

    Democrats have a civil right to vote as many times as they possibly can, under as many registrations as they can.

    Federal law. Look it up.

  8. The Intelligent Perspective Says:

    Tea Lady, the problem continues to be that people like you continue to live and breath and vote.

  9. Ha Tanney Says:

    Have been on similar fishing outing in Charleston area twice.Great Fun!! Highly recommended!!

  10. GO OBAMA Says:

    “”"Allowing any of them to vote would make a mockery of our democratic system of government.”"”

    Agreed. That is why illegal votes, the few that are cast, are almost always prosecuted. The Republican myth that dozens of illegal votes happen each election is simply a bunch of bull. It only happens rarely. And those people should be — and ARE — prosecuted for it.

    “”"it makes sense to check the voter list periodically.”"”

    The County Supervisors of Elections ALREADY DO THIS every odd-numbered year. So, they did it as recently as 2011. Rick Scott went ahead and forced them to do it again in 2012 using his database of 180,000 people. The SOE said, get that stuff out of here and the purge died on the vine, so to speak.

    Btw, for some reason Rick Scott won’t divulge ANY information about this 180,000 person database. Gee, I wonder why.

  11. GO OBAMA Says:

    “”"While he denied the emergency restraining order, Judge Hinkle allowed the lawsuit to move forward.

    And he put Detzner on notice that he would be available for future emergency hearings if the state “ramps up” the voter purge without making sure the list was less error-riddled.”"”

    Really doesn’t sound like a Scott victory at all to me.

    Sounds more like he was caught with his hands in the cookie jar and got off with a slap on the wrist instead of being sent straight to his room without supper.

  12. Dee Says:

    Hinkle is a closet Rethugnut. Rethugs can only win by cheating. It has been proven. We need to dismantle the supreme court too. Whar a laughable joke they have become.

  13. Voxpopuli Says:

    “When it shall be said in any country in the world my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want; the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, there may that country boast its Constitution and its Government”
    ― Thomas Paine, Rights Of Man
    Corporations are not people.
    Money is not free speech.
    The hand that comes to extinguish the torch of liberty comes wrapped in its flag.
    We must be vigilant from All threats to our Democracy both foreign and domestic.
    We all must exercise the Constitutional Rights that our forefathers fought and died for.
    We must stop the destructive Voodoo, Not Trickling down, Not Free market economics that is destroying what was once the backbone of this nation the working class.
    We must not let the Republicans, and the tea party or any other entity subvert our Democracy by the systematic denial of an individual’s right to vote
    The Republicans and the tea party are snake oil sales men extracting wealth by selling poverty, war and suffering to the American people.
    We must make our voices herd.
    Register and VOTE

  14. Irish Mike Says:

    Vox: I’d argue that the liberal philosophy of government taxing philosophical opponents and handing out benefits to those they deem in need (and will support their hold on power) is the real “trickle down”, and fails the people they intend to help. And as long as government decides what you get and who pays for it, it will be a corrupt system where the well-connected get to play for pay.

    And BTW: Even as a conservative, I think corporations like The Sierra Club, the ACLU, unions and even OWS are and should be legally entitled to pool their resources to exercise freedom of speech. Otherwise, rich owners of media (yes, like Rupert Murdoch) will own the information, and bend it all they want, like the MSM did for years before talk radio and the internet.

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