ACLU Sues to Stop Citizenship Question on Michigan Ballots

Only citizens of the United States can legally vote in federal elections.  So Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson added a yes/no question on ballot applications that asks: "Are you a United States citizen?"

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, this simple requirement is "an election day disaster in the making."  So the ACLU did what it usually does, which is to sue.

Filed on behalf of the UAW International, which includes the radical Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), a county election official, and several voters, the ACLU's Sept. 17 lawsuit charges that the citizenship question was not approved through proper channels and violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act because two townships it affects come under federal jurisdiction.

Also, the ACLU contends that this question was not asked of all voters in the August primary, and that including the question on the form could cause long lines on Election Day.

Really?  If you're a U.S. citizen, what would keep you from checking the right box?  How long could it take?  If you're not a U.S. citizen, what would you be doing at a polling place, unless you were trying to vote illegally?  

"We can all agree that it should be easier to vote and harder to cheat," said Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director, in a press release, "but cynical voter suppression tactics should not be tolerated."

To the ACLU and its liberal allies, commonsense voter ID laws constitute "suppression tactics."

Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder inexplicably vetoed a bill requiring the citizenship checkbox on every Michigan ballot, citing concerns about possible confusion.  The ACLU's challenge will decide shortly whether the secretary of state, the official who oversees elections, can or cannot put the question on the form without legislative or executive direction.  The case is before Eastern Michigan U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, a 1992 George H.W. Bush appointee.

When they're not gumming up efforts to prevent vote fraud, the ACLU of Michigan proudly continue the ACLU's long tradition of assaulting moral sensibilities.  On Sept. 26, the lead item on the ACLU of Michigan's blog was a reverie by one of its interns:

Just a week ago, hundreds of Michigan men and women came out for the HANDS OFF! Rally for Reproductive Justice. Not only was it truly inspiring, it was liberating to turn heads in my "Vagina" t-shirt, demonstrate that I value autonomy over my own body via some not-so-coordinated dance moves, and to be one amongst a huge community of people who rallied and danced in solidarity.

While I took pride in my own participation, dancing alone would not have been as fun, and the resounding echo of "vagina" that reverberated around the halls of the Capitol would definitely have been less powerful if there weren't so many other voices there to chant with me.

Another ACLU of Michigan blog post titled "Religion Doesn't Justify Discrimination" trashes a private Michigan company for challenging the Obama administration's tyrannical order to provide abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations.

In the ACLU's world, anyone who cares to -- regardless of citizenship -- should be able to vote, and the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom applies only to some.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.

Only citizens of the United States can legally vote in federal elections.  So Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson added a yes/no question on ballot applications that asks: "Are you a United States citizen?"

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, this simple requirement is "an election day disaster in the making."  So the ACLU did what it usually does, which is to sue.

Filed on behalf of the UAW International, which includes the radical Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), a county election official, and several voters, the ACLU's Sept. 17 lawsuit charges that the citizenship question was not approved through proper channels and violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act because two townships it affects come under federal jurisdiction.

Also, the ACLU contends that this question was not asked of all voters in the August primary, and that including the question on the form could cause long lines on Election Day.

Really?  If you're a U.S. citizen, what would keep you from checking the right box?  How long could it take?  If you're not a U.S. citizen, what would you be doing at a polling place, unless you were trying to vote illegally?  

"We can all agree that it should be easier to vote and harder to cheat," said Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director, in a press release, "but cynical voter suppression tactics should not be tolerated."

To the ACLU and its liberal allies, commonsense voter ID laws constitute "suppression tactics."

Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder inexplicably vetoed a bill requiring the citizenship checkbox on every Michigan ballot, citing concerns about possible confusion.  The ACLU's challenge will decide shortly whether the secretary of state, the official who oversees elections, can or cannot put the question on the form without legislative or executive direction.  The case is before Eastern Michigan U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, a 1992 George H.W. Bush appointee.

When they're not gumming up efforts to prevent vote fraud, the ACLU of Michigan proudly continue the ACLU's long tradition of assaulting moral sensibilities.  On Sept. 26, the lead item on the ACLU of Michigan's blog was a reverie by one of its interns:

Just a week ago, hundreds of Michigan men and women came out for the HANDS OFF! Rally for Reproductive Justice. Not only was it truly inspiring, it was liberating to turn heads in my "Vagina" t-shirt, demonstrate that I value autonomy over my own body via some not-so-coordinated dance moves, and to be one amongst a huge community of people who rallied and danced in solidarity.

While I took pride in my own participation, dancing alone would not have been as fun, and the resounding echo of "vagina" that reverberated around the halls of the Capitol would definitely have been less powerful if there weren't so many other voices there to chant with me.

Another ACLU of Michigan blog post titled "Religion Doesn't Justify Discrimination" trashes a private Michigan company for challenging the Obama administration's tyrannical order to provide abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations.

In the ACLU's world, anyone who cares to -- regardless of citizenship -- should be able to vote, and the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom applies only to some.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.