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  • Commentary posted May 21, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The FEC’s Latest Great Idea: Dismantle Capitalism to Get More Women in Office

    Earlier this month, I predicted that a scheduled hearing at the Federal Election Commission was shaping up to be nothing more than a presentation of “the goofy gender ideology and politics of the progressive Left and academia.” And, oh, how right I was. The May 12 forum on “Women in Politics” was organized by FEC chairwoman Ann Ravel without the approval of any of her…

  • Commentary posted April 29, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder’s legacy

    As Attorney General Eric Holder finally departs, he leaves behind a demoralized Justice Department that has been politicized to an unprecedented degree. Attorneys general are obligated to enforce the law in an objective, unbiased and nonpolitical manner. They must demonstrate the highest regard for the best interests of the public and their sworn duty to uphold the…

  • Commentary posted April 20, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Amnesty Battle Continues in the Big Easy

    Today, April 17, the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against the administration goes to the next level. The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments on the government’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction issued on February 16 by Judge Andrew Hanen pending appeal. This is the just the preliminary round, since the Fifth Circuit will hear separate…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Don't hijack the voters' right to choose judges

    “Merit selection” of state judges sounds virtuous. But it would disenfranchise the public, stripping citizens of their right to vote for, and select, those who control the third branch of state government: the judiciary. Critics of elected judges complain about political spending in state judicial races. Yet the complaint rings hollow; these same critics have poured…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obama’s DOJ Loses Another Round in Immigration Battle in Texas

    Federal district court judge Andrew Hanen slammed the Obama administration with a solid one-two punch late last night. In one order, he refused to lift the preliminary injunction barring implementation of the president’s immigration amnesty plan. In a second order, Hanen said that the “attorneys for the Government misrepresented the facts” about the implementation to the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Revisiting the Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Kansas: 2014

    The voter turnout data in Kansas in the 2014 congressional midterm and 2012 presidential elections once again show that the claims by opponents of voter identification are wrong. There is no evidence that the turnout of Kansas voters was suppressed or affected in a negative way by the state’s voter ID requirement.[1] In fact, it may have had a very slight positive effect.…

  • Commentary posted April 1, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Immigration Battle Heads to the Big Easy

    Call it the Battle of New Orleans. On April 17, the litigation war over the president’s amnesty plan for 5 million illegal aliens will shift from Brownsville, Texas, to the Big Easy. In February, the administration suffered a major setback when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction against the plan. Now the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear…

  • Commentary posted April 1, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Compulsory Voting is Unconstitutional

    President Obama recently praised the idea of “mandatory voting,” saying it would be “transformative” and “completely change the political map in this country,” showing again how unbound he feels by the limits imposed on the power of government by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The president apparently does not believe that the right to speak, which is protected…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Will the Obama Administration Be Sanctioned for Misleading Judge Hanen?

    As expected, the Justice Department had a very tough time in federal court yesterday. Appearing before Judge Andrew Hanen down in Brownsville, Texas, DOJ attorneys strove mightily to explain away how the Department misled the court in the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama’s amnesty plan. Both the AP and a private source who was in the…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Please Explain 100,000 Deferrals for Illegal Aliens

    There has been a flurry of procedural developments in the lawsuit filed by 26 states in a Texas federal court against President Obama’s amnesty plan for 5 million illegal aliens. On March 19, Justice Department lawyers — and officials of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — will be in the hot seat at a hearing scheduled by Judge Andrew Hanen. Sitting in the dock,…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky What the Ferguson Report Really Exposed

    We’ve all seen them—the unsolicited, chain emails that occasionally dump tasteless or racist jokes in our inboxes.  I delete them immediately.  End of story. Yet, somehow, the media has obsessed over the (admittedly noxious) emails found in the files of a few individuals in the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. The emails were noted in a March 4 report issued by the…

  • Testimony posted February 27, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration and Their Impact on Federal and State Elections

    Testimony before theHouse of Representatives, Committee on Oversightand Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and theSubcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules February 12, 2015 Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow The Heritage Foundation My Background and Experience My name is Hans A. von Spakovsky.[1] I am a Senior Legal…

  • Testimony posted February 26, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Aggregate Biennial Contribution Limits

    Testimony before the Federal Election Commission February 11, 2015 Hans A. von Spakovsky Senior Legal Fellow The Heritage Foundation Introduction My name is Hans A. von Spakovsky.[1] I am a Senior Legal Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 11, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Roger Clegg Felon Voting and Unconstitutional Congressional Overreach

    Whether—or when—felons should have their voting rights restored is a public policy issue that is open to debate, but there is no question that the authority to decide this issue lies with the states, not with Congress. A federal bill such as S. 2550, sponsored by Senator Rand Paul (R–KY)—which would restore the right to vote to nonviolent felons after they have served…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder's State of Historic Denial

    Departing attorney general Eric Holder’s claim this week in a press conference that there has “been no politicization” of the Justice Department under him makes it appear as if he is living in a Potemkin-like state of denial in the main Justice building. Holder went so far as to claim that he had been forced to clean up the department he took over from the Bush…