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  • Issue Brief posted April 21, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky EEOC Loses Again on Background Checks

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) crusade to bring “disparate impact” claims against employers conducting criminal and credit background checks on prospective employees took another huge hit recently after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the EEOC’s appeal of the dismissal of its claim in EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Possible Judicial Bias in North Carolina Voter ID Case

    Remarks made by an associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court at a Democratic Party fund-raising dinner, as well as her membership in a private organization, raise serious questions about her possible bias against the state’s new voter ID law. Under applicable judicial ethics rules, she should remove herself from the controversial litigation challenging the law…

  • Commentary posted April 15, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Hans A. von Spakovsky Congress Can Help End Racial Discrimination

    The federal government wittingly and unwittingly endorses a great deal of racial discrimination in America. A 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service catalogued literally hundreds of government-wide and agency-specific set-aside and preference programs and grants throughout the entire executive branch that amount to some form of racial discrimination. If…

  • Commentary posted April 10, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Partisan Political Chanting at the IRS

    The latest news from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) about illegal political activities at the IRS will certainly not help the administration’s (and Representative Elijah Cummings’) current narrative that there is not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS. OSC is an independent agency that investigates violations of the civil service rules that govern federal…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Mozilla’s Statement on the Brendan Eich Controversy, Explained

    Here is the statement that Mozilla’s executive chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, posted last week about the “resignation” (firing?) of CEO Brendan Eich over his personal $1,000 donation in 2008 in support of California’s Proposition 8. I’ve added my own text in italics to better explain what Baker was really saying: ‘Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO’ Mozilla prides…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 7, 2014 by Roger Clegg, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery What Congress Can Do to Stop Racial Discrimination

    “In the eyes of the government, we are just one race here. It is American.” —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia[1] Discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity is unconstitutional, unlawful, and morally repugnant. The government should not be in the business of sorting people by such innate characteristics. Yet race and ethnicity often factor into government…

  • Testimony posted March 31, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky IRS Targeting: Is the Obama Administration Conducting a Serious Investigation

    Testimony before the House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs 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…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Lois Lerner’s New Lawyer

    The latest action of Representative Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democratic member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, makes one wonder whether he has received a retainer from Lois Lerner. Lerner, of course, is the former IRS official at the heart of the scandal over the targeting of conservative organizations. Cummings appears to be acting as…

  • Issue Brief posted March 25, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Tennessee

    The latest data from Tennessee about the state’s experience with its new photographic voter identification law show that this requirement has done nothing to suppress voter turnout throughout the state. In fact, overall turnout in Tennessee was slightly higher, and black voters turned out at higher rates than white voters in the first election held after the law became…

  • Commentary posted March 24, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky No, New York Times, Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Vote Isn’t ‘Voter Suppression’

    Last Thursday, the New York Times published a harsh editorial that unfairly condemned a Kansas federal judge for upholding the right of states to require proof of citizenship for individuals registering to vote. As I explained last week, Judge Eric Melgren ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to change its state-specific instructions for the federal voter…

  • Commentary posted March 22, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky ‘Disparate Impact’ Isn’t Enough

    As Eric Holder’s Justice Department attacks voter-ID laws in Texas and North Carolina, the Heritage Foundation has warned courts that they should be wary of construing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to find liability when only a “disparate impact” on the basis of race has been shown. “Disparate impact” is the favored but dubious legal theory of the Obama…

  • Commentary posted March 20, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky A Big Win for Electoral Integrity

    In a big victory for election integrity, Arizona and Kansas — led by their Secretaries of State, Ken Bennett and Kris Kobach — have obtained an order from a federal judge allowing them to enforce their proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration. In a decision issued on March 19, Judge Eric Melgren of the federal district court of Kansas found that the…

  • Commentary posted March 20, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky A Big Win for Electoral Integrity

    In a big victory for election integrity, Arizona and Kansas — led by their Secretaries of State, Ken Bennett and Kris Kobach — have obtained an order from a federal judge allowing them to enforce their proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration. In a decision issued on March 19, Judge Eric Melgren of the federal district court of Kansas found that the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 17, 2014 by Roger Clegg, Hans A. von Spakovsky “Disparate Impact” and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act

    In 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder decision,[1] the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the coverage formula of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which had been renewed by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years. Passed in 1965, Section 5 was an emergency five-year provision that required covered jurisdictions (nine states and parts of seven others[2]) to…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The IRS Tries to Stifle Internal Dissent

    Thursday was the deadline for filing public comments on the IRS’s proposed rule to restrict political activity by 501(c)(4) organizations. Unsurprisingly, the IRS website was flooded with last minute comments. When the bytes had settled, the agency discovered it had received a total of more than 140,000 comments. The vast majority condemned the new rules. Among the…