Lewis Morris / June 3, 2021

Democrats’ Plan B if HR 1 Fails

HR 4 is an attempt to resurrect DOJ control over state election laws.

Even power-mad Democrats have to give in to reality occasionally, and the current reality is that HR 1, their attempt to federalize election law and create a permanent leftist voting majority, is not going to sail through to passage. While the Democrat-controlled House has twice passed the legislation, the evenly split Senate is another matter — even if they get around the filibuster, only one or two Democrat holdouts can keep the legislation from reaching Joe Biden’s desk. Democrats need insurance.

Enter HR 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It’s very much the brother of HR 1 in that it’s designed to look like a forthright voter protection bill on the surface, but underneath it’s a power grab that would allow Democrats to set up a permanent federal infrastructure to control voting in America for decades to come.

You may remember that HR 1 is a grab bag of leftist provisions that nationalizes voting laws, vastly expands mail-in voting, eliminates voter ID, institutionalizes same-day voter registration and early voting, and rolls back state laws preventing felons from voting. The so-called For the People Act masquerades as an attempt to protect voters’ rights after the chaos of the 2020 election. Of course, the chaos of the 2020 election was sowed by Democrat measures that called for early voting, bulk-mail balloting, and other actions that left the system wide open to fraud.

But, according to Democrats and the media, there was no voter fraud in 2020. Of course, that prompts a question: Why all the fuss about election laws?

HR 4 is similar to its legislative counterpart in another way: It is a solution in search of a problem.

Proceeding from the point that voter suppression is a major issue, this bill gives wide-ranging power to Biden’s Department of Social Justice to whip states into line and oversee any state-level changes to voting law. The DOJ could force states to conform to leftist guidelines that will, like HR 1, create an infrastructure to ensure a permanent Democrat electoral majority.

HR 4 would reinstate the preclearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that gave the DOJ power to overrule a state voting statute if that statute was deemed to deliberately discriminate against a group of voters. Recall that prior to the Voting Rights Act, blacks in the American South lived in a state of perpetual discrimination thanks to Jim Crow laws put in place by Democrats over a century prior. Preclearance was a way to correct these bad laws.

The Supreme Court struck down preclearance in 2013, ruling that it was no longer needed. The 2012 election had seen a record number of black voters, and long gone were the days of fire hoses, attack dogs, and the Ku Klux Klan. The system had been corrected and states didn’t need to be overseen by Big Brother.

Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer see it differently. They want the public to believe that the current situation for minority voters is as bad, or worse, than the 1960s and before. HR 4 would reinstall preclearance on a permanent basis, giving the federal government power to overrule or negate any state law it saw as a bulwark to voting, including voter ID and other voter integrity provisions. State and local jurisdictions would be placed under federal oversight if the DOJ identified 15 local voting rights violations within 25 years or 10 state voting rights violations in the same time frame. What exactly constitutes a violation is delightfully nebulous, giving the federal government carte blanche to decide when and where to intervene on the state level.

It would be no mean feat to drum up the requisite number of violations for the DOJ to step in and seize control of a state’s voting laws. Surely, the ACLU or any other of a myriad of leftist organizations would be more than happy to oblige their federal overlords by mapping out however many lawsuits and grievances were necessary to reach the violation threshold.

HR 4 is nothing more than a plan B for the Democrats should HR 1 fail. It is cut from the same cloth, designed to take voting laws away from the states under the false pretense of protecting voters from discrimination where none exists. It is a power grab for Democrats trying to permanently fix the rules in their favor and nothing besides.

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