Arguments are scheduled to conclude today in the Obama administration's case challenging Texas' voter ID law, which requires voters to show a valid, government-issued photo ID at the polls. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) criticized the Justice Department's reliance on biased and flawed data that was produced in part by a Democratic data firm called Catalist.
Last week, Chairman Smith wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he explain why the Department used a partisan firm as part of their case against Texas. The Justice Department has yet to respond.
Chairman Smith: "After a week of arguments in Texas' voter ID case, it is clear that the Justice Department's case is based on biased and flawed evidence. The Administration's case is so weak that it crumbles under the pressure of facts.
"Rather than use the federal government's own identification databases, the Justice Department hired a partisan firm to analyze the Texas law. Catalist's client list includes the Democratic Congressional and Senatorial Campaign Committees, the Democratic Governors Association, Obama for America, and at least 43 Democratic members of Congress. It's no surprise that a firm that works primarily on behalf of Democratic campaigns and candidates produced results favorable to the Democratic administration.
"But the data provided by Catalist and others is not only biased, it is deeply flawed. It lists former President George W. Bush and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as individuals who would be disenfranchised by the voter ID law. And about a quarter of the people Catalist identified as African-American did not identify themselves as African-American.
"If the Justice Department were interested in the facts, they would have used unbiased data firms rather than outsourcing the work to Democratic Party allies. Instead, DOJ hired a partisan group to give them the evidence they needed to fight a law they didn't like. They rigged the game to promote a partisan agenda rather than protect the rights of all voters.
"Voter fraud is a real problem that undermines the integrity of our elections and threatens the future of our democracy. Efforts by states to guard against fraud should be encouraged, not demonized by the Department.
"The Justice Department has not made its case to the court or the American people. I hope that the court will uphold the Texas voter ID law and the rights of states to ensure the integrity of their elections."