The U.S. Justice Department has rejected the South Carolina voter ID law, calling it discriminatory, citing concerns about the law's effect on African-American voters.
The ruling was opposed by the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), triggering a new dispute between the Obama administration and Republican-led state governments.
This decision was based on inaccurate data about the number of South Carolina voters who actually have photo identification, the Association said in a statement.
The new law required voters to provide state-issued or military photo identification to cast a vote. The current law, on the other hand, allows voters to use a printed voter registration card as identification.
The announcement by the Department of Justice tonight in opposition to South Carolina's voter ID law is the lowest form of politics. The decision is not based on accurate data or the merits of the argument; instead, Eric Holder decided to reward far-left groups with a political handout the Friday before Christmas, said Michael Thielen, the RNLA's Executive Director.
The facts demonstrate voter ID laws are constitutional and supported by Republicans and Democrats alike. The Justice Department's actions call into question the commitment of officials in the agency to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States above all else, he added.
The RNLA said every single court who had so far evaluated voter ID laws found them constitutional. When the Supreme Court evaluated Indiana's voter ID law, the Court found it constitutional in an opinion written by liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. Georgia's voter ID law was also challenged and an appellate court found it was constitutional as well.
The Justice Department letter asserts that voter ID laws combat voter impersonation and do not discuss other forms of vote fraud prevented by voter ID. Among other things, voter ID laws also combat non-citizen voting and voting multiple times, the RNLA said.