The Modest South Carolina Suit Against DOJ’s Blocking of Its Voter ID Law

The South Carolina complaint has now been filed challenging the Department of Justice’s denial of its voter id law as a violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

I had expected South Carolina to make a frontal attack on the constitutionality of the Act, going even further than Texas had in its recent complaint (which suggests narrowing the Act significantly to avoid reaching the constitutional question).  I had thought a frontal attack was especially likely when South Carolina lined up big gun Paul Clement on the case.

But the complaint does not raise the issue directly or forcefully.  Paragraph 36 raises a constitutional avoidance argument, but this is much less confrontational than I expected given Gov. Haley and others’ language against the DOJ decision.

So my money’s right now on the Shelby County case as the one most likely to bring the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act back to the Supreme Court.

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