A breathless Free Beacon story (like stories on Breitbart and the Daily Caller) points to Professor Lorraine Minnite’s efforts via the Election Law listserv to enlist other election law academics and professionals to organize a counter effort to Trump’s “voter fraud” commission.
The Free Beacon story is worse than the others because it tries to market Professor Minnite’s efforts as part of some secret conspiracy. The headline is: “Liberal Professors Trade Secret Emails in Effort to Undermine Trump Commission.”
To begin with, the Election Law listserv, which I have managed with Professor Dan Lowenstein since 1994, has over 1000 members, and many of them are not “liberal professors.” Certainly Jim Bopp and Brad Smith, who are active participants on the list, are no one’s liberals. Nor is Lowenstein himself.
Second, the email is not secret. It is publicly posted in the listserv’s archives.
Third, the idea of forming a counter commission to Trump’s faux “voter fraud” commission is neither new or private. On January 25, I wrote at Slate:
Baseless allegations of voter fraud hurt our democracy. You would think after the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush spent five years investigating voter fraud with nothing to show for it, the voter fraud canard would have been put to bed years ago. This call for a major investigation, if done fairly, could finally put the issue to bed. Let’s not fool ourselves into believing President Trump would order a fair investigation. But if he doesn’t, we will need a shadow investigation to counter whatever a Trump commission might put out to support its boss’ baseless conclusions.
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