From an editorial Friday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:
Sen. Thom Tillis used Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearing Wednesday to defend North Carolina’s voting laws, which have been challenged in court by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I made sure we made heroic efforts to preserve everyone’s right to vote,” the freshman Republican asserted.
Tillis was speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives when voting law changes were enacted and was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. He asked Lynch whether it made sense, given the department’s limited resources, to proceed with the suit.
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Lynch, the Greensboro native nominated to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, didn’t back down. It’s a “core principle” of the Justice Department, she said, to protect voting rights. She expected the case to go to trial this summer.
Her family experience is strongly connected to civil rights history. This background might make her suspicious of claims that North Carolina’s legislature “made heroic efforts to preserve everyone’s right to vote.” Not when it it reduced the number of days available for early voting, or rescinded same-day registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds. While she said not all voter ID requirements are “problematic,” she did not comment on North Carolina’s, which is among the most restrictive in the country.
Her record as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York is unassailable. She has prosecuted organized crime figures, terrorists, human traffickers and corrupt politicians.
She may not have said what Tillis wanted to hear, but she made a compelling case for confirmation.