Fed Court Panel Unanimously Rules Nothing Wrong with S.C. Voter ID Law; Will MSNBC Apologize for Craven Fear-mongering?

In October of last year, MSNBC cravenly played the race card by showcasing South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian insisting that that Palmetto State's new voter ID law would amount to "electoral genocide" of blacks. MSNBC's Chris Matthews carped that the GOP was "randy" to "roll up the vote." There are countless other instances of the liberal network attacking South Carolina and other Southern states as racist for pursuing stricter voter ID laws.

Well, on Wednesday, in a unanimous ruling no less, a federal court ruled that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the law, but directed that it not take effect until after the presidential elections, for fear of a "potential for chaos" should state officials try to enforce it this November, the Washington Post's Del Quentin Wilber reported in the October 11 paper.


MSNBC reporter Tamron Hall noted the ruling yesterday during her 2 p.m. NewsNation program, but spun it by saying the court had blocked the law's implementation this election season:

South Carolina is the fourth state to have its Republican-passed voter ID law stopped in court behind Texas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Supporters of the law say it's necessary to prevent voter fraud. Opponents, as you well know by now, argue that they're only designed to suppress the Democratic vote after President Obama's historic victory in 2008. At least this one now blocked temporarily.

Of course the bottom line is the federal court rejected the claims of opponents that the law was racist and anti-poor.

As Wilber quoted from the ruling:

“South Carolina’s new voter ID law is significantly more friendly to voters without qualifying photo IDs than several other contemporary state laws that have passed legal muster,” wrote Brett M. Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was joined in his opinion by U.S. District Court judges Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and John D. Bates.

It's also worth noting that, earlier this year, the Obama/Holder Department of Justice similarly cleared for approval voter ID laws in New Hampshire and Virginia, two other states covered by the federal Voting Rights Acts. What's more, New Hampshire and Virginia are battleground states that could swing either to Romney or Obama, unlike South Carolina which most likely will go strongly for Romney.

Time and again MSNBC has portrayed voter ID efforts as an attempt to "suppress" the vote. Yes, some state voter ID efforts have faced temporary obstacles in court, but voter ID was vindicated by the Supreme Court in 2008 and there's very little if any chance that that precedent will be threatened anytime soon.

The Palmetto State deserves an apology from MSNBC. Just don't hold your breath for one to be issued anytime soon.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters