President Trump’s voter integrity commission received a big boost when a federal judge not only ruled in favor of the president’s initiative, but mocked those who tried to oppose it.
An attorney for Common Cause, a group that sued the newly formed commission, got a little ribbing from the judge when they claimed to fear President Trump himself would gain access to voters’ data despite states efforts to keep the information private, The Washington Times reported.
“That’s hard to keep a straight face,” District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said.
Common Cause sued to stop the voter integrity commission and argued that requesting information on First Amendment activities violates the Privacy Act. But the judge, who was appointed by President Reagan in 1987 and no doubt knows a thing or two about freedom, refused to issue a restraining order to stop the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
Justice Department attorney Elizabeth Shapiro argued the commission had only asked states to turn over already publicly available information about voters. The commission is seeking the information to double-check for multiple registrations, non-citizens, and deceased people still on the voter rolls.
“I think that makes a difference,” the judge said, according to the Times.
The judge also noted that the commission is merely requesting – not demanding – information.
“No states have been compelled to do anything,” he said.
But, it wasn’t all good news for President Trump and his commission.
Lamberth admitted that his word would likely not be the last on the matter and acknowledged two other cases challenging the commission.
The judge also seemed to agree with Common Cause in that the commission requests were far-reaching, and even called it “snooping,” the Washington Times reported.