Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer argues voting is ‘burden’ on minorities

Hillary Clinton’s former campaign lawyer is meddling in Nevada politics. Worse, he’s saying that voting in a special election would be an “undue burden” on minorities.

Imagine the outrage if a Republican argued that voting is a “burden” on minorities.

The lawsuit shows just how desperate Democrats are to stop recall efforts against Sens. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, and Patricia Farley, I-Las Vegas. Marc Elias, general counsel for Hillary for America, filed the complaint Monday in federal court.

Recall supporters have been gathering signatures since August to replace those senators with Republicans. Nevada’s constitution specifically allows voters to demand a recall for any reason, which the lawsuit acknowledges.

The complaint, filed on behalf of five Clark County voters, contends that Nevada’s recall laws are “unconstitutional and invalid under the Voter Rights Act.” A “recall election imposes undue burdens on the right to vote by requiring Plaintiffs and other voters to vote again [emphasis original] in an off-cycle special election.”

Let’s translate: Giving voters an opportunity to vote takes away their right to vote.

This is why lawyers get paid so much. It’s hard to make that argument without bursting into laughter.

“Hillary Clinton’s D.C. attorney wants to undercut the constitutional rights of Nevada voters by telling us who we can and cannot vote for,” Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, a recall supporter, said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton’s D.C. attorney thinks it’s wrong to recall Democrats in Nevada, yet he was more than happy to help with the recall of Republicans in Wisconsin.”

The lawsuit asserts that voting is more painful and takes longer than visiting the dentist. One plaintiff claims that voting would require her to miss an entire day of work as a substitute teacher. Every plaintiff grumbles that they’d “have to spend time learning about the specifics of the recall election.”

Please. Voting usually takes less than ten minutes, especially for what the brief simultaneously argues will be a low-turnout election. Filing a lawsuit also takes a whole lot more work than opening your mailbox and reading the coming onslaught of campaign flyers.

The lawsuit then claims that the recalls seek to “nullify” previous election results. Not so. Every vote those senators cast in the previous legislative session still counts. Recalls simply give voters an additional way to hold politicians accountable.

The lawsuit then makes its most absurd argument. It asserts that minorities “are more likely to support” the sitting senators, citing a single Cannizzaro poll taken six months before the 2016 election. Left unmentioned is that Cannizzaro beat Latina Republican Victoria Seaman to win her seat. The complaint then says that “minority voters are more likely to bear the undue burdens of having to vote in a special recall election,” because of higher levels of poverty and unemployment. Thus, the recall elections, the lawsuit says, won’t give “equal opportunities for minority voters to participate in the political process.”

The success — or failure — of the recall should rest with the Nevada people, not with a Clinton crony arguing that voting is an “undue burden” on minorities.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Nevada section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 9 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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