The U.S. Justice Department has a serious conflict of interest in a lawsuit pitting the institutional Left, led by the League of Women Voters, against the Election Assistance Commission’s support for states wanting to prevent non-citizen voting by requiring proof of citizenship. That conflict was on “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” display as the DOJ not only failed to defend the EAC in court, but sided with the plaintiffs – and was thoroughly rebuked by the judge for its actions:
The judge opened the hearing by reading into the record an astonishing letter he had just received from the chair of the EAC, Christie McCormick. It informed the court that DOJ had told the EAC that it would not defend the agency, and that it would not allow the EAC to hire its own counsel. McCormick informed the judge that she believed DOJ was not fulfilling its duty and obligation to defend the EAC and had a potential conflict of interest.
It was clear that Judge Leon was shocked at what DOJ had done. While he gave the plaintiffs 20 minutes to argue their case, he gave the lawyer from the Federal Programs Branch of DOJ only five minutes because he said that DOJ was obviously on the same side as the plaintiffs. He also said almost immediately that he would not grant a PI without a complete briefing and arguments on the case — despite DOJ wanting to consent to the PI. Judge Leon made clear that there was “no chance at all — zero” that he would do what the plaintiffs and the Justice Department wanted him to do on that issue.
There’s more. Truly extraordinary.