Heritage Expert Testifies on Amnesty’s Cost to Election Integrity

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage's Hans von Spakovsky testifies on the consequences for election integrity of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants on February 12, 2015.

Photo: Heritage/Willis Bretz

Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants could allow more noncitizens to vote in elections, Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky said last week in testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

Amnesty would make it “extremely difficulty for election offocials to prevent or detect those who intentionally or negligently affirm their eligibility to vote,” he said.

Read his full testimony (link in PDF).

Court Blocks Obama’s Executive Amnesty


In Heritage Work

A federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction earlier this week against President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants. Twenty-six states are suing the administration over the unilateral amnesty.

In his decision, Judge Andrew Hansen had harsh words for the Obama administration, as Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky writes:

The most crucial decision made by Judge Hanen in this early stage of the lawsuit is that, contrary to the Justice Department’s claim, the states are legally allowed to bring this lawsuit because they are going to suffer concrete, measurable costs from the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, that is to say, they have standing…

Hanen’s lengthy opinion provides an extensive, well-researched, well-written review of the history of the Obama administration’s actions in the immigration area and points out the many problems caused by its lack of enforcement and overriding of federal immigration law. Hanen agrees that Homeland Security does have discretion “in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of Congress” in federal immigration law. But it cannot “enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress, but actively acts to thwart them.” In fact, the Homeland Security secretary “is not just rewriting the laws; he is creating them from scratch.

The Obama administration is expected to fight the decision. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are filibustering a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security without funding amnesty. 

What do you think of the court’s decision to halt Obama’s executive amnesty?

Heritage Expert’s Book on the DOJ Featured on the Drudge Report

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In Heritage Impact

The Drudge Report last week featured the new book by Heritage Foundation expert Hans von Spakovsky that exposes the truth about the Obama administration’s Justice Department.

Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department focuses on Attorney General Eric Holder and the abuses of power that have surrounded his tenure.

Screen shot of the Drudge Report.

“Obama’s Enforcer catalogues the abuses of power at the Department of Justice under Attorney General Holder,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says. “Rather than honoring its long history of bipartisan fidelity to the law, the DOJ has become an unapologetically partisan institution that aides and abets this Administration’s lawlessness and contempt for the Constitution.”

Read more about the book on National Review. 

The Campaign Finance Amendment Will Silence Free Speech


In Heritage Work

A liberal-backed constitutional amendment aimed at controlling political spending would gut the First Amendment and silence free speech, Heritage Foundation experts Hans von Spakovsky and Elizabeth Slattery report.

The goals of the amendment are clear:

This amendment would give Congress the power not only to limit contributions to candidates, but also to limit the amount that the candidates could spend on an election campaign. Further, it would give Congress the authority to limit the amount that any individual, association, union, or corporation (both for-profit and nonprofit) could spend independently in support of or in opposition to a particular candidate.

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Heritage Expert Calls Out the New York Times on Voter ID


In Heritage Impact

The New York Times condemned a Kansas judge last week for upholding state requirements that voters show proof of citizenship when they register. The Times went on to call the identification requirement a means by which “to keep eligible voters from the polls.”

This is nonsense, Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans Von Spakovsky counters in National Review Online:

[T]he intent of these laws is to keep ineligible voters from the polls, like the thousands of noncitizens who are illegally registered to vote all over the country.

The Times further calls the push for voter ID a “ruse” to keep people from voting. Von Spakovsky reminds us, though, that “there is more than enough evidence by now to demonstrate that the Times is totally wrong in its judgment on election-integrity issues.”

Do you back voter ID laws?

Can Forty Congressmen Unravel Obamacare By Proving It Is Unconstitutional?


In Heritage Work

Photo: Newscom

Did you hear about the bill introduced a few years ago to provide tax credits for veterans purchasing new homes? It originated in the House of Representatives and was called H.R. 3590. Doesn’t sound familiar? Maybe that’s because after it was sent to the Senate, it was completely gutted and rewritten, save for the name — H.R. 3590. Today it is known as Obamacare.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare’s individual mandate to be a tax. And the Constitution’s Origination Clause does not allow the Senate to introduce any legislation that would raise revenue.

Heritage Foundation expert Hans van Spakovsky and Michael Flynn explain:

The Origination Clause provides: ‘All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.’ Our Founding Fathers understood that the power to tax, if abused, involved the power to destroy. They viewed the Origination Clause as a safeguard for liberty by insisting that the power to initiate new taxes should be left with the lawmakers who were most directly accountable to voters—members of the House, who are elected every two years in local districts.

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Will the Supreme Court Rule in Favor of Free Political Speech?


In Heritage Impact

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in an important case challenging campaign finance laws, which limit political speech.

Current law imposes restrictions not only on contributions to individual candidates but also on total contributions, Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky explains in Human Events: Continue Reading »

Fast and Furious: Why a Judge Rejected the Administration’s Arguments


In Heritage Work

Despite Attorney General Eric Holder’s best efforts to sweep the Fast and Furious fiasco under the rug, the case remains very much alive.

The House of Representatives is suing Attorney General Eric Holder for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious. And when the Department of Justice asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit, the judge (an Obama appointee) rejected the request.

Heritage Foundation experts Hans von Spakovsky and John Malcolm explain: Continue Reading »

‘Shutting Down’ the Federal Government ‘Would Be Neither Catastrophic Nor Unprecedented’


In Heritage Impact

Despite liberal doomsaying, if Congress fails to pass a spending bill tonight, the federal government will not truly “shut down,” The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky explains on National Review Online:

Such a lapse in funding would be neither catastrophic nor unprecedented. There have been 17 funding gaps just since 1977, ranging in duration from one to 21 days. Under applicable federal law, operations and services would continue for those essential for “the safety of human life or the protection of property” as well as those programs funded through multiyear or permanent appropriations such as Social Security.

In fact, “the danger doesn’t come from a temporary lapse in government funding,” he says. “The danger comes from implementing a shoddy, burdensome, expensive program to nationalize healthcare and refusing to reduce out-of-control spending that is hurrying our nation down the road to financial ruin.”

Do you think Congress should fund Obamacare in order to pass a budget deal?

Why Eric Holder’s Attack on Texas Voter ID Makes No Sense


In Heritage Work

Eric Holder’s Justice Department announced last week that it will file a new lawsuit against Texas. Its claim? That the state’s voter ID law “violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments” to the Constitution.

This is just another example of Obama administration’s “mounting war against commonsense election integrity efforts,” Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky says.

Unfortunately for Holder, his claims just don’t hold up. Von Spakovsky explains that recent legal decisions would tend to support Texas’ law: Continue Reading »

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