Sunday, August 05, 2012
Dirty Tricks: the Chicago Way
From: Katie Biber, General Counsel
To: Interested Parties
Re: Obama For America Ohio Lawsuit
To View This Memo Online, Click Here: http://mi.tt/RGYRq0
On July 17, 2012, Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee filed suit against the Attorney General and Secretary of State of Ohio. In their lawsuit, the Obama campaign and the DNC argue it is “arbitrary” and unconstitutional to provide three extra days of early, in-person voting to military voters and their families. At least 20 times in their legal papers, they argue that there is no good reason to give special flexibility to military voters – and that this policy adopted by the Ohio legislature is so wrong it is unconstitutional.
We disagree with the basic premise that it is “arbitrary” and unconstitutional to give three extra days of in-person early voting to military voters and their families, and believe it is a dangerous and offensive argument for President Obama and the DNC to make. It is not only constitutional, but commendable that the Ohio legislature granted military voters and their families this accommodation. It is despicable for the Obama campaign to challenge Ohio’s lawful decision.
But this lawsuit is not about us. Last week, respected military groups intervened in the Obama campaign’s lawsuit. They argue that it is absolutely constitutional to give military voters special flexibility in voting, and that it is offensive for the Commander-in-Chief’s political campaign to argue otherwise. They correctly point out that there is good reason to grant military voters special flexibility; members of the military—including those stationed here within the United States—are subject to restrictions, uncertainties, and risks that often make it more difficult for them to vote. We agree with these military groups.
The Obama campaign may not like the early voting policy that the Ohio legislature set. This does not mean the policy is unconstitutional, and it certainly does not mean that a federal court should be permitted to remake it.