Art Pope's Civitas drawn into NC voter law suit

The Institute for Southern Studies is reporting that the lawyer representing the NAACP and the 92 year old voter at the heart of a lawsuit over NC's strict voting laws have served notice to Civitas:

"I am contacting you to inform you that your organization may be requested to produce certain documents in your possession that are relevant to these issues," says the letter to Civitas from attorney Adam Stein with the Chapel Hill, N.C. office of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen. It continues:

"In connection with this lawsuit, please preserve -- and do not destroy, conceal, alter, and/or make inaccessible -- any paper or electronic files, other electronically stored information or data generated by and/or stored on your computer systems, portable electronic devices (e.g., Blackberrys, iPhones, pagers, etc.) and storage media (e.g., hard disks, USB drives, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, backup tapes, etc.) that relate in any way to H.B. 589 or any other legislation concerning North Carolina's elections laws that was proposed or enacted during the 2013-2014 session (regular or special) of the North Carolina General Assembly. ... "

The piece notes the Civitas connections to spreading misinformation and fear over illegal voting in NC, as well as the group's involvement in the Elizabeth City's elections board to disquality a Black student from running for office and their publication of a database of Moral Monday protestors.

I would imagine the effort by the NAACP's attorney here is to make sure any records or communications showing that Civitas's work was specifically aimed at disenfranchising minority voters and any influence Pope and Civitas had on the legislation or specific legislators in passing the law is preserved for the court to review.


And I was having such a crappy day!

Will Boss Pope hide his face on his perp walk? Is orange the new black for Artie?


"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!" - Frank Zappa (6/29/1988)

If Uncivil Civitas

and Art Pope have to account for their shenanigans, I just might pee my pants.

And it will be worth it.

Art has always been so careful to not get in trouble with the law. Apparently some of his minions got a little careless.

I'll have a large popcorn and a Coke while I watch this!

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Some thoughts on Pope and the voter law

I wasn't sure about what the NAACP lawyers were after when I saw this story. Generally, I thought that the Voting Rights Act and other aspects of Federal law would basically apply to actions by state legislatures, local governments or elections boards in restricting minority voting.

However, the law does cover intimidation by individuals. From the Justice Department's website:

What responsibilities does the Justice Department have with regard to voter fraud or intimidation?

The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved in election fraud matters when a state prosecutor asks for federal assistance. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, federal civil voting rights claims may be brought by the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. In such cases where voters are intimidated, coerced, threatened or oppressed or attempts are made to do these acts based on race, color, religion, or national origin, federal criminal charges may be brought by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. In addition, the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division can become involved when allegations arise that criminal vote fraud has occurred in a federal election.

From Wikipedia's article on the Voting Rights Act:

Section 11: Prohibits any person from refusing to allow a qualified voter to vote, from refusing to count a vote from a qualified voter, and from using intimidation or coercion against a voter or against someone assisting a voter.

So, this tells me that they might be building a case that's broader than just challenging the law itself, demonstrating a broader pattern of voter intimidation.

Anyone that works for Office Depot or Staples out there that can confirm whether a shipment of shredders have shown up at Civitas recently?