by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
On National Review Online’s Corner blog, Charles C.W. Cooke brings up a rather impolitic aspect of the complaint filed by 92-year-old Louisburg resident/voter Rosanell Eaton and six other plaintiffs (identified as North Carolina citizens and residents, but not voters — see pages 9 and 10 of the complaint) challenging the state’s new election law.
Cooke refers to the lefty ThinkProgress’ take on the lawsuit, echoed in the complaint, that Mrs. Eaton witnessed cross burnings and was forced to drink from water fountains marked “Colored Only” — which were genuine outrages. I lived through the final vestiges of segregation and they were disgusting, shameful, and, in far too many cases, violent. But here’s what has Cooke — and me — puzzled (emphasis added):
I’m not quite sure why the genuinely sad fact that Eaton was subjected to outrageous and capricious rules during the Jim Crow era is relevant here. Those rules were designed specifically to … limit black Americans’ citizenship; the issue at hand in this case is that Eaton driver’s license and voter-registration card have the wrong name on them. As such, she will presumably be incapable of doing such various and quotidian things as buying nail polish in certain stores, riding some forms of local public transport, getting on an airplane, entering a government building, using credit cards in certain stores, applying for a firearms permit — and, now, voting. Perhaps I’m missing something, but the solution to this would seem to be to fix the name on her driver’s license and voter-registration card?
Apparently not. This, ThinkProgress notes, represents a “costly and time-consuming administrative endeavor.” As opposed to, say, bringing a lawsuit against the state government? Either way, I suppose the big question is: If her ID is invalid, how does she intend to get into the courtroom?