From the moment that state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed his frivolous lawsuit against the Government Accountability Board (GAB) it was clear to any honest observer that it was without merit and motivated by rank partisanship. That was confirmed later when it was revealed that Van Hollen’s office had multiple communications with Republican Party officials prior to filing the suit.
While trying to defend his partisan actions, Van Hollen insisted that the GAB was not following the law even though it was carrying out the proper checks as required. Van Hollen’s insistence on checking names retroactively all the way back to 2006 would have caused mass chaos at the polls and could have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters. All of this drama over some nonexistent requirement that Van Hollen, a McCain co-chair, made up out of whole cloth.
Today J.B. Van Hollen had his day in court and he and his partisan scheme were tossed out. Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi, a Thompson appointee, dismissed Van Hollen’s frivolous suit this morning. She said that the GAB’s actions were not a violation of either state or federal law. She went on to state that nothing in state or federal statutes requires a data-match as a condition to vote. She further went on to say that a voter has a legal right to cast a ballot and ‘it doesn’t matter if the DOT misspelled his name or her middle initial is missing on a list.’
During this manufactured controversy, Van Hollen arrogantly suggested that the retired judges that make up GAB didn’t understand the law or his suit. He made the same claim about any expert or organization that called him on his partisan mischief. Now, after today’s decision, it looks like he is actually the one that didn’t understand. After having his suit thrown out, hopefully he has now been sufficiently schooled about the importance of our right to vote.
UPDATE: It appears that Van Hollen’s office will appeal today’s case, possibly directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. One quick point of interest if that is the route that Van Hollen goes. The newest member of the high court, the under-investigation Mike Gableman received some $30,000 in inkind contributions from the Republican Party of Wisconsin, one of the parties to the suit. Apparently the RPW did automated calls for the ethically and intellectually challenged justice. One would think that with such a glaring conflict that Gableman would be forced to recuse from the potential case. On the other hand, we have definitely learned that ethics and honor are not his strong suit.