President Donald Trump was slapped with a lawsuit on Tuesday by the NAACP, which is seeking to shut own the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
In the suit, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund alleges that the commission has “an intention to discriminate against African-American and Latino voters, in violation of the United States Constitution.”
“Plaintiffs seek to enjoin the operation of the Commission because the President has neither constitutional nor statutory authority to create a new executive organ for the purpose of launching an investigation that targets individual or groups of voters. President Trump has not appointed a commission for the purpose of consulting with fair-and-balanced advisors; rather, he has appointed a commission stacked with biased members to undertake an investigation into unfounded allegations of voter fraud, even though Congress has specifically delegated the authority to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls to the Election Assistance Commission (‘EAC’) and state election officials, not the President,” the suit, filed in federal court in New York, reads.
“Further, statements by President Trump, his spokespersons and surrogates, and individuals he has selected to lead and serve on the Commission, as well as the work of the Commission as described by its co-chairs, are grounded on the false premise that Black and Latino voters are more likely to perpetrate voter fraud,” the suit continues. “These statements and the planned actions of the Commission evince an intention to discriminate against African-American and Latino voters, in violation of the United States Constitution,” the suit continues.
Vice President Mike Pence, who serves as chair of the commission, and commission vice chair Kris Kobach are also named as defendants in the suit.
The commission, which has asked states to provide data on voters for the purported purpose of curtailing voter fraud, has been the subject of criticism from voters concerned about the preservation of their privacy.
In the lawsuit, the NAACP alleges that the commission’s actions “have already had a chilling effect on Black and Latino voters. Some voters have taken the extraordinary step of unregistering, and Black and Latino voters in particular have reported well-founded fears of being targeted for false allegations of voter fraud and of being retaliated against for their political affiliation.”
The NAACP goes on to state that the commission’s actions “are motivated, at least in part, by racial discrimination.” In particular, the suit says, Kobach has “railed against what he regards as the threat of voter fraud in distinctly racialized terms. For example, Secretary Kobach has warned against ‘replacing American voters with newly legalized aliens,’ because ‘if you look at it through an ethnic lens … over the long term, you’ve got a locked in vote for socialism.'”
The lawsuit also asserts that Trump hasn’t backed up his claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election.
“At no time has President Trump provided any evidence to substantiate the claim that widespread voter fraud existed in the November 2016 election or any other election,” the complaint reads.