President Trump has empaneled a commission to investigate voter fraud. The real fraud is the commission itself. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is to be led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Mr. Kobach, a Republican, is a longtime champion of voter suppression laws who seconded as “absolutely correct” the president’s fabricated assertion that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the popular vote, which she won by nearly 3 million ballots, was a result of “millions of people who voted illegally.” Mr. Kobach is notorious for erecting impediments to the ballot box — specifically, ones that would disproportionately discourage and deter minority and other Democratic-leaning voters. His presence as the commission’s vice chair — Mr. Pence’s other responsibilities make it likely that Mr. Kobach will be the panel’s driving force — makes a farce of the idea that the commission’s work will be dispassionate, fair and clear-eyed.
More likely, given Mr. Kobach’s record, is that it will endeavor to create further pretexts for GOP-dominated state legislatures determined to throw up barriers to minority turnout with laws such as North Carolina’s, which was struck down by a federal appeals court as an unconstitutional effort to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The Supreme Court, citing a dispute over who represents the state, on Monday declined to review that decision, but its conservative majority may not block future such legislation.