The NAACP Legal Defense Fund on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that President Donald Trump’s voting commission “was formed with the intent to discriminate against voters of color in violation of the Constitution.” “Statements by President Trump, his spokespersons and surrogates … 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 alleges. As evidence, the suit points to Trump’s repeated unsubstantiated claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election. Those claims were subsequently repeated by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, now the chair and vice-chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which Trump set up to investigate his unfounded claims.
The complaint also points to the “virulently racist rhetoric” of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a group associated with two of the commission’s members, Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams. In May that group, headed by Adams, released a dubiously sourced report caricaturing noncitizens as invading space aliens, complete with cartoonish illustrations of UFOs.
The lawsuit alleges that the commission is designed “to reaffirm President Trump’s false allegations of millions of ‘illegal’ votes, and to provide a basis for actions that will target African-American and Latino voters, rather than objectively analyze an issue of national significance.” The group is asking the federal court to order the commission to cease all activities.