President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be a friendly admirer of Republican activist who spreads warnings about voter fraud.
According to documents released to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Neil Gorsuch congratulated Hans von Spakovsky for his appointment to Federal Election Commission in late 2005, reported The Nation.
“Good for Hans!” Gorsuch wrote, who served 14 months as the principal deputy associate attorney general under President George W. Bush.
Gorsuch also reached out to von Spakovksy in July 2005, when the FEC official took part in a Justice Department conference on “ballot access and voter integrity.”
“Sounds interesting,” Gorsuch told him via email. “Glad to see you’re doing this. I may try to attend some of it.”
Gorsuch left the Justice Department in August 2006, when Bush appointed him as a federal appeals court judge in Denver.
Von Spakovsky helped lead Republican efforts to restrict voting rights and served as special counsel to Brad Schlozman, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, who The Nation pointed out wanted to “gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the [voting] section.”
He also manipulated the process for approval of Georgia’s strict voter ID law, one of the first of its kind, which von ))))) argued would restrict voter fraud but courts have recognized as efforts to deprive poor, minority and younger voters of their constitutional rights.
Von Spakovsky also was appointed to the advisory board of the Election Assistance Commission, which produced a report that found very little evidence of voter fraud — including voter impersonation, ‘dead’ voters, non-citizen voting and felon voters — but he was unhappy with those results and complained to the commission’s GOP leadership.
At von Spakovsky’s urging, the final report noted “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”
Ironically, von Spakovsky argued last year that the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who Gorsuch has been nominated to replaced, should be allowed to cast votes from beyond the grave.
Von Spakovsky told religious broadcaster Sandy Rios that Scalia had cast a preliminary vote after hearing oral arguments on some cases, so the other justices could be nearly certain of his eventual decision.
“I think the chief justice has an absolute obligation to give credit to Scalia’s vote in those cases that have already been decided, even if he didn’t write his opinion yet, because they know how he would have voted,” von Spakovsky said last year, after President Barack Obama had nominated his own replacement justice.
Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and the seat remained open until after Trump’s inauguration.