Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem Defends His Office’s Handling of Voter ID Case


North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, center, announces on 6-29-2015 at the state Capitol in Bismarck, the state joining attorneys general from 11 other states in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the EPA's new rule defining "Waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act. Second from the left is North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. 6-29-2015

Earlier this week Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem came under fire from a conservative writer at National Review over his handling of a legal challenge to North Dakota’s voter ID laws.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former commissioner with the Federal Elections Commission who has also worked for the Department of Justice, said lawyers representing the state didn’t even bother to rebut claims. “[T]he state of North Dakota did not bother to put up an actual defense in this lawsuit,” he wrote. “They didn’t hire any experts to review, evaluate or analyze the claims made by the challengers. Such inattention and inaction borders on malpractice.”

I contacted Stenehjem who told me that he would be responding to these criticisms through a letter to National Review. He’s now done that, and provided me with a copy. You can read it in full below.

An excerpt:


The only problem with this argument is that all the other states seem to have rebutted claims made by plaintiffs thoroughly. North Dakota didn’t do that.

Of course, those other states got the same ruling North Dakota did.

Here’s the full letter:

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