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WITT: Americans have right to seek interpretation of constitutionality of laws

According to ForwardKy.com, an online newsletter of Kentucky events, multiple groups, led by the League of Women Voters of Kentucky, have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging some of the rules for the November general election here.

“We applaud the expansion of absentee voting for the 2020 Primary Election, but those changes have not been made for the November 2020 election which is soon to come,” League President Fran Wagner said in a press release. “We are advocating for a Kentucky election process that ensures all citizens can vote without risking their health or that of their loved ones.”

The national president of the board of directors of the League of Women Voters added, “Kentucky’s absentee ballot requirements and new voter ID law only make it harder and more dangerous for voters to cast a ballot.”

The League of Women Voters of Kentucky is joined in this case by the Louisville Urban League, the Kentucky Conference of NAACP Branches and seven individual plaintiffs.

Secretary of State Michael Adams responded to the lawsuit with a press release with the subject line, “SOS Adams Responds to Left-Wing Activists’ Lawsuit,” to wit: “Because the far left is too extreme to win elections, they regularly seek to have courts, rather than legislators, write our laws. Today, several left-wing organizations sued me in an effort to have an unelected federal judge rewrite our election laws for November. If these self-described advocates for democracy actually believed in democracy, they would let the democratic process work and let elected officials make policy. Instead, this lawsuit seeks to have lawmaking powers stripped from elected officials accountable to the people — the General Assembly, the secretary of state and even the governor. I will uphold my oath to our constitution, which places the power to establish election laws with elected officials, rather than judges; just as I vigorously enforce our laws, I will vigorously defend our laws.”

Adams is proving himself adept when it comes to labeling organizations according to his own perception of them.

The League of Women Voters can hardly be described as “left-wing” since its main purpose has always been to defend the right to vote for everyone. Obviously, Adams feels that the ACLU, which is representing some of the individual plaintiffs, is left-wing.

Many would agree with him, but a careful examination of the history of ACLU activities demonstrates that the organization has continually fought for upholding the constitution, in all its myriad abnormalities and confusions. Hardly a left-wing position.

In his statement, Adams appears to either forget or ignore the legacy of law in this country whereby courts, at many levels, have overturned laws that were deemed to be unconstitutional, and if the federal court that hears this case rules in favor of the plaintiffs, it will be another example of legislatures having overstepped their bounds and their duly allowed duties.

He suggests that these “left-wingers” should let the democratic process work.

No one should have to remind him that the democratic process involves seeking redress through the courts. He further suggests that the “lawsuit seeks to have lawmaking powers stripped from elected officials.”

Nonsense. The lawsuit simply seeks to have this one issue addressed, and regardless of the final ruling, the ability of legislators in this commonwealth will not be diminished or curtailed.

It’s astounding that our secretary of state has so little understanding of democratic processes, or else he is just trying to rally his conservative base ahead of the upcoming elections.

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at chuck740@bellsouth.net.