Perdue taps top GOP lawyer to sue Justice Department

Gov. Sonny Perdue has tapped a private attorney to sue the Justice Department on the state’s behalf to seek approval for a controversial system of checking voters citizenship, a system that the federal government says unfairly targets minority voters.

Perdue named Anne Lewis, the state GOP’s general counsel, to be a special attorney general.

The system of voter verification was implemented by former Secretary of State Karen Handel prior to the November 2008 elections. The Justice Department, then under the control of Republican President George W. Bush said the program should have been submitted to the department under the auspices of the federal Voting Rights Act. Once submitted by the state, the Justice Department rejected it on the grounds it could prevent legal residents from voting.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat, defended the system against a federal court challenge and sought preclearance from t he Justice Department. But the agency, now under the purview of Democratic President Barack Obama again refused to approve it. Baker said he has been working with Justice and believes the department is now poised to give its approval, but current Secretary of State Brian Kemp and the governor say they believe that will never happen and that the state h as provided the federal government all the information it has requested.

Kemp and Perdue asked Baker to file the lawsuit in federal court in Washington, but Baker refused. Perdue decided to move forward on his own.

Georgia must obtain federal preclearance of any change affecting voting either from the Justice Department or through a lawsuit.

61 comments Add your comment


May 20th, 2010
9:49 am

If we don’t agree to something the governor says or does, can we appoint a special governor to do the job?


May 20th, 2010
10:00 am

I am sick of these lawsuits. Maybe they should spend the money on helping the school system budget crisis!!


May 20th, 2010
10:08 am

What a waste of time and money.


May 20th, 2010
10:18 am

It will be very nice to see this backwoods good ole boy so called govenor go back to his home in Houston County and grow old on tax payers money…When will the people in this state wake up and stop putting these losere in office.

GA Native

May 20th, 2010
10:32 am

Not defending Sonny at all, but I don’t believe the state pays for these types of suits (i.e. the challenge to health care). Instead, the attorneys (I believe) take these causes on pro bono.

It will be nice when our state’s government focusses on what truely matters to ordinary Georgians.


May 20th, 2010
10:46 am

THIS is the same Governor/state government that’s furloghing employees, slashing budgets and eliminating services statewide due to a lack of revenue? ! ! !
Who’s paying for THIS?


May 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Thank you Governor Perdue for protecting the ballot process from fraud. Our voting rights are near extinction as the voting system is being assaulted by people, citizens and non-citizens, who are continually working to corrupt the balloting system.


May 20th, 2010
11:15 am

Gov. Perdue, and just how many documented cases of fraud have you and the “good old boys” discovered which justifies this taxpayer funded folly?

Monroe Burbank

May 20th, 2010
11:18 am

Ricardus writes “our voting rights are near extinction…”. Oh, really? What planet are you on? Here’s a suggestion – turn off Fox News, stop listening to Boortz and Hannity, and start thinking for yourself. Educate yourself on the constitution, as well.


May 20th, 2010
11:47 am

The lawyers in this case may be pro bono, but the associated court expenses of this case will still cost us taxpayers money.


May 20th, 2010
11:57 am

Good lord, how many times does he have to try this and get slapped down in the courts to get that this isn’t even a real problem, but a stunt to get the idiot right riled up — all at the taxpayers expense.

Sonny! You’ve tried this before and been found wanting. Go fishing and leave us taxpayers alone!


May 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

Thank you Monroe Burbank.


May 20th, 2010
12:09 pm

NOW is the time to IMPEACH PERDUE. Common sense no longer exist! SCHOOLS ARE CLOSING!


May 20th, 2010
12:25 pm

Does Thurbert Baker do anything??? We really need that clown running the state.


May 20th, 2010
12:40 pm

IS SONNY GOING TO PAY FOR THIS OUT OF HIS POCKET WHEN HE LOOSES? Since, you know, I’m sure he’s one of those tort-reform zealots who would like to see “looser pays” rules to lessen frivolous lawsuits. Which this one certainly is (regardless of your position on the issue, the legal landscape is clear – this is a waste of taxpayer money).

Sonny is a political opportunist hack. Period.

Tim in Atlanta

May 20th, 2010
2:03 pm

Ever hear of frivolous lawsuits, Sonny? What a failure he’s proven to be!

American Pride

May 20th, 2010
2:23 pm

At Ricardus:

“Thank you Governor Perdue for protecting the ballot process from fraud. Our voting rights are near extinction as the voting system is being assaulted by people, citizens and non-citizens, who are continually working to corrupt the balloting system.”

Please provide hard data to substantiate the above comment.

This is only underscores the lack of real leadership within the Republican Party for this state.Their legislative agenda is to create controversies that do not exist, focus on these non-issues while continuing to ignore the real problems that exist in education, transportation and economic growth

American Pride

May 20th, 2010
2:49 pm


“The department of education should be dissolved. A completely privatized school system, with real, market based competition, would do a much better job that the state or fed will ever do”

These comments are clear evidence of why public school is failing us. The ability to think independently and critically has been lost. Your argument above is the same argument used to change the Social Security system. After the economic calamity of the last few years, do we even hear one Republican advocate for this sweeping change to privatize medicare any more?

Most school system administrators and teachers aren’t asking for “mo money, mo money” but are merely asking the budgeting for schools, as a percentage of GDP, be proportianate to pre- “No Child Left Behind” levels.

Education funding isn’t primarily driven by an arbitrary standard established by a beauracrat in Washington but based on the combination of state, city/county taxes.

Is it any wonder that when you closely examine student performance based on spending per capita, that students in states like New York, New Jersey and Conneticut (blue states) do better than states like Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi (Red States) when comparing student achievement against other G-8 nations?

Unfortunately, we’ll let Sonny and the rest of these dingbats continue to shout that spending less will produce more results. It won’t, and based on sound empirical evidence it will only get worse.

Oh Intown Writer...

May 20th, 2010
2:54 pm

Dear “Huh?” -

The US governments (fed/state/local) used to not pay for education at all, back in the good old days of the early and mid1800s. The rich back East got a good education and ran the country; the pioneers couldn’t afford it and got stiffed. Same in the South – Robert E. Lee went to West Point; where did the tenent farmer’s kids go?
If only the rich can afford an education, then only the rich will be educated – like in Russia, the Middle East, etc. Except for where the religious madras schools pick up the slack, turning out foot soldiers for the fundamentalist religion of the area.
[And never mind the G.I. Bill for all the WWII vets~ tired of veterans getting all the perks at the expense of the rest of the citizenry: education, health care, preferrential job hirings, preferrential housing loans, etc. Talk about a welfare system/class.]

Valentine Wiggin

May 20th, 2010
3:57 pm

Who’s paying for this?? Aren’t we in a “budget crisis”??? Furloughs, rifs, etc. Absolutely unbelievable!!


May 20th, 2010
4:33 pm

Maybe we could stop Sonny’s road and Sonny’s fishing and collect the real estate taxes that Sonny avoided thanks to his pal in the Legislature in order to fund Sonny’s moronic, pointless lawsuit.

Juan Gomez

May 20th, 2010
4:51 pm

Sólo quiero votar por los demócratas y no puedes pasar por control de mi tarjeta de identificación. Los Estados Unidos está lleno de idiotas. Yo soy de mexico y quiero quiero. También quiero para inscribirse en el programa de TYO la seguridad social. Barack Hussein Obama es mi salvador.

Juan Gomez

May 20th, 2010
4:54 pm

México reglas!

Sam Adams

May 20th, 2010
4:54 pm

Sonny is a d-bag.

Juan Gomez

May 20th, 2010
4:56 pm

No dejaría Sonny recoger a mi repollo!


May 20th, 2010
5:35 pm

Corruption, lies and moronic policies – quite a legacy.


May 20th, 2010
5:36 pm


Maybe you should read the Constitution for the State of Georgia — accepted by a majority vote of the people of the state of Georgia…..

Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph I,
“The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation. The expense of other public education shall be provided for in such manner and in such amount as may be provided by law .”

Hardly seems unconstitutional to me.


May 20th, 2010
5:43 pm

Young Teacher: Average spending per child in GA is over $9000. If each class has 20 students, that is over $180,000 per class per year. And you want more . . . really?

Tiger Woods + Jesse James = SuperBAD meets SuperEVIL in "SuperUGLY"

May 20th, 2010
6:00 pm


May 20th, 2010
1:37 pm

“Sorry, but the state should be paying exactly ZERO dollars on public edumacation. The government has no business in education. It’s completely unconstitutional. Teacher’s unions are just as big a scam too. If you folks actually did your jobs and stopped complaining about “mo money, mo money” the school systems wouldn’t be in so bad shape. Parents who do not choose to home-school should have to pay for a privatized education and stop stealing tax money from homeowners to send their little hellions to a ‘publik’ skool. The department of education should be dissolved. A completely privatized school system, with real, market based competition, would do a much better job that the state or fed will ever do. Time for the three RRRs and enough of the globalist (world citizens), revisionist history teaching kids how to be homosexuals and socialists.”

Huh?, I completely agree. The government has no business being in the business of education. Why, by the looks of your post I can see that you would have probably chosen not to attend school at all if you’d had your druthers which brings me to my next point which is to completely abolish complusory education. People shouldn’t be forced to go to school and learn how to read, count, add, subtract, and spell your own name.

Huh?, I like your thinking of every man, woman and child for his or herself because that way people like me and my well-connected privileged buddies with all of the really big megabucks will always come out on top and have less resistance from you and your buddies when it comes time to count the money. You and your anti-government buddies should come work for me in an environment of “relaxed government regulations”, because who needs all of those pesky rules that get in the way of me making megaprofits? (Think BP or Exxon WITHOUT any cumbersome government oversight whatsoever) Besides, if you can’t count to ten then I’ll have no problems with you asking all of those pesky unnecessary questions about why your paycheck is so low on payday after I’ve conveniently forgotten to include a few zeros in the payout.

Oh Intown Writer…

May 20th, 2010
2:54 pm

“If only the rich can afford an education, then only the rich will be educated – like in Russia, the Middle East, etc. Except for where the religious madras schools pick up the slack, turning out foot soldiers for the fundamentalist religion of the area.”

Oh Intown Writer, THAT’S THE WHOLE IDEA!!!!! Me and my uber-rich buddies don’t need all of those pesky “Keeping up with the Joneses” wannabes going to school and getting knowledge about how government and society works so that they can use it against us for their benefit so that we can’t blatantly and wantonly exploit them. Ax the “gubment” schools and throw them a stack of Bibles to read day-and-night so that me and my ruling class buddies can keep them in line with religion. It doesn’t matter which religion, just as long as it guilts and calms them down enough to stay out of our way of making literally all of the money in the world. If only the rich are guaranteed an education then only the rich can have the skills needed to make megabucks and rule the world! I love it!!!! Thanks “Huh?” and “Oh Intown Writer”! Thumbs up!


May 20th, 2010
7:28 pm

Well this is all well and good, but are we going to have water in 2 years in metro Atlanta? Voters, schmoters, what’s the status of the Lake Lanier ltitigation/legislation?

Juan Gomez

May 20th, 2010
9:48 pm

Puedo ver mi casa desde noviembre.

Fire Eater

May 21st, 2010
6:09 am

Democrats plan to agitate, mobilize and deploy vast armies of non-citizen third-world voters at the polls to swamp the votes of outraged mainstream Americans this fall. Every effort must be made to stop illegal voting…thank you Sonny.


May 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.


May 21st, 2010
10:00 am

so ricardus, are you saying the corrupt ballot system elected your boy sonny for governor? maybe you are on to something…….


May 21st, 2010
11:21 am

I lived in Houston County for most of my life. I have meet and even played with some of Perdue’s children. First of as a person he is a good guy. Now that i said that let me beginning…..

Gov. Perdue you are a snake who will eat his own children if you were hungry. You really don’t care about the state of Georgia unless it benefits you. The road project tax payer spending on projects we dont care about. Cutting teachers funding and oh yeah using millions of dollars to sue the federal goverment.

Thank god, you are almost out of office. I feel that you have lied and let down the Citizens of this Great State. You cut teachers pay and services but hire a friend of yours to sue the feds. You are in my book just like the guy who comes up asking for money you give him a $5 bill to get something to eat. You walk away and when you return the man is smoking crack in the alley beside where you last saw him standing.

Not a Moron

May 21st, 2010
11:53 am

“Not defending Sonny at all, but I don’t believe the state pays for these types of suits (i.e. the challenge to health care). Instead, the attorneys (I believe) take these causes on pro bono.”

There is no such thing as a lawyer taking a case pro-bono. The lawyer is nothing but a face and a mouth-piece in a courtroom. The real workers are the ones behind the scenes doing all of the foot work. The true workers are most definitely not working for free and anyone that thinks so has an elevator that doesn’t reach the top floor. Also any investigative resources or lab work must be paid for (which does not actually fit this scenario, but you get my point). So who pays for these expenditures? Good-Ole Sonny…. NOT…. You and I do, the tax-payers. It’s funny how he wants to do all of these things on the way out, when he can’t get voted out (AKA – thrown out on his rear). But maybe his grand plan is to deflect the spotlight from his illegal and immoral involvement land deals for the new highway being built adjacent to property he owns in his home county. I would not put anything past this lowest of the lowest scrape off the bottom of your shoe scum.

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

May 21st, 2010
1:23 pm

So since the state’s highest legal authority declined to sue and the governor (lame duck that he is) decides to sue anyway he IS paying for the attorney and associated fees himself, right? Just like any other private citizen? And he is stopping any deals, land or other, that smack of benefit to himself or his family just to ensure no appearance of impropriety?

Has anyone with an existing healthcare policy seen any changes, or received notice of any changes, as a result of the federal healthcare legislation?.

This political posturing helps nothing and hampers resolution of the issues we face. I am sick of the lies, half truths, and comments from people who don’t bother to research anything they are talking about, but start screaming because another political party, or less rabid member of their own party, might actually do something positive.

Perdue, you only have a few more months in office. You pretty much left things alone for most of your terms; stop screwing us over now.


May 21st, 2010
1:57 pm

The Justice Dept. its decision during the previous administration. Why the law suit now? Please.

three jack

May 21st, 2010
3:38 pm

this situation provides an example in support of rand paul’s position regarding the ‘64 act. is it really necessary for ga to have to get approval from big dc daddy everytime we make the slightest change in voting laws.


May 23rd, 2010
10:06 am

We have far too many people voting for a living. I know that Democrats and liberals welcome the votes of non-citizens but the people who supply the money for these votes (taxpayers) need a break!

aaron humes

May 24th, 2010
12:16 am


You obviously never fought to insure voting remains a right to legally qualified voters.

10th Amendment

May 25th, 2010
7:23 am

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and “justice” dept. approval of the way we do business is nothing but a continuation of reconstruction from 145 years ago. The “civil rights” act of 1964 and said voting rights act are both unconstitutional.


May 25th, 2010
2:38 pm

Obviously the bulk of the respondents to this blog live inside the perimeter. It is easy to understand why the AJC fish wrapper sales went to zero statewide. Now we have to turn on TV to see who was gunned down on the street or who burned down their apartment today. Wallow in your liberal stupidity; Governor Sonny’s last act should be to build a fence to keep you animals where you belong.


May 25th, 2010
3:02 pm

GA Native you should be called GA Naive. If you think the attorneys working these cases are not getting at least expenses covered you are very naive. We all know expenses can be billed at whatever amount. Example Thought about case- Thinking expense $1000( 2hours)- Copied documents $500( 10 pages). Copied some more documents $1500( 40 pages) discounted rate etc etc. The scandal about this will come out when Barnes is Governor again and they find that tax payers were bill 200k for work done on this effort for 3 months work!


May 27th, 2010
10:55 am

Why in the world is the governor trying to verify that you are here legitimately and are a citizen of Georgia before you can vote. This is blatant discrimination and our noble and proud Obama Justice department will do everything in their power to ensure hard working illegals and the 47% of America that doesn’t pay taxes get what they are entitled to: the right to vote as many times as they want to without having to show any proof of who or what they are.


June 2nd, 2010
3:17 pm

Why is it that no proof of voter fraud is ever given? Could it be because there is no proof?


June 2nd, 2010
4:20 pm

Why not let Sonny resign early and Casey can fill in ’till Roy gets back?


June 4th, 2010
3:57 pm

Sonny Perdue is an idiot!


June 4th, 2010
4:43 pm

If it weren’t for the opportunity to defraud, what would be the purpose for elections in Georgia? The candidates running for office? I think not.


June 4th, 2010
8:26 pm

Go get’em Sonny. Show that dead beat attorney general who’s the boss.

Last time I checked...

June 6th, 2010
3:15 am

If you have a legal driver’s license, given out by the State of Georgia, it proves you’re here legally, so what’s wrong with having to show it. Also last time I checked you had to be a citizen of these United States to vote here legally anyway.


June 9th, 2010
10:24 am

How could anyone ridicule Gov. Perdue for this ?!? With the hugh number of illegal aliens, (otherwise sometimes referred to as undocumented democrats), who could object to this? I support this and urge everyone to let Gov. Perdue know you are behind him on this.


June 11th, 2010
9:27 am

You can tell the first 5 0r 6 venters on here are democrats because they are desperate to keep voter fraud alive so they can get their Leftists representatives elected.It’s not gonna happen until the Community Organizer is out of office because he knows it’s the only way for Dems nationwide to keep what little seats they will have after November.


June 15th, 2010
4:30 pm

In 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the result of a mayor’s race because of absentee ballot fraud — a case that led to a stricter Indiana ID law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2005 Tennessee state Senate race was voided after evidence of voting by felons, nonresidents and the deceased. A Washington State Superior Court judge found that the state’s 2004 gubernatorial race, which Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 133 votes, had included at least 1,678 illegal votes.

For a Florida perspective, try this link


June 18th, 2010
7:23 pm

Perdue butt stinks. He’s a bully.


June 21st, 2010
9:59 pm

@Fire Eater: You may want to adjust your tinfoil hat, I think some government mind control rays got through your shielding.

Tommy Maddox

June 29th, 2010
6:53 am

Ever hear that line “Vote early; vote often”?

Ever hear of ACORN?

Voter ID will take care of this. Why would the left be so opposed to proving who you are when you vote only ONCE?

Baker County

June 29th, 2010
1:08 pm

Just put ACORN in charge of Georgia’s Voter Verification System. That will solve all of these issues.


June 30th, 2010
10:58 pm

My wife works for the state of Georgia. Even before the on going furloughs she was paid more than $8,000.00 below the average income in the state of Georgia. With the furloughs she is missing nearly $150.00 bi-weekly.
Now I’m wondering if we could not use those lawyers fee?


July 3rd, 2010
7:44 pm

If Thurburt Baker would do his job instead of plugging video bingo this would not be a necessary.


July 8th, 2010
4:18 pm

Our Do NOTHING Gov, Perdue, and his Republican cohorts in their 8 years in office have not accomplished a thing, except bring this state to the brink. What thinking voter would even think about voting another Republican into office again… Our worst Democrat is still better than any of these slimy Republican hypocrites.