A voter walks to an empty electronic voting booth at a Madison, Miss., precinct, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Trump manages to make his voting commission even worse

— Updated

I was under the mistaken impression that Donald Trump's ridiculous "voter integrity" commission couldn't possibly get any worse. I stand corrected.

President Donald Trump announced on Monday night that J. Christian Adams, a conservative attorney who has spearheaded efforts around the country to purge voters from the rolls, would be joining the president's commission to investigate voter fraud. [...]

After leaving a post in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice, Adams began a quest to purge voter rolls around the country. As detailed by Mother Jones, Adams has sent threatening letters and filed several lawsuits against counties that he claims have too many names on the voter rolls. The actions largely target rural counties with large minority populations, although last year he and his former colleagues began targeting areas with large Democratic populations in swing states as well.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 06/30/17 09:36PM
Trump seen hatching voter suppression plan
J. Christian Adams first crossed my radar several years ago. After joining the Bush/Cheney Justice Department, Adams rose to public prominence as the "chief agitator" behind the ridiculous New Black Panther Party story -- alleging two black men with braids in their beards were intimidating white people while loitering outside a Philadelphia voting precinct in 2008.

In the years that followed, Adams began "pushing restrictive elections laws and voter purges across the country."

And now, he's been tapped by the Trump White House to serve on a voting commission, which exists because the president's feelings were hurt when he received 3 million fewer votes than his opponent.

Adams joins a motley crew of voter-suppression pioneers, which already includes Kris Kobach, Hans von Spakovsky, and Ken Blackwell. Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at UC Irvine, wrote yesterday, "It is hard to imagine a list of people less credible on the issue of the extent of voter fraud in the United States, and who have done more to raise the scourge of voter fraud as a means to advocate for laws to make it harder for people to register and to vote. This is not a list meant to inspire bipartisan cooperation on fixing election administration. It is assembling a rogues' gallery of vote suppression."

At least for now, however, the work of this rogues' gallery is on hold. Slate explained late yesterday, On Monday, Donald Trump's election integrity commission paused its collection of voter data in response to the latest in a series of lawsuits and complaints alleging the controversial task force is breaking the law.... Monday's abrupt halt in data collection is a direct response to a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center [which] alleges that the commission is violating the E-Government Act of 2002, which requires federal agencies to establish adequate data protections before collecting personal information using information technology."