The Louisiana Republican senator’s office emailed the following statement to reporters this afternoon:
U.S. Sen. David Vitter announced his commitment to block the nomination of Thomas Perez as Secretary of the Labor Department until the Department of Justice responds to his 2011 letter related to spotty enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act in Louisiana. Perez was closely involved in the controversial New Black Panther voter intimidation case before the Department of Justice.
“Thomas Perez’s record should be met with great suspicion by my colleagues for his spotty work related to the New Black Panther case, but Louisianians most certainly should have cause for concern about this nomination,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter. “Perez was greatly involved in the DOJ’s partisan full court press to pressure Louisiana’s Secretary of State to only enforce one side of the law – the side that specifically benefits the politics of the president and his administration at the expense of identity security of each and every Louisianian on the voter rolls.”
In the 2011 letter, Vitter asked the DOJ to be consistent in their efforts to enforce the National Voter Registration Act. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Vitter highlighted that DOJ filed a lawsuit against Louisiana alleging the state has not complied with Section 7 of NVRA, yet has done nothing to enforce Section 8 in other states. Thomas Perez is specifically named in the letter.
A copy of the letter Vitter is referring to can be found here. Section 7 of the NVRA is the part that requires states to to provide voter registration services. Section 8′s requirement in a provision that the state purge ineligible people from the voter rolls.