The Conservative and “Pro-Life” Catholic Leaders Who Are Backing Voter Suppression

Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

Christopher White reports:

Conservative Catholic philanthropists and pro-life leaders are key players behind efforts to limit voter access in a number of states, where such suppression could obstruct the right to vote for economically marginalized populations and racial minorities for years to come….

In March, Georgia’s legislature — a state with a long history of denying racial groups and impoverished populations the right to vote — passed new legislation that limits the window in which voters may request mail-in ballots, prohibits groups or individuals from passing out food or water at polling locations, reduces the number of drop boxes for early voting ballots, and enacts new voter ID laws that are likely to disproportionately affect low-income individuals and persons of color.

In response, the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy organization, praised Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for signing the bill into law, saying his “leadership has helped galvanize an election integrity movement surging toward restored trust & confidence in elections where it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

The Susan B. Anthony List is led by Catholic convert Marjorie Dannenfelser, who spearheaded Trump’s pro-life coalition in 2016 and 2020….

Shortly after Trump’s defeat last November, the Susan B. Anthony List joined forces with the American Principles Project to launch the Election Transparency Initiative, a $5 million voting reform campaign targeting states with “close 2020 margins and a pro-life GOP-controlled legislature.”…

A key backer to the two organizations behind the Election Transparency Initiative is Catholic philanthropist Sean Fieler, president and chief investment officer of the New York City hedge fund Equinox Partners. Fieler is a board member of the Susan B. Anthony List and chairman of the American Principles Project board….Fieler also serves as a board member of the Manhattan Institute, the Acton Institute, the Witherspoon Institute, and is the chairman of the Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund….

Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, also one of the project’s founders and a current board member, is one of the nation’s leading conservative constitutional law scholars and also serves on the board of the Heritage Foundation, which through its advocacy arm, Heritage Action for America, plans to spend $24 million on voter restriction efforts….

In a parallel effort, the Honest Elections Project, which warns that the legitimacy of elections is under attack, is financially backed by Leonard Leo’s 85 Fund, which has pledged tens of millions of dollars into conservative election efforts across the country….

Both Crawford and Daniels have been active in the pro-life movement for many years and are concerned that Catholic pro-life leaders seem to have embraced a strategy motivated by partisan politics rather than objective truth.

“Instead of talking about how best to protect and support unborn children and their mothers, some pro-life groups are lobbying and fundraising for racially charged voter restriction efforts,” said Daniels. “It’s another sign of the moral costs of the transactional politics of the last four years.”…

You can read the full report here.