While most of the country is focused on Trump’s so-called “Election Integrity Commission”  (which is meeting considerable resistance on the state level), a triumvirate of right-wing lawyers are quietly working to take away their right to vote in every state.

All three of these lawyers now work with a group calling itself the “American Civil Rights Union,” or ACRU – which is essentially the ACLU’s evil twin. The three lawyers served in the Department of Justice under the Bush II Administration. They are J. Christian Adams, Christopher Coates and Robert Popper.

Over the past few years, this Unholy Trinity has been busy sending letters (similar to these) to county commissioners across the country, advising them that their district is in “possible violation” of the National Voter Rights Act, ordering them to check their voter rolls and remove those deemed ineligible – or face litigation. Unsurprisingly, most of these are small, rural counties that lack the financial resources to fight a protracted legal battle.

One such letter, sent to Commissioner Willie Miller of Noxubee County, Mississippi, stated that her jurisdiction was in violation of a federal law requiring states to regularly update their voter rolls. The letter pressured the county commission to sign a consent decree, promising a rigorous review of registered voters and removing all of those names that failed to pass muster. As part of the decree, the commission would be required to send out non-forwardable letters to all registered voters, requesting that they fill out and return a form confirming their eligibility. Those who failed to do so would be listed as “inactive” – and if they missed voting in more than one election, they were to be removed from the rolls.

Considering that Noxubee County is 70% African American and suffers a poverty rate three times the national average, the potential for losing voters most likely to support the Democratic Party is clear. Because residents of such impoverished communities are often transient, such letters are usually not deliverable. Willie Miller and her fellow commissioners refused to sign the letter – and the ACRU came after them in court.

The Lawyers’ collective motivation for this dark task is made clear when looking at their careers. All three worked in the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section, making them uniquely qualified for the nefarious task in which they are currently engaged. Adams was hired in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was later found to have been filling staff positions based on his own political ideologies – in violation of federal law. Adams’ immediate supervisor was Coates, a former ACLU attorney who went over to the Dark Side – possibly out of bitterness over being passed over for promotion in favor of an African-American colleague.  Popper was Coates’ right-hand man, who left the DOJ in 2013 in order to work for Judicial Watch,  a right-wing so-called “watchdog” organization that has been at the forefront of the war on voters.

The battle is still ongoing – but being as the ACRU has virtually unlimited resources while those of Noxubee County are limited, the outcome looks grim for the defendants. Those living in “blue” states and communities are probably safe – for now. Be warned, however: the ACRU is coming to take away YOUR right to vote.

It’s the only way their GOP handlers can shove their reprehensible agenda down our collective throats, anymore.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.