AG Shapiro Sues Senate Republicans On Behalf of Commonwealth, DOS Over Plan To Subpoena Voters’ Private Data

September 23, 2021 | Topic: Rights

Lawsuit Fights To Protect Privacy of Nine Million Impacted Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the Office of Attorney General has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, and Acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid, against Pennsylvania state senators Chris Dush and Jake Corman as well as the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee for their efforts to subpoena the personal identification information of nine million Pennsylvanians.

“Giving this data away would compromise the privacy of every Pennsylvania voter — that violates Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights. By trying to pry into everyone’s drivers license numbers and social security numbers they have gone too far,” said AG Shapiro. “Today we say enough is enough. What they are doing is against the law and we intend to win.”

The lawsuit, which was filed today in Commonwealth Court, argues that the Committee’s subpoena demands Pennsylvanians’ constitutionally protected information without providing a reasonable justification for needing the information. Currently, the Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees Pennsylvanians the right to informational privacy, including the right to control access to and the dissemination of their personal information.

The lawsuit argues that a legislative subpoena like the one being issued by the Committee invades that right to privacy because the Committee’s concerns about the integrity of the 2020 and 2021 elections are based on false, partisan narratives that have been repeatedly disproven.

The lawsuit also argues that the risk of providing the Committee or third party company with millions of Pennsylvanians’ personal information is too great to ignore Pennsylvanians’ privacy rights. The lawsuit notes that the Committee has not implemented the necessary security protocols to ensure that Pennsylvanians’ personal information cannot be misused by any third party company.

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