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Author Topic: Supreme Court voids part of voting act law
Geraine
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So:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/25/court-past-voting-discrimination-no-longer-held/

"In a decision that marks the end of a major civil rights-era reform, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the federal government can no longer force states with a long-past history of voting discrimination to have to get federal approval for all of their voting laws.

The 5-4 ruling rewrites a key tool of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which for five decades has given the federal government unprecedented say in everything from how some states draw their congressional maps to where they place polling locations.
But beneath the legal ruling is a broader social significance, with the justices saying that past discrimination cannot be perpetually held against a state.

“The Fifteenth Amendment commands that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race or color, and it gives Congress the power to enforce that command. The amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority.

The court’s four liberal-leaning justices dissented."

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Rakeesh
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*snort* Shocking. And yet if one examines many of the states so affected (though not all, which was a serious problem), one finds that strange race-based disparities are by no means a 'past problem'.

On the bright side, it only gets more difficult as time passes for one racial group to run the government, and that will continue as our demographics change.

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Elison R. Salazar
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If it weren't for the VRA many of those states would have prior to the elections instituted blatant voter suppression laws only stopped because of the preclearance provisions.

Such laws can and have been repealed on constitutional grounds, but its very difficult to stop them from being put to use in the meantime, such as conveniently during a close election.

But no, being insured the right to vote is a racial entitlement.

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kmbboots
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Texas is moving fast to take advantage of the SC ruling.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/25/2212281/two-hours-after-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act-texas-ag-suppresses-minority-voters/

quote:

Just two hours after the Supreme Court reasoned that discrimination is not rampant enough in Southern states to warrant restrictions under the Voting Rights Act, Texas is already advancing a voter ID law and a redistricting map blocked last year for discriminating against black and Latino residents. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a statement declaring that both measures may go into effect immediately, now that there is no law stopping them from discriminating against minorities.


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Rakeesh
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As much as I disagree with the ruling, that appears to be some strikingly dishonest reporting. I would be stunned if the Texas AG-if any AG-actually said that.
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kmbboots
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I read that as the Texas AG saying that both measures may go into effect immediately. Not the second clause as it is not a quotation and there is a comma. I can see how it could be confusing though.
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Samprimary
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Hooray! Racism is over guys!
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Orincoro
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Well, in one sense this has to end eventually just so that we can finally see the immense damage that certain groups are trying to inflict on the nation bydisenfranchising millions. Maybe now we can go Constitutional Ammendment?

The 28th Ammendment (partially repeals and replaces the 24th):

"Congress shall have the power to enact laws, to regulate and oversee the districting, and voting regulations of the several states; specifically and exclusively to ensure the fair and equitable prosecution of federal and local elections, and the fair and equitable apportionment of votes and districts within the several states."

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Samprimary
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Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

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Samprimary
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check it out yo

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/25/that-was-quick-texas-moves-ahead-with-discriminatory-voting-laws/

"Boy that was fast they like didn't even wait a day or anything"

POST RACIAL

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

Perhaps but Michigan, New Hampshire, Indiana, Idaho, South Dakota, Hawaii and Idaho all require photo ID to vote. Last I checked, they were not in the south. Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
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Rakeesh
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There are a lot of reasons to require photo id to vote. All of them address problems that don't actually exist and many of them disproportionately impact minorities, rural voters, and the poor. All to address the previously sweeping crime spree of in-person vote fraud in American elections.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
I have no problem with that opinion but what I would like to know is why the act only applied to southern states, yet allowed several northern states to enact id laws? Yes, I understand that the problem was primarily a southern one but if it was such a just law, why did it not apply to all? Double standard anyone? Seems to me that instead of repealing it, it should have been expanded to include all states.
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Rakeesh
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The problem was not a problem at all, much less 'primarily a Southern one'. You do realize, I hope, that vote fraud is at most a very minor problem with low impact, and that these laws...

Ugh. What's the point.

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Wingracer
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I was not talking about voting fraud. I have never even mentioned it once. I was talking about the law itself (voting rights act of 1965). Please re-read my post with that understanding.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
I have no problem with that opinion but what I would like to know is why the act only applied to southern states, yet allowed several northern states to enact id laws? Yes, I understand that the problem was primarily a southern one but if it was such a just law, why did it not apply to all? Double standard anyone? Seems to me that instead of repealing it, it should have been expanded to include all states.
It is, but the critical difference here is that it is in the South, where conservatives are the most desperately racist, that they engaged in the most obviously racist attempts at voter disenfranchisement that primarily targeted marginalized demographics.

The extremity with which these attempts at disenfranchisement were obvious and were targeted at marginalized groups ensured that the south had the lion's share of laws which were subsequently challenged and repealed.

There has been an entire conversation about how blatant and obvious it was, and I still have a standing offer to anyone who still buys that we need voter ID laws for any legitimate reason not pertaining to buoying the dwindling conservative vote.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
I have no problem with that opinion but what I would like to know is why the act only applied to southern states, yet allowed several northern states to enact id laws? Yes, I understand that the problem was primarily a southern one but if it was such a just law, why did it not apply to all? Double standard anyone? Seems to me that instead of repealing it, it should have been expanded to include all states.
It is, but the critical difference here is that it is in the South, where conservatives are the most desperately racist, that they engaged in the most obviously racist attempts at voter disenfranchisement that primarily targeted marginalized demographics.

The extremity with which these attempts at disenfranchisement were obvious and were targeted at marginalized groups ensured that the south had the lion's share of laws which were subsequently challenged and repealed.

There has been an entire conversation about how blatant and obvious it was, and I still have a standing offer to anyone who still buys that we need voter ID laws for any legitimate reason not pertaining to buoying the dwindling conservative vote.

So because the North was only a little racist, it's ok for them to have voter id laws?
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Wingracer
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On another note, I just read the dissenting opinion from Justice Ginsburg. Man I wish she would write a little more clearly, the other opinions sounded more convincing but in terms of actual content, I have to agree with her. She makes a good case, just in a bit convoluted manor. Of course it was just a highlights version, not the full opinion so maybe it's the editor's fault.

[ June 25, 2013, 11:09 PM: Message edited by: Wingracer ]

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kmbboots
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I would have been delighted to have the VRA expanded to cover all states rather than gutted. Sadly, that would take an act of Congress and Congress is broken. We are never going to get a Republican controlled House to pass a law protecting the rights of minority and poor voters.
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Wingracer
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The current crop of Republicans, yeah you're probably right but I can still have hope. There are still a few reasonable people in the Republican party. Sooner or later their voice will be heard.
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kmbboots
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Not if people can't vote for them.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
because the North was only a little racist, it's ok for them to have voter id laws?

Voter ID laws not penned by southern conservatives were more likely to be not nearly as crazy racist so stood a much better chance of sneaking by the marginal protections afforded by the VRA.

Voter ID laws penned by southern conservatives were crazy racist to the extent that you could use the VRA to challenge them successfully a lot more.

It doesn't mean that they're good laws (it has been repeatedly shown that there is no valid reason for voter ID, and their effect in practice is damaging to marginalized groups) it just means they weren't hideously overtly discriminatory enough to not be allowed to get through.

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Elison R. Salazar
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The Democrats controlled both Houses for a short time and could've modified it then; they even had a clear warning that the Supreme Court was unhappy with Section 4 of the VRA and did nothing to predictable results.
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Samprimary
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oh and in my past post i am missing on commentary about whether or not it was a good idea to subject historically crazy racist states to extra scrutiny: IT TOTALLY WAS AND IS
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Obama
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What differentiates the voter ID laws in the north and the south?

What makes the laws in one part hideously and obviously racist (more accurately, anti-poor) and the laws in other parts just an unfortunate legislative decision?

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kmbboots
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It was just that those states were historically more likely to try to pass hideously and obviously racist laws. And history seems to be repeating itself.
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Obama
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Well, sure, that much is obvious.

Samprimary seemed to be implying that northern voter ID laws are less biased then the southern ones. I was curious as to why.

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Obama
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I was mildly sympathetic to the argument that the VRA was the best that was possible in today's climate, but now it's gone. It's not coming back.

There is absolutely no reason not to have it's replacement (if there is one) apply equally to all states. If Voter ID laws discriminate against the poor (and higher ratios of most minorities are poor, which would technically make them racist as well) then they discriminate whether they're passed in Ohio or in Texas.

Whether you're allowed to pass laws for the purpose of disenfranchising people really shouldn't rest on whether your state rebelled against the federal government a hundred and fifty years ago.

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Lyrhawn
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It's neither here nor there, but while Michigan has a voter ID law, you can actually still vote without one. Michigan law requires a photo ID, but if you don't have it they let you vote so long as you sign an affidavit saying you either don't have one or didn't have it with you and you are who you say you are. Most people don't know that though.

The VRA isn't gone, it's just a much more cumbersome, slow tool to solving a problem. The VRA used to be proactive, it tried to solve voting access problems before an election. Now the VRA is reactive, it tries to correct injuries after they've been sustained and a plaintiff works his or her way through the judicial system.

I think a lot of Republicans see Texas as ground zero because of the movement by local Democrats to institute massive registration drives in minority communities. The writing is on the wall there, and Dems know that if they could muster the full force of potential Democratic voters, they could flip Texas within a decade. If Texas' EC vote goes blue, then the GOP won't be setting up shop in the White House for a generation without a big change somewhere else. Plus they don't want to lose one of the larger, more powerful state legislatures.

Losing the VRA sucks, but focusing on southern states might ignore the nationwide voter laws that were already seriously restricting access. The VRA was still serving a valuable purpose, but the 21st century has outstripped it, and we need far more wide ranging protections.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

You racist. Aren't we supposed to be a color blind society? [Roll Eyes]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's neither here nor there, but while Michigan has a voter ID law, you can actually still vote without one. Michigan law requires a photo ID, but if you don't have it they let you vote so long as you sign an affidavit saying you either don't have one or didn't have it with you and you are who you say you are. Most people don't know that though.

As came up once in a voter ID thread, many people also don't know that in every state (as far as I I know) with voter ID laws, you can acquire a non-driver license voter ID for free from the DMV. Still, there are time costs associated with getting one.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's neither here nor there, but while Michigan has a voter ID law, you can actually still vote without one. Michigan law requires a photo ID, but if you don't have it they let you vote so long as you sign an affidavit saying you either don't have one or didn't have it with you and you are who you say you are. Most people don't know that though.

As came up once in a voter ID thread, many people also don't know that in every state (as far as I I know) with voter ID laws, you can acquire a non-driver license voter ID for free from the DMV. Still, there are time costs associated with getting one.
Free assuming you already have all the necessary documents required to obtain it (which cost money). And it's obtainable assuming you live in a state that doesn't require a photo ID in order to get the documents necessary to obtain a photo ID, which, bizarre as it sounds, is the case in some states.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

You racist. Aren't we supposed to be a color blind society? [Roll Eyes]
Most of us would like to, but America isn't even close to a colorblind society.
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Obama
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

You racist. Aren't we supposed to be a color blind society? [Roll Eyes]
The poor white folk who get disenfranchised by laws like this never seem to matter as much.

These laws may in effect end up affecting the poor of minority races more, proportionally, but the crime of robbing a white man of his vote is no less serious then robbing a black man of his. There are poor white people too, you know.

The people who write these laws aren't Klansmen. Republicans write these laws, and Republicans know that when the poor can be convinced to get off their ass and vote, they vote Democrat. There are poor people in every state, and it's why the voter ID laws have had just as much traction in the north as they do in the south.

The effect may end up hurting minorities more, but the intent is not to target voters of any minority group. Just Democrat voters.

eta - To sum up, a lot of people around here give the impression that the crime being committed is that a black man might lose his vote. Whereas my position is that the crime is that a man might lose his vote.

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King of Men
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Can we take it as read that Norway's voting laws are probably not "hilariously racist"? I mean, they were written in 1960 and we basically didn't have anyone but whites. Ok?

Right. It would never occur to a Norwegian not to require ID for voting. (Although actually I see we have an exception for those who are personally known to the vote-taker.) How the devil else are you going to show that you're a citizen with the right to vote?

It would also not occur to us that an adult has no means of demonstrating who they are. I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. Where do these people live, under bridges?

What you people need isn't to hack around at the edges of fifty-year-old half-assed patches that never really addressed the fundamental problem but at most did a semi-reasonable job of kinda-sorta suppressing one of the symptoms; you need to organise your society like sensible people, ie Norwegians.

So, that's it! Everyone out of the pool, back to wherever your ancestors came from - yes, "Native" Americans, you too. We're going to start this one over and do it properly this time. Out!

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MattP
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A huge part of the problem in the US is the segregation of state records from other states' records and from federal records. A national ID would go a long way here, but like everything else potentially useful it's politically untenable.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Obama:
There are poor people in every state, and it's why the voter ID laws have had just as much traction in the north as they do in the south.

This is simply not the case. If by "North" you mean "Yankee" then you're completely wrong about this. These laws gain traction in Republican strongholds with largish minority populations.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Can we take it as read that Norway's voting laws are probably not "hilariously racist"? I mean, they were written in 1960 and we basically didn't have anyone but whites. Ok?

Right. It would never occur to a Norwegian not to require ID for voting. (Although actually I see we have an exception for those who are personally known to the vote-taker.) How the devil else are you going to show that you're a citizen with the right to vote?

It would also not occur to us that an adult has no means of demonstrating who they are. I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. Where do these people live, under bridges?

What you people need isn't to hack around at the edges of fifty-year-old half-assed patches that never really addressed the fundamental problem but at most did a semi-reasonable job of kinda-sorta suppressing one of the symptoms; you need to organise your society like sensible people, ie Norwegians.

So, that's it! Everyone out of the pool, back to wherever your ancestors came from - yes, "Native" Americans, you too. We're going to start this one over and do it properly this time. Out!

In a sort of philosophical sense, you absolutely correct. There is nothing inherently racist about a voter id law in and of itself, that's why some politicians can get away with it. If they came right out and said "no one but rich white men can vote" they would be forced out of office.

The problem is that there are a significant number of poor and minorities that do not have photo id and would find it difficult to obtain it. So rich white guy wants to stop them from voting without outright banning them, just come up with what seems like an innocent and harmless law that will do just that. Yes in a country where everyone has id, requiring it isn't a problem in any way but until that happens in the US, it is a problem. And then they will just find some other way to keep undesirables out.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Obama:
There are poor people in every state, and it's why the voter ID laws have had just as much traction in the north as they do in the south.

This is simply not the case. If by "North" you mean "Yankee" then you're completely wrong about this. These laws gain traction in Republican strongholds with largish minority populations.
New Hampshire is a Republican stronghold with a largish minority population?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:


Right. It would never occur to a Norwegian not to require ID for voting. (Although actually I see we have an exception for those who are personally known to the vote-taker.) How the devil else are you going to show that you're a citizen with the right to vote?

I'll forgive you your false presumptions because you're not an American citizen. But I know you've lived in the US a long time- you really ought to know why this is. In fact, I am aware that you probably *do* understand this, and are being facetious.

In a nutshell, it has most often been the case that the individual right to due process and access to the vote has superseded attempts by the states to check against voter fraud using various means of identification. That is to say: while it is possible to pass such a law, these laws do not typically stand up to constitutional tests. Most often this is because they grant voting authorities the right to deny lawful voters from voting without what the courts see as being due process of law, or by levying a poll tax (charging in any form for registration or ID required for voting, which many states do, or by requiring proof of residence, even in the case of indigents).

Plain and simple: The courts have long held the view that the individual franchise trumped a state or munipality's concerns over the eligibility of that voter; it is preferable to allow for the possibility of fraud, in order to eliminate the possibility of voter disenfranchisement. The right to vote supersedes the right of any authority to unreasonably question your eligibility for voting. Many states have tried to elude this principle, and most have so far failed to present feasible alternatives.

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graywolfe
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Hooray! Racism is over guys!

The willful stupidity of men as sharp as Roberts and Scalia and the little stooges (Alito and Thomas) just beggars the imagination when it comes to this issue and Doma. It's just insane.

Having taught for ten years in urban communities, it's just patently disingenuous for them to make the arguments they so willfully do. It's well past time the justices simply admit they vote their political prejudice 19 times out 20, and out of political expediency for their lone exceptions (Roberts wanting to keep the courts long since departed reputation as an unbiased, politics free establishment, by stemming the non-stop conservative judgments in case after case since the atrocity that was Citizens United) and Bush V Gore a decade earlier).

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graywolfe
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Texas is already ready to go with their new freedoms unshackled by VRA race protection restrictions with the state republicans preparing to readvance a voter ID law that combats the extreme menace of voter fraud*


*aka colored people voting

Perhaps but Michigan, New Hampshire, Indiana, Idaho, South Dakota, Hawaii and Idaho all require photo ID to vote. Last I checked, they were not in the south. Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
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graywolfe
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Do all of those states also have racist voting laws?
Yes.
I have no problem with that opinion but what I would like to know is why the act only applied to southern states, yet allowed several northern states to enact id laws? Yes, I understand that the problem was primarily a southern one but if it was such a just law, why did it not apply to all? Double standard anyone? Seems to me that instead of repealing it, it should have been expanded to include all states.
It was applied because of when and where it was happening in the sixties, and had been happening for a century since reconstruction began. It was very specifically targeted for both de jure and de facto discrimination, segregation, and patterns of harassment and systematic mass murder that had been used to target the African American populace in the south for the 100 years extending from 1865 to the CVA in '65 or was it '64? The North certainly had it's share of problems, ditto the west, but nothing remotely on the systemic scale of that of the south.
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Wingracer
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So let's crush the worst offenders and ignore the minor ones.
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Lyrhawn
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Graywolfe -

quote:
The North certainly had it's share of problems, ditto the west, but nothing remotely on the systemic scale of that of the south.
The southern system was more in your face and public, but recent research is northern movements is starting to show that the north had enough systemic problems to be on par with the south.

The overt, public violence wasn't as bad, and a lot of the voting issues weren't quite as bad, but on any of a dozen issues involving employment, housing, police violence, etc, the north was just as bad or worse than the South. We just think of the South because the North never got on TV or the front page of Life magazine for what they did, and that was in part because the newspapers were all based in the north. If you read northern BLACK news papers, you get a much different story during the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

I can show you some pretty bad stuff for the West too. We just haven't done the extensive research necessary yet to uncover it, and historical memory prizes the South as the center of violence. But the VRA was largely passed by the North against the South. Lots of landmark legislation and SCOTUS cases were passed based on cases not based in what we traditionally think of as the South.

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Elison R. Salazar
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This is why to vote for Obama and a (D) in the whitehouse at all costs, to insure the bench is packed by non-partisan hacks.
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Lyrhawn
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You don't think Obama's justices are partisan?

It'll be interesting to see what happens if the Dems get to replace one of the conservative Court members in the next 7 years (if they win again in 2016). Republicans let Kagan and Sotomayor get past mostly because they aren't flaming liberal activists and because they weren't replacing staunch conservatives. But if they have to put someone like Sotomayor in the place of Alito or Thomas? Forget about it.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
A huge part of the problem in the US is the segregation of state records from other states' records and from federal records. A national ID would go a long way here, but like everything else potentially useful it's politically untenable.

I'm sure the NSA could immediately issue cards for every single American. They wouldn't even need us to submit a new passport sized photo for them.
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Elison R. Salazar
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Most of the online Supreme Court law experts I know of view them very highly, and I don't think denying Obama replacing a Justice is a fight the Republicans want nor will win, cracks are beginning to show. It's probably Hilary in 2016 and my gut feeling is she'll get what she wants even if she has to blackmail half of the Republican caucus to do it. Its about time we get something approaching a modern Lyndon Johnson running things.
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