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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Preclearance Struck Down

I was disappointed but not surprised that the five conservative Supreme Court judges voted to overturn the coverage formula used by the government to determine which states are required to get federal permission before they make any changes to voting laws is unconstitutional.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law 48 years ago but today five men in black robes  ruled that racism is no longer an issue, as far as voting rights. The 1965 Voting Rights Act "established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices (so-called "covered jurisdictions") could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance."

Like I said,I was not surprised at the ruling because Judge Roberts famously said “ The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Affirmative action has been sent down to lower courts for now,but  it will soon be on the chopping block.

Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and other states with questionable voter suppression laws just got the thumbs up from the Supreme Court. Those states won’t rein in their controversial practices but instead stretch them to move those boundaries even further, daring the Fed to act.

Congress can renew the voting rights act because the court ruled that the current formula that determines which states are covered by Section 5 is unconstitutional, but it didn’t strike down Section 5, (although was hanging on by thin thread )which requires those affected states to have changes to their voting laws cleared by the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington, D.C., before they go into effect.  With today's make up of Congress, I don't think that the appetite to renew the Voter’s Right Act is there. I bet there's  a lot of fist bumping among those on the right.

The court's action might have just provided the fuel that was needed to get Democrats, liberals, progressives and young people to the polls in 2014.  When Florida and Ohio imposed their voter suppression laws in 2012, it backfired because people waited several hours on the day of election to cast their votes. It’s going to be harder but not impossible to overcome.  Remember those districts can be redrawn every ten years unless SCOTUS rules that census data can longer be used after the year 2019.

It's a "breaking news" bonanza for the media, with Snowden being on the run, SCOTUS's rulings,President’s President Obama’s climate-change  speech,  and  a 13-hour  filibuster in the Texas Senate by Senator Wendy Davis to stop the legislator from closing 80% of the abortion clinics in Texas. I thought I was going to sit back and enjoy the George Zimmerman trial but as it is, I was already using PIP,so now I will have to record some of the events to view later.


Mike said...

I'm really surprised the the recent SCOTUS ruling or the Texas filibuster made the "breaking news" section of our on-line forum.

I've seen less important events get that distinction.

born2Bme said...

I think we are about to enter into a very dark place in American history.
But, you may be right about this being what is needed for the 2014 elections, and that is to get Democrats angry and on the move.

Edith Ann said...

If 700 women converging on Austin isn't a message, I don't know what is. Yes, Dems better get on the stick. We already know the republicans will do whatever they think is necessary to get the result they desire. They will stoop to any level and will go to any length. They cannot be trusted!

(but y'all already knew that, didn't y'all?)

born2Bme said...


Oh Yeah!!

Mike said...

I have another letter to correct tomorrow. It is written by Jim Stokes blaming President Obama using RW talkiing points to blame him for the recent IRS investigation....

Mike said...

Sen. Wendy Davis for governor.

Edith Ann said...

Wendy Davis, Kirk Watson and Leticia Van de Putte are ROCK STARS!!!

I hung in until the end and it was amazing!

She's gotta run!

Mike said...

Wow,I gave up @ 10:00 ......:-(

I knew it DOMA was deemed unconstitutional . I knew govt can't make laws regarding marriage.

I think SCOTUS will send prp. 8 back to Calif.

Edith Ann said...

Texas republicans are not going to have a good day!

BTW, last night chatted with and listened to him present at a meeting, Dwight Harris--education lobbyist in Austin. I asked about the status of the school voucher issue. He said it was dead with the first bill passed--the budget bill. There was no money allocated for any private school/voucher system or charter schools. They can implement what ever they want, but there is no money to finance it. So, when all of those schools pop up, if they do, the playing field is really level then--you want private school for your child? Pony up the tuition!

Mike said...

Wendy Davis filibustered for education funds,didn't she?

I believe Perry will call a special session and try again.

born2Bme said...

Before I went to bed last night, the VA headlined that the abortion thing had passed. I get up this morning and read on Politico that it didn't.
VA seems to jump the gun a lot.

Mike said...

I saw an interesting debate between Joe Scarborough and the Rev. Al Sharpton over the voter Rights Act.

Joe said that the nine states and several districts had to get permission before they drew their districts or imposed news voter laws. Those states and districts were being punished for past mistakes and were outdated. He went on to say that times have changed and that African –Americans are outvoting whites in several of the southern states that are on the list.

Rev. Al counter by agreeing that the black vote is up, but it’s because of the preclearance in those offending states and districts. He also said that the court was now taking away the medicine that got the patient well but is not fully recovered. He cited Texas and a couple of other states that were caught trying to pass policies that were not fair to minorities in 2012.

Joe tried to win the argument by asking Rev. Al if he thought the governors and legislators who tried to pass those laws were bigots.

Not to be outdone, Rev. Al said that he didn’t know if they were bigots, but they passed voting laws that made it harder for minorities to vote.

I tried to watch the silly discussion between Juan Williams and Sean Hannity, but it didn’t make any sense…Sean Hannity was still on the ONE Black Panther guy intimidating voters in a black neighborhood as proof of, I don’t know what.

Anyway, Senator Wendy Davis has got me fired up and I will donate to the first candidate in Texas running for office since Ann Richards. She’s the perfect match to go against Rick Perry because she can match his Tea Party rhetoric with common sense.

Mike said...

Yes,the VA mislead one of it's posters to take a bow thinking it was a win for republicans and pro-life.

It's now a national issue in the social media,so if Governor Perry wants to call a special election,he won't pass it without a fight.

As,EA pointed out we mustn't overlook the efforts of Kirk Watson and Leticia Van de Putte and that gallery of supporters (Dewhurst called them an unruly mob) who made so much noise that it made it difficult to hear.

It was a win for democracy.

Edith Ann said...

In all fairness to the VA (this is the only time you will see me write that!), there was a great deal of confusion last night. The major news sources were split 50/50 on the status of the bill until about 3:00 a.m. when Dewhurst finally declared it dead. Lots of folks were calling it wrong.

This event is all the chatter on FB garnering the same, if not more, attention that the DOMA ruling is. Folks across the nation are now looking at Texas a bit differently. It is no longer, "How can they keep electing those idiots?", but rather, "Wow! Wendy Davis can kick Rand Paul's ass in a filibuster!" She is gathering a good following. She was elected from a very red district when folks thought she'd never pull it off.

Texas has been forever changed and Texas Women will not be messed with! Orange is the color and they will converge on Austin at the drop of a hat.

Edith Ann said...

Click on the 3rd picture to get the bigger picture. A small sampling of the unruly mob! Easily a 1000 women there!

born2Bme said...

Did they wake the sleeping giant?

Edith Ann said...

Seen on FB: "Davis Can Save Us!"

Mike said...

A poster stated "Social studies have shown that among the impoverished, uneducated portions of society, arguments are won by the side that can shout the loudest, talk the fastest, and employ the most intimidation tactics. In those circles, logic, reason and justice are rarely given ample consideration."

At first I thought she was describing the Tea Party mob at the capital steps when the health care bill was passed. Then it could have been the Tea Party town hall meetings.

"Davis can save us"...great bumper sticker.

There's over a million unregistered voters in Texas...I'm checking around to see can I can help register them. Shouldn't be too difficult after last night.

Social media is amazed how quickly people ascended in Austin..Just imagine when it's planned.