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Ian McColgin
07-26-2013, 05:59 AM
Published on Thursday, July 25, 2013 by Common Dreams

DOJ Takes on Texas in 'First Move' Following Voting Rights Purge
As states rush to implement repressive voting legislation, Attorney General promises 'this will not be our last'
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The US Department of Justice issued the first challenge to voter suppression attempts Thursday since the Supreme Court's recent dissolution of a key provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In a speech before the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that as a "first move," the DOJ is asking a federal court to require the state of Texas to "obtain advance approval before putting in place future political redistricting or other voting changes," AP reports.

Last month, the Supreme court voted 5-4 in a ruling against Section 4 of the VRA, which determined the states and localities required to get such federal approval based on those locations having a history of racial discrimination. Previous to the ruling, nine states—of which Texas was one—and parts of seven others were required to obtain the approval.

According to the ruling, Congress is technically able to pass a new bill based on contemporary data for determining which states should be covered. Though, as SCOTUSblog noted at the time, with the staunchly partisan gridlock in our current legislature, this "will be exceptionally difficult politically."

While Congress considers their updates, Holder announced Thursday, the DOJ plans to "fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected.”

In order to reestablish pre-approval for the state of Texas, the federal court must determine proof of intentional discrimination against voters. If found, the pre-approval requirement would apply for 10 years.

In Texas, there is a history of “pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities,” Holder declared, referencing an earlier ruling by a Washington, D.C. federal court which found that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing redistricting maps and that the state’s voter ID law would disenfranchise minority voters.

"This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights following the [Supreme Court] decision, but it will not be our last,” the attorney general added.

The DOJ action comes as a number of states previously subject to preclearance have already rushed to introduce suppressive voting legislation.

Late last week, North Carolina's Senate Republicans added a slew of amendments to a voter ID bill which critics are calling a "poll tax in disguise." If ​passed, the bill will require all voters to present state-approved forms of ID, restrict early voting, stop same-day registration, and ban state supported voter registration drives—leaving North Carolina with the strictest voter ID law in the US.

The state of Florida is also proceeding with a controversial initiative to screen for "suspected" non-citizens and purge them from voter rolls.

_____________________

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

skuthorp
07-26-2013, 06:28 AM
Fighting a battle against demographics is a loosing game. And a very short sighted one for a political party with such a history. Very unfortunate.

hanleyclifford
07-26-2013, 06:50 AM
Fighting a battle against demographics is a loosing game. And a very short sighted one for a political party with such a history. Very unfortunate. didn't work for Rome either...

Gerarddm
07-26-2013, 10:11 AM
About time Holder did something about something. i have been disappointed in his tenure as AG.

ccmanuals
07-26-2013, 10:15 AM
This is the dipstick that Holder has to deal with,


Here’s a typical workday for Texas’ attorney general: "I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home," Greg Abbott was quoted as saying to a tea party group in an April 30, 2013, Associated Press news story.

Speaking to FreedomWorks Texas in Austin on April 27, Abbott said, "I’ve sued the Obama administration now 25 times, over the last four years."

Last fall, the Associated Press tallied two dozen: Abbott "has filed 24 lawsuits against the federal government since Obama took office — litigation that has cost the state $2.58 million and more than 14,113 hours spent by staff and state lawyers working those cases," said a Sept. 9, 2012, news story.

Reynard38
07-26-2013, 10:40 AM
To be honest I have not paid a lot of attention to what's occuring in Texas (I usually don't). I certainly have a problem with gerrymandering, and keeping US citizens from the polls.
I don't however see the problem with requiring a photo ID to vote. I have to show one to write a check, at the doctors office,make a bank deposit, buy a beer etc. In fact I can be asked by law enforcement for it at any time.
Now I do think it needs to made easy to obtain. In this day and age it's not hard to determine if somebody is hear legally or not.
For our system of government to work as many US citizens as possible need to vote. ONCE.

Here in GA you can obtain a state ID card. If my dad can't pass the driver eye test next renewal he will get one of these.

http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/dldata.aspx?con=1747740603&ty=dl

Captain Intrepid
07-26-2013, 10:46 AM
The thing with requiring photo ID, is that it adversely affects certain demographics, and thus has been pushed not out of genuine concern for voter fraud, but as a way to influence elections. Voter fraud itself is a mindbogglingly small problem.


Studies have shown that voter fraud in the U.S. is incredibly rare. One study by the Brennan Center for Justice found a fraud rate of 0.0002% in Wisconsin during the 2004 election after the Republican National Committee Chairman claimed that Wisconsin was "absolutely riddled with voter fraud.” In most cases, a voter is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud at the polls.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/55773/pennsylvania-gop-owns-up-to-its-malicious-voter-id-law

It's just a way to try and disenfranchise the poorer classes.

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 10:50 AM
We've killed untold millions of people all over the world in the name of "Freedom" but there has never been a single Imperial Japanese, Nazi, Viet Cong, al Qaeda terrorist or any other person who has ever attempted to prevent an American from voting... except the republican party.

Have we been fighting the wrong people all this time?

David W Pratt
07-26-2013, 11:17 AM
Interestingly, he wants to move against Texas for possible, potential vote suppression, but declines to investigate the New Black Panthers for actual voter intimidation. In Philadelphia, IIRC

Gerarddm
07-26-2013, 11:20 AM
Interestingly, he wants to move against Texas for possible, potential vote suppression, but declines to investigate the New Black Panthers for actual voter intimidation. In Philadelphia, IIRC


Right wing trope.

Reynard38
07-26-2013, 11:25 AM
The thing with requiring photo ID, is that it adversely affects certain demographics, and thus has been pushed not out of genuine concern for voter fraud, but as a way to influence elections. Voter fraud itself is a mindbogglingly small problem.



http://www.policymic.com/articles/55773/pennsylvania-gop-owns-up-to-its-malicious-voter-id-law

It's just a way to try and disenfranchise the poorer classes.

How? Everytime I am in an urban area of a US city I see these disenfranchised people. Presumably they receive some sort of assistance. Since they most likely don't have have a bank account they must cash a check somewhere. Didn't they have to produce a photo ID to do so?
i just don't buy into the argument that showing an ID prevents US citizens from voting.

David G
07-26-2013, 11:26 AM
Right wing trope.

Are you sure? Are you really sure? You don't mean 'right wing tripe'?

Cuyahoga Chuck
07-26-2013, 11:31 AM
To be honest I have not paid a lot of attention to what's occuring in Texas (I usually don't). I certainly have a problem with gerrymandering, and keeping US citizens from the polls.
I don't however see the problem with requiring a photo ID to vote. I have to show one to write a check, at the doctors office,make a bank deposit, buy a beer etc. In fact I can be asked by law enforcement for it at any time.
Now I do think it needs to made easy to obtain. In this day and age it's not hard to determine if somebody is hear legally or not.
For our system of government to work as many US citizens as possible need to vote. ONCE.

Here in GA you can obtain a state ID card. If my dad can't pass the driver eye test next renewal he will get one of these.

http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/dldata.aspx?con=1747740603&ty=dl

Buying a beer or cashing a check are NOT constitutionally protected. Challenging voters at the polls with demands very close to the, "let me see your papers" of dictatorships could very easily spill over into the illegal. And the rational given for photo ID is to snuff out voter fraud which none of the states can document beyond a handful of occurances.
When interviewed on public radio the secretary of state in Kansas claimed the state had caught "hundreds" of illegal voters. When pressed by E.J. Dion about how many were convicted the SoS replied "six". And that may have been for more than one voting cycle.

Captain Intrepid
07-26-2013, 11:38 AM
It's actually astonishing how many Americans don't have photo ID.

Up to 25% of African Americans of voting age.

http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2012/jul/11/eric-holder/eric-holder-says-recent-studies-show-25-percent-af/

Anyways, it's the case of a solution being more of a problem than the problem it's supposed to be a solution for. Better a couple ineligible people vote then deny one of the most important rights in a democracy.

Peerie Maa
07-26-2013, 11:40 AM
Buying a beer or cashing a check are NOT constitutionally protected. Challenging voters at the polls with demands very close to the, "let me see your papers" of dictatorships could very easily spill over into the illegal. And the rational given for photo ID is to snuff out voter fraud which none of the states can document beyond a handful of occurances.
When interviewed on public radio the secretary of state in Kansas claimed the state had caught "hundreds" of illegal voters. When pressed by E.J. Dion about how many were convicted the SoS replied "six". And that may have been for more than one voting cycle.

Our system works without photo id, so can yours.

Cuyahoga Chuck
07-26-2013, 12:55 PM
Our system works without photo id, so can yours.

ID cards are a new scheme brought about by right-wing money that funds ALEC a right-wing pressure group that easy influences Republican controlled state legislatures. Forces on the right are using this period of Republican dominence in governorships and statehouses to push an extreme agenda.
Also it should be remembered that America is physically much different than Britain where a polling official in Newton on Oldton either knows everyone in the precinct or can identify them by their use of certain dialect words handed unchanged from the Celtic, Viking, Anglo-Saxon or Norman French.

hokiefan
07-26-2013, 01:02 PM
How? Everytime I am in an urban area of a US city I see these disenfranchised people. Presumably they receive some sort of assistance. Since they most likely don't have have a bank account they must cash a check somewhere. Didn't they have to produce a photo ID to do so?
i just don't buy into the argument that showing an ID prevents US citizens from voting.

Government assistance rarely comes in a check anymore. It is either direct deposited if you have a bank account or loaded into a debit card they send you. Those are in fact the only options available for Illinois unemployment. No ID needed.

A lot of old poor people don't have ID, they've never needed it. A lot of young, poor, urban folks don't have ID. If you can't afford a car why would you get a driver's license. Yeah I know there are other options, but a lot of these kids barely exist as far as the world is concerned. If they're working its for cash.

Cheers,

Bobby

David W Pratt
07-26-2013, 01:52 PM
Two things:
Gerrard, do you have evidence that what I wrote is untrue?
Here in RI we have had photo ID for voting for years, and I defy you to find a more Democrat state than RI

Ian McColgin
07-26-2013, 05:02 PM
RI’s polling place ID law was passed in the fall of ’11 and it provides for about twice as many forms of ID, including some non-photo, as any other state. It has not prevented any polling place fraud because there was none anyway. It may have discouraged a couple of people from voting but that’s minimal also. Basically it was an exercise in public expenditure to solve a non-existent problem but at least the solution did less damage than any other polling place ID law.

The Texas measure, gleefully passed within hours of the Supreme Court decision, is much more carefully designed to prevent low income and minority people from voting. That’s it’s whole point.

John Smith
07-26-2013, 05:10 PM
Two things:
Gerrard, do you have evidence that what I wrote is untrue?
Here in RI we have had photo ID for voting for years, and I defy you to find a more Democrat state than RI

NO offense, but that's like saying, "I don't have any trouble getting an ID, why should anyone else?" The first fact here is that no one has been able to show that in person voter fraud is a problem. The ONLY example I can recall seeing was Anne Coulter voting at the wrong place.

Everyone gets a sample ballot. Why is that not a sufficient "ticket" to enter the voting booth? A lot of seniors live in assisted living places or perhaps nursing homes. Not all of them have birth certificates or drivers licenses. Unless you plan to have the state go to where they are, it is an unreasonable burden to place on them. Many of these seniors have been voting for decades. Their voting history is in the book at the polling place. A few questions about prior addresses should be more than enough info if there is a reason to question.

Captain Intrepid
07-26-2013, 05:22 PM
A lot of seniors, especially low income minority seniors born into poverty, don't even have the documentation required to get a modern photo ID.

John of Phoenix
07-26-2013, 05:35 PM
I don't think a SCOTUS ruling means much to the Texas legislature but I'll toss this out for grins.


Jun 17, 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that requires people to submit proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

The vote was 7-2. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said that a 1993 federal law known as the Motor Voter Act takes precedence over the Arizona law because of its requirement that states “accept and use” the federal voter registration form.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two members of the court’s conservative wing, dissented.

Only a handful of states have similar laws, which the states say are meant to reduce voter fraud. Civil rights groups said the Arizona law was an effort to discourage voting by legal immigrants, and they worried that more states would have followed if the Supreme Court had upheld it.

Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/17/19003391-supreme-court-strikes-down-arizona-law-requiring-proof-of-citizenship-to-vote?lite

Joe Dupere
07-26-2013, 07:43 PM
...
Everyone gets a sample ballot. Why is that not a sufficient "ticket" to enter the voting booth?

You know John, you say this an awful lot. I haven't responded to it before, but tonight I guess I will. This statement is not universally true. It might be true where you live, but it's not true where I live. There are sample ballots at the town office that are on display before every election, but my town does not mail out sample ballots to town residents. Nor does the State of Maine, to the best of my knowledge.

So you may want to modify that argument just a bit, or perhaps retire it. Call me a humanitarian!

hokiefan
07-26-2013, 08:21 PM
You know John, you say this an awful lot. I haven't responded to it before, but tonight I guess I will. This statement is not universally true. It might be true where you live, but it's not true where I live. There are sample ballots at the town office that are on display before every election, but my town does not mail out sample ballots to town residents. Nor does the State of Maine, to the best of my knowledge.

So you may want to modify that argument just a bit, or perhaps retire it. Call me a humanitarian!

Georgia does not send them out either.

Ian McColgin
07-26-2013, 08:28 PM
Right. Some states send out sample ballots and others cannot be bothered. But in the states that do, does having a sample ballot prove that you are the person who registered to vote and thus got the sample?

wardd
07-26-2013, 09:22 PM
Interestingly, he wants to move against Texas for possible, potential vote suppression, but declines to investigate the New Black Panthers for actual voter intimidation. In Philadelphia, IIRC

2 black men in a black neighborhood whom everybody ignored except the news cameras and republicans

Ian McColgin
07-26-2013, 09:30 PM
But but but The League of Women Voters and ACORN and a whole bunch of churches were doing voter fraud were they not? At least that's the drumbeat of a paranoid mythology.

S.V. Airlie
07-27-2013, 08:23 AM
Holder is having Glen do the ground work for him!

MiddleAgesMan
07-27-2013, 08:45 AM
2 black men in a black neighborhood whom everybody ignored except the news cameras and republicans

The incident occurred before Holder became AG. It happened while GWB was president. Someone thought Holder should be concerned after the fact but his decision was to let sleeping dogs lie.

Cuyahoga Chuck
07-28-2013, 01:32 AM
If Holder's people can get a court to agree that Texas has indeed engaged in supressing minority votes Texas can be returned to the condition of having to clear any changes of their voting laws with the DoJ for a period of up to 10 years.

oznabrag
10-01-2013, 05:34 PM
Interestingly, he wants to move against Texas for possible, potential vote suppression, but declines to investigate the New Black Panthers for actual voter intimidation. In Philadelphia, IIRC

Investigating the New Black Panthers could be done by a C-average Journalism major from a community college.

IIRC, the whole organization consists of 1 guy who has enough money to buy the beer, and provide everybody with a t-shirt.

New Black Panthers seem to like acting out and posing with a bunch of weapons:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcxj2e8B2YM4TMRRLuS-BpMTp1lGcAK24OLsOH683tiXht0Qyhbw

The original Black Panthers were NOT kidding.

http://depts.washington.edu/labpics/repository/d/1029-1/black_20panthers_1969.jpg

The State of Texas is most likely in violation of several voting rights laws.

The new Black Panthers are not really a threat to anyone but themselves, in the end. The Huey P. Newton foundation has denounced them. They bear no resemblance to Bobby and Huey and 1969.

None.

S.V. Airlie
10-01-2013, 06:10 PM
How much is a photo ID? Really!

Canoeyawl
10-01-2013, 06:42 PM
How much is a photo ID? Really!

About the same as a New York vehicle registration... Really!

Durnik
10-01-2013, 08:39 PM
^ ;-)

ccmanuals
10-01-2013, 08:41 PM
now that's funny