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Comments about ‘Supreme Court voids key part of Voting Rights Act’

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Published: Tuesday, June 25 2013 11:09 a.m. MDT

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John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The amazing thing is people even think one should be allow to vote without showing proper identification.

On the other hand, the treatment of at large city council elections as some attempt at racial marginzalization is to ignore the reality of how city politics work. Up until recently Detroit elected its city council at large, which was not at all racially motivated, with the vast majority of the population being African-American. There are advantages to having the city council elected at large and responsible to the whole city. There are also draw backs, but the claim the system marginzalizes minority voters is questionable at best. It only could possibly be true if your ethnic minority is concentrated in parts of a city. If an ethnic minority is spread in multiple parts of a city, its ability to elect one of its own to the city council is increased by at large voting, at least if it is an at large free for all, because then you can chose to vote for only one of say five candidates and give that one candidate a much larger vote by doing so.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

So the pendulum swings back, just like it did in the 1890s with the Jim Crow laws. Republicans will do anything to keep minority voters from the polls, and their representatives on the Supreme Court are dancing to that tune.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Well now Republicans are basically free to do everything in their power to limit minority turnout (reducing early voting days, limiting early voting locations... that 8hr wait in urban Miami voting precincts? get used to more of that).

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Irony Guy" and "atl134"Did you even read the article? The law was struck down because it is not a reflection of current data. Would you like laws written that prescribe the use of leeches for treating illnesses?

Explain how only Republicans will use this to their advantage? Either party could use this ruling to futher their own agenda. For example, Florida could put more polling locations into areas that primarily Democrat, and cut the number of polling locations in areas that vote Republican.

Your attempt to make Republicans look like villians for something they have not done is insane.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

But the point, Shirt, is that it (the GOP) HAS attempted to just that, and have only been stopped from doing it MORE by court rulings citing this section of the Voting Rights Act. In fact, it's exactly what I would suggest a divided minority party do - If you can't beat 'em, look for ways to keep 'em home. Sure, Democrats could do the same thing, but let's whine about that when it actually happens. In the meantime, don't be surprised when, in the dubious cause of stopping voter fraud, legislatures in Southern state act to stop voters themselves.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

To Irony Guy and atl134:

RedShirt makes much more sense than your posts. It would seem you didn't read the article very well at all. The Supreme Court merely ruled that Congress needs to update the system instead of using 40 year old information in this case. A lot can and does change in that length of time. So why is that so unreasonable?

It's hard to understand why liberals complain about needing proof that you are who say you are in order to vote... with any form of simple valid picture identification. It's not complicated or confusing. And if something so simple confuses anyone, then perhaps they don't have enough cognition to be voting in the first place. I know of literally no one who doesn't already have picture ID. And conservatives have to play by the same rules. No one is exempt.

It's ironic no one complains when ID is necessary to get a library card or open a bank account. Shouldn't voting be considered at least as important as those things? Almost all past voter fraud would've been eliminated by requiring identification before voting... a step in the right direction.

jsf
Centerville, UT

@Irony

DNC Chair Ignores Democrats' Jim Crow History
By Peter Roff USNews

Leaving aside the idea that she perhaps does not understand what the word “literally” means, the “Jim Crow” laws were a whole series of measures indented to keep blacks and whites apart, living lives that were “separate but equal” in all kinds of ways. They were not, as Wasserman Schultz inferred, simply about keeping blacks from voting

On the books from the end of reconstruction until the U.S. Supreme Court began to chip away at them in its landmark 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the “Jim Crow” laws were a stain on our national character, one put there—and here is why the subject is dangerous for Wasserman Schultz to bring up—by the Democrats.

Notable Democrats supporting “Jim Crow” policies, Arkansas Gov. Orvall Faubus, called out the National Guard to prevent black students entering the school, Alabama Gov. George Wallace, famously proclaiming "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Nationally-known segregationist Lester Maddox to be their state’s 75th governor in 1966. A little misspeak?

jsf
Centerville, UT

ironic is the fact the DNC requires picture id to get into their meetings and convention.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Before this ruling, minority voters were reduced in number by setting up too few voting machines in minority precincts. We've all seen the reports of minority voters waiting in lines for 5, 6, or even 8 hours to vote. That never happens in precincts that are filled with affluent white voters - only in precincts dominated by minorities, or in some cases, by college students. It's never happened to me, but then I'm a relatively affluent white guy. Now we'll see a lot of more innovative ways of keeping minority voters shut out from the polls. And we'll see more blatant gerrymandering too, all in the interests of those who are already in power.

Turtles Run
Missouri City, TX

@jsf

You seem to forget that the Democratic and Republican parties have changed since the time of Jim Crow. Those racist Democrats began converting to the Republican Party after the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

To this day they work to continue to disenfranchise minority voters. Look at the long lines in Florida, Voter ID laws that do little to prevent voter fraud but cause obstacles to minority voting, and gerrymandering to minimize minority voters.

Jim Crow still lives on in the South and today he just got a helping hand.

The Skeptical Chymist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@Tators - Here's the catch: Our House of Representatives is totally controlled by folks (yes, I mean Republicans) who benefit by preventing minority voters from voting. How quickly do you think they'll get going on this project? I predict it will NEVER happen, at least not with this Congress. There are too many people who will benefit by making it more difficult for minority voters to vote.

As for voter fraud - show me some real examples. They're precious few and far between. There's definitely some voter registration fraud, but do those fraudulently registered as "Mickey Mouse" actually vote?

As for vote-related fraud, the premier example recently has been the failure of Newt Gingerich and Rick Perry to get on the ballot in Virginia. Newt's supporter Adam Ward just pled guilty to perjury and 36 counts of voter fraud for for over 4,000 fraudulent signatures that he collected to insure Newt's name appearing on the ballot. Because so many signatures were thrown out, poor Newt didn't get on the ballot. Likewise, nearly half of Perry's signatures were invalid, and he didn't get on the ballot either.

jsf
Centerville, UT

Huffington Post "Viewed nationally, African Americans waited an average of 23 minutes to vote, compared to 12 minutes for whites; Hispanics waited 19 minutes. While there are other individual-level demographic difference present in the responses, none stands out as much as race. For instance, the average wait time among those with household incomes less than $30,000 was 12 minutes, compared to 14 minutes for those in households with incomes greater than $100,000. Strong Democrats waited an average of 16 minutes, compared to an average of 11 minutes for strong Republicans. Respondents who reported they had an interest in news and public affairs “most of the time” waited an average of 13.2 minutes, compared to 12.8 minutes among those who had “hardly any” interest.

The study points out that the findings don't suggest discrimination on an individual basis, but rather a failure by precincts with high levels of minority voters, typically in urban areas, to appropriately address the issue of long lines. For example, the difference in wait times between black and white voters in the same zip code was less than a minute on average." Skeptical about generalized claims.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt
"Your attempt to make Republicans look like villians for something they have not done is insane."

There is ample evidence all around the country that Republicans are targeting Democratic constituencies by cutting early voting days, limiting early voting to one precinct a county (obviously harms urban areas that are more dense and Democratic). North Carolina is trying to tax parents of college students if the college student votes in their college state rather than their home state (who wins the college vote? Democrats). It's not my fault you don't get news from sources that cover the issue.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Tators
"The Supreme Court merely ruled that Congress needs to update the system instead of using 40 year old information in this case. A lot can and does change in that length of time. So why is that so unreasonable?"

90+ senators seemed to be just fine with how it's done since they voted to keep the Voting Rights Act. They could've voted on changes to it if they wanted to. This is one of the most blatant cases of judicial activism ever.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "atl134" and Democrats are targeting Republicans by adjusting district boundaries to favor boundaries that primarily vote democrat.

Democrats try to dismiss or throwout ballots that are mailed in because typically those votes go to Republican canidates.

Again, to point the finger at Republicans is insane because the Democrats do everything you accuse the Republicans of doing in one form or another.

Why is it judicial activism? Is it because the policies you supported were denied. Was their decision contrary to the Constitution?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@atl134

"This is one of the most blatant cases of judicial activism ever."

It's only judicial activism if conservatives don't agree with it. If they do, it is prudent and just.

Desert Monkey
Tucson, AZ

The Voting Rights Act isn't about voter ID's its about historic voter suppression. Any state subject to the act could "bail out" and be removed from the oversight program - all they had to do was show that for the last ten years they have not been suppressing voters rights. Quite a few States and counties have used the 'bail out' and are no longer subject to the law. That none of the states who have been barking that this law is onerous, outdated or overburdensome could prove they weren't supressing votes shows that the act was NOT outdated in the way SCOTUS applied it.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

As Judge Ruth Ginsburg said:
"Hubris is a fit word for today's demolition" of the law", Ginsburg said.

She said no one doubts that voting discrimination still exists. "But the court today terminates the remedy that proved to be best suited to block that discrimination,".

zoar63
Mesa, AZ

Should the Supreme Court hand down a decision tomorrow that favors same sex marriage The posters here who are condemning the court’s decision on voting rights, will be applauding the justices for standing up for the civil rights of same sex couples.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Unlike zoar, I think it's not crazy to disagree with one SCOTUS decision while opposing another. It's not a matter of white and black hats. The decision regarding voting rights, however, has some consequences that begin TODAY, with several states actually putting in force some measures that had passed their legislatures, but had NOT been activated pending federal approval. It's sadly apparent that they want it both ways: "We don't discriminate any more, but, thanks to SCOTUS, we can now discriminate again, starting today."

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