Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Justice Department Declares War On The GOP’s War On Voting

Justice Department Declares War On The GOP’s War On Voting

In the weeks since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, Republicans in Texas and North Carolina have demonstrated exactly why the law, which requires “pre-clearance” of new election laws in specific states and counties that have historically discriminated against minority voters, is so necessary.

On the day the decision in Shelby v. Holder struck down Section 4 of the law — making the “pre-clearance” requirements of Section 5 useless — Texas attorney general Greg Abbott announced that he would move forward on actions that had previously been held up by the federal government.

“With today’s decision, the state’s voter ID law will take effect immediately,” Abbott said. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”

North Carolina Republicans topped off a season of passing some of the most extreme laws in the country with a voter suppression bill that The Nation‘s Ari Berman called the “worst in the nation.”

Now the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, has announced that they will support a lawsuit to reinstate “pre-clearance” in Texas for 10 years based on the state’s history of discrimination and the remaining sections of 1965’s Voting Rights Act. The department may also sue North Carolina if its new voter ID bill becomes law.

“Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the Court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to subject states to pre-clearance as necessary,” Holder said Thursday morning. “My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found.”

The DOJ was widely successful in stopping the widespread effort in Republican-controlled areas to limit voting by typically Democratic constituencies in 2012. Section 5 played a key role in its enforcement.

“Let me be clear,” Holder said. “This was a deeply disappointing and flawed decision. It dealt a serious setback to the cause of voting rights . . . And this is why protecting the fundamental right to vote — for all Americans — will continue to be a top priority for the Department of Justice so long as I have the privilege of serving as attorney general.”

Last year, a federal court found that Texas’ redistricting maps were “enacted with discriminatory purpose.”

The same week a court unanimously found that the state’s voter ID law discriminated against minorities for three reasons:

1) a substantial subgroup of Texas voters, many of whom are African American or Hispanic, lack photo ID; (2) the burdens associated with obtaining ID will weigh most heavily on the poor; and (3) racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.

It’s likely that a huge percentage of the 603,892 to 795,955 Latino voters in Texas who lacked voter ID in 2012 still do so in 2013, even though conservatives on the Supreme Court have decided that the Voting Rights Act formula that kept Texas under pre-clearance is no longer necessary.

Texas governor Rick Perry issued a statement condemning the Department of Justice’s actions.

“This end run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process,” Governor Perry said.

We’ll see if a court thinks those aspersions are so unfair.

Photo: edenpictures via Flickr.com

 

 

  • Lynda Groom

    At a time when the leadership of our nation should be doing all possible to increase voting, one portion is doing just the opposite. The more of our citizens who take part in the process the better for the future of the country. We need more people having a dog in the hunt…not less. People who vote tend to be more involved in the day to day of life of the nations health. Why so many want so many not to vote is shameful. Wishing the ‘other’ not voting is one thing, but setting up voting procedures designed to prohibit participation is shameful. We are suppose to be the leading democracy in the world and we have a dismal voting percentage. If one ideology is having problems gaining votes they should be working on correcting their problem with voters, not trying to reduce the number of voters.

    • charleo1

      Well said. I’m hoping by telling people in so many words, they can’t vote.
      They’ll do as thousands did last year, and do whatever it takes. The situation
      the GOP has, is they know they are having problems. But they are unable to change their policies. And, their base insists they disagree with everything the Dems propose. So, when your opposition has the better idea, the more popular idea, and, your base says you must disagree. Then, I guess the GOP figures their only hope is to gerrymander districts, suppress the vote, and lie, lie lie.

      • Mark Forsyth

        The gop is like the snake that is eating itself from the tail up.

        • Brent

          Wish it would EAT itself FASTER!

          • Mark Forsyth

            You and me both,Pal.

          • angelsinca

            Are you sure? Who would the DNC and this president blame for their failed social experiments, failed economy, failed business models, failed treasury, and failed voter support if their was no Republican party?

          • Mark Forsyth

            Blah,blah,blah! Go peddle your tbag/dirtbag clap trap bull shit somewhere else.Nobody here is buying it!

          • angelsinca

            Marky! Hope you have been well too. Good to see you still hanging onto to that sore loser anger toward the TEA Party. As Dominic acurately warned, while you are complacent in your blame-the-GOP mentality, those “tbag/vclaptraps’ will defeat you, again. Keep on hating. The distraction is appreciated.

          • Mark Forsyth

            angelboyo,I see you are employing the typical tbag/dirtbag use of convoluted thinking once again.Well,I guess when you have discarded logic and reason it sort of narrows your options.
            Sore loser anger? Really? I can’t imagine why you would say such a thing unless you’re engaged in some seriously gross projections.Seems we are making remarkable progress despite republican obstructionism.My complacency is non-existant,even when we’re winning.You see we are on to the strategy and have been mobilized since the last election.We hold no personal hate,we simply eschew your ideology.
            Please be careful with your mental gymnastics,they could be hazardous to your well being.What there is of it.

          • angelsinca

            Would love to sit and mindfu-k with you all day, but more important pursuits beckon than playing insult oneupsmanship. It isn’t necessary, or kind, or considerate, or productive. Good luck with the plan.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Whatever helps you sleep boyo.Nice try to take the high road,Your ilk can’t even find it.

          • GreginPottsville

            I agree. I wonder where these liberals find the time? I guess if you live in your parents basement waiting for that 6 figure job you so deserve, then yeah, there is time.
            I love your posts. Thanks.

          • RobertCHastings

            With the Republican out of the way, this country would be riding a crest of prosperity and renewed social justice and freedom unseen in generations. Interesting how you think everything is failing IN SPITE OF evidence to the contrary. It is also interesting that you have NOT noticed the flight of the middle class wealth into the pockets of the top 5% and the devastation this has caused to the middle class. You are so willing to believe that trickle-down will actually trickle down that you have failed to notice the dismal failure of this policy ever since Reagan instituted it. Once the Republicans reduced tax revenues by cutting rates and writing tax codes that favored the wealthy, this country’s debt has exploded, regardless of who is in the White House. Social Security and Medicare were both instituted on sound fiscal premises and SHOULD have been self-sustaining until hell freezes over. Even Republican presidents saw the need to increase FICA contributions due to lost revenues from reduced taxes (remember George H. W. Bush in 1992?).
            Failed social experiments – what are you referring to? Failed economy – who led us to the brink of collapse in 1929 AND in 2007 (let me give you a hint – both presidents at the time of those collapses were Republican). Failed business models- interesting hypothesis there – do you mean that the federal government created a business plan for American businesses to fail? Failed treasury – the US Treasury is STILL performing the functions it was Constitutionally mandated to perform. Failed voter support – another interesting hypothesis, but entirely baseless.

          • angelsinca

            Your crystal ball isn’t working very well. The ‘wave’ of prosperity would’ve been a sure thing with a better leader that was actually trying to fix the economy to encourage job growth instead of crafting political capital for the next war on [fill in the blank].

            Everything presented by this administration is causing societal distress. For example look at the phony wars on [fill in the blank, again]

            Being on the ‘brink of collapse’ is, after four years of demonstrated blaming & manuevering and failing, now only hollow rhetoric for blaming the GOP.

            Medicare and SS have been forecasted to go belly up for the past 30 years. It isn’t a new republican-led phenomenon. But, it still makes a convenient tool to pump out the rhetoric by both parties.

            Of course the gov’t didn’t plan for the businesses to fail. The Obama-steered subsidies were successful in propping the wrong products within the markets at the wrong time. He used poor models and flawed assumption to invest stimulus money into ‘preferred’ businesses like Solyndra. Multiple times, he has shown thru his own judgment that what he wants isn’t what the free market is ready to accept, much less the what the majority of Americans are willing to accept.

            Please do continue blaming the GOP. It keeps the dialog light and humorous.

          • RobertCHastings

            “Phony wars” must be referring to the two “phony wars” we are still involved in, Iraq and Afghanistan. Ask the soldiers who are deployed to those areas if they think they are “phony”; ask the soldiers who have returned from those wars if the think they are “phony”; as Congress and George W. Bush if they think those wars are “phony”. What “war” has Obama gotten us into in the past five years? Are we now engaged in any wars that we WEREN’T involved in prior to his nomination in 2009?
            IF we actually had an economy that operated as a free market, you just MIGHT have an argument. However, what we have is NOT a free market. Prices on consumer goods are not determined by what people are willing to pay. All to many goods, services and commodities are priced according to what the wealthy will allow. Even your paycheck is not capable of supporting you in the manner to which you have become accustomed, if you are a typical middle-class American. The debt you carry in relation to your income is today triple what it was thirty years ago. Your income has basically remained stagnant, and your purchasing power has done the same, while the cost of what you want has increased well beyond your ability to manage the difference. Thirty years ago any of us could have purchased a house and financed a car without putting ourselves into unmanageable debt – that is not the case today. While a major source of this economic disconnect the middle class faces falls directly on the Republican policy of trickle-down economics, both Dem and Rep are responsible for the policies of deregulation that led to rampant greed and speculation with no restraint that led to the collapse of 2007-2008. The US recovered from the Great Depression precisely because of the infusion of public monies into the economy during WWII, that led to a thirty year period off prosperity for all, even while the wealthy were STILL taxed at the top rate of 70%. We are unable to recover from the 2007-2008 collapse because the revenue is not there for the government to invest in the private sector, and the wealthy who have benefited inordinately from the tax policies of the past thirty years are unable and unwilling to invest in industry and creating jobs.

          • angelsinca

            “must be referring to the two “phony wars” we are still involved in, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

            No. Referring to the article’s use of ‘war on voters’. Alongside the wars on women, wealth, poor, drugs, blacks, and lbgt, this label seems a bit lacking in originality.

            “All to many goods, services and commodities are priced according to what the wealthy will allow.”

            I follow conventional supply & demand science. I try not to cloud the discussion with conspiracy theory.

            Sorry, ran out time to dedicate to your other points. Maybe next time. Thanks.

          • RobertCHastings

            Do you consider the war on drugs another phony war? Tactics used by conservatives in their attacks on the rights of women, LGBT, poor, etc. are really pretty much what the military uses in any war – propaganda to dehumanize the “enemy”. Romney’s infamous “47%” rant is a perfect example of what the Republicans say against groups that they basically don’t want to help. Every civilized country has a social safety net, programs that help the poor and needy, and assist all of us to gain a better life. Social Security and Medicare are not handouts, and the people who benefit from these programs are not beggars with their hands out. SNAP (food stamps) is a government program to provide food to the millions of people in this country who do not have enough, and portraying them as scam artists does not do the conversation any good. If you think Soc. Sec. and Medicare are scams or Ponzi schemes, by all means turn them down, even though you have been putting into your savings account for both of these programs since you began working.

          • Guest

            Paul L Edwards
            Realtor
            REMAX The Woodlands & Spring
            713.858.0470
            robertChastings you win the big prize! You know more that just ain’t so than all the other retarded Libtards on this phony propaganda site! I bet you didnt have much resistance self appointing yourself as the Grand Pooh bah of all “low information retards” everywhere! VIA THIS SITE. What is impressive is the straight path you tow all the Marxist double speak/newspeak. Your platitudes are perfectly structured and used, not only have you convinced yourself that ignorant catchall nonescence like “the rich are greedy and are robbing the middle class to buy more yachts” are profound and true but that because you’ve repeated this clap trap it makes you, RobertCChastingsdick an intellectual, part of the ruling class. You wrongly believe your smarter than others. Truth be known your just a petty little man who spent his life always looking with envy at anyone that had taken a risk and had been rewarded. RobertChastingsdick is one of these tiny minded union thug bully types that will watch an old lady pick a basket full of berries and then push her down and take the berries and claim she took them from him! And that she isnt old nor a women.RobertChesterdick is one of these self loathing haters/racist that won’t hesitate to project his lack of character on anyone that won’t support his parasitic lifestyle. For example if a black family has rejected the race hustlers and poverty pimps aka al shapton or Jessie Jackson and makes it into the middle class having bypassed victim status in lieu of loving there neighbor, hard work, honesty and most importantly a strong nuclear family with a mother and a father. RobertchastingsDick calls the father of this family an “Uncle Tom”. DISGUSTING , IGNORANT AND HATEFUL. PEOPLE like this want to demonize, no, he wants to DESTROY anyone that would dare take risks and possibly profit and succeed but not want to hand it over to the many narrow selfish people like him that are convince fairness means they get someone else’s property, or, something for nothing.
            All the phony, ignorant platitudes used by Barack Hussein Obama or an equally small minded man like RonertChesterfieldDick to describe the producers in this country is no more than an extravagant manipulation to get something unearned and undeserved. If someone needs help, ask. If you want to donate your time and or money to a charity do that. Most Americans would give the shirt off there back to help someone in need. RobertCherfieldDick and Hussein Obama want to take my shirt. To that I say, COME TAKE IT.

          • P`tar

            Nice how you post as guest then up vote your own article.

          • paulledwards

            robertChastings you win the big prize! You know more that just ain’t so than all the other retarded Libtards on this phony propaganda site! I bet you didnt have much resistance self appointing yourself as the Grand Pooh bah of all “low information retards” everywhere! VIA THIS SITE. What is impressive is the straight path you tow all the Marxist double speak/newspeak. Your platitudes are perfectly structured and used, not only have you convinced yourself that ignorant catchall nonescence like “the rich are greedy and are robbing the middle class to buy more yachts” are profound and true but that because you’ve repeated this clap trap it makes you, RobertCChastingsdick an intellectual, part of the ruling class. You wrongly believe your smarter than others. Truth be known your just a petty little man who spent his life always looking with envy at anyone that had taken a risk and had been rewarded. RobertChastingsdick is one of these tiny minded union thug bully types that will watch an old lady pick a basket full of berries and then push her down and take the berries and claim she took them from him! And that she isnt old nor a women.RobertChesterdick is one of these self loathing haters/racist that won’t hesitate to project his lack of character on anyone that won’t support his parasitic lifestyle. For example if a black family has rejected the race hustlers and poverty pimps aka al shapton or Jessie Jackson and makes it into the middle class having bypassed victim status in lieu of loving there neighbor, hard work, honesty and most importantly a strong nuclear family with a mother and a father. RobertchastingsDick calls the father of this family an “Uncle Tom”. DISGUSTING , IGNORANT AND HATEFUL. PEOPLE like this want to demonize, no, he wants to DESTROY anyone that would dare take risks and possibly profit and succeed but not want to hand it over to the many narrow selfish people like him that are convince fairness means they get someone else’s property, or, something for nothing.
            All the phony, ignorant platitudes used by Barack Hussein Obama or an equally small minded man like RonertChesterfieldDick to describe the producers in this country is no more than an extravagant manipulation to get something unearned and undeserved. If someone needs help, ask. If you want to donate your time and or money to a charity do that. Most Americans would give the shirt off there back to help someone in need. RobertCherfieldDick and Hussein Obama want to take my shirt. To that I say, COME TAKE IT.

          • RobertCHastings

            Thanks for your vituperation. Such a reaction means I must be doing something right.

          • RobertCHastings

            Much more can be accomplished through a reasoned argument than through your current attempts at poorly concealed anger. I don’t know why you are so angry at me, personally. Just because our political philosophies differ so greatly? I must assume you are a Tea Partier due to your insistence on your sole claim on rightness.

          • highpckts

            Oh c’mon! You can do better than that!!

      • Allan Richardson

        The challenge is for Democrats to raise enough money and get enough volunteers (since we have fewer billionaires on our side). Not to run ads on TV, but to locate and assist minority, poor, and invalids in getting all the new ID’s needed, and get to the polls within the restricted hours the GOP will specify. We may need volunteer assistants to put elderly voters from nursing homes in ambulances, take them to the vital statistics offices, care for them while they wait in line, and take them home, possibly several times each. It may cost some voters THOUSANDS to get their right to vote BACK, and in some cases it may be IMPOSSIBLE due to lost records and documents (in some cases, ancestry.com may be needed to rebuild birth records). We will also have to have volunteers at the polls to watch the vigilante poll watchers who will challenge EVERY liberal-looking voter who shows up. And we will have to be able to raise a scene if they try to lock voters out of a deliberately understaffed and under-resourced precinct after standing in line all day (NC is passing a new law that FORCES polls to close no more than one hour late, REGARDLESS of how many people have been in line since before the normal closing time, and guess which precincts will have the slowest service?).

        We are at a disadvantage on the money issue, so everyone who CAN afford to fund pre-emptive voting rights protection activities should give what they can, and the Party should set up the machinery NOW to assist in completing “problem registrations” and getting out the vote NEXT year, when the House, a third of the Senate, state houses and governors are being chosen. Otherwise the 2016 Presidential election will be rigged to elect an extreme Republican, who will then make sure it was our LAST election.

        • angelsinca

          As a republican, I wanted tovote last election but was discoured by the liberal democrats in CA that have succeeded in making the voting process here hugely complicated, excessively expensive and legally challenging. It discouraged me from voting last November. Maybe that was the idea. Wait a minute…

          • rkief

            Ha,ha, and Ha!

    • Independent1

      It looks like Texas having the lowest percentage of its residents that vote is not by accident or coincidence – it’s by the design and intent of Rick Perry and his cronies running the Texas government; they know that restricting the vote is the only way they can stay in power. When you’re running a state that by many measures looks like a 3rd world country – I guess having 3rd world voting rights just fits right into the agenda.

    • angelsinca

      It seems you don’t really want more people to vote as much as you just want more Democrat votes.

      • RobertCHastings

        Total non sequitur. Voter suppression as practiced by the Texas legislature and governor prevents BOTH Democrat and Republican voters from voting – Democrats do NOT have a stranglehold on the loyalty of ANY minority, and your assumption thereof indicates your ignorance and your prejudice.

    • RobertCHastings

      Forty years or so ago, the turnout for presidential elections was at least 15% higher than it is now, and conservatives want to export this brand of democracy. It has been a while since America had more than 60% turnout on election day, and we typically do much worse on the mid-term elections. No wonder we commiserate about our lot in life when we have willingly surrendered our freedoms.

  • FT66

    Voting should be encouraged and not discouraged. And go as far as begging people to go and vote. Let each and every individual exercise their democracy. We can’t sing every day that there is democracy in the country while its citizens are denied to practised it. Some will say we want to prove those who are voting are eligible to vote. Well and good, if you have doubts about their citizenship, then work on immigration reform and make sure that you have people who are supposed to belong to the country, who can participate in the country’s activities including voting.

    • angelsinca

      Do you have ANY actual examples where voting has been ‘discouraged’ or democracy denied?

      • RobertCHastings

        The Brennan Institute (founded by former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan has recently published their study of this very issue. If you can find it, maybe you should read it. Although I doubt that it would serve to enlighten you, maybe it will serve to shut you up.

        • angelsinca

          Thanks for the recommendation. If you are unable to provide evidence of systemic voter prevention other than a phony ‘war on voters’, wasted words won’t convince. No thanks for the unnecessary insult. Being a jerk is so pedestrian.

          • RobertCHastings

            Before you engage in name-calling, read your own posts. Nothing like the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Mark Forsyth

    We know what Perry wants to preserve but it is not the “Integrity” of the election process.The priviledge and arrogance of willful ignorance is his domain.

  • Lovefacts

    The DOJ has a lot to work with when it comes to Texas, not to mention NC and others. Texas’ reapportionment and creation of voting precincts has gone over the line. They have one all white precinct with under 10K voters sharing a border with another black and Hispanic one of 65K. Oh, and both precincts has the same number of voting places and machines. And Texas claims it isn’t suppressing the vote. If you believe that, I have some swampland in Arizona to sell you.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Tell ya what, I’ll trade you land. I got “Ocean-front” property in Montana:)

      • Mark Forsyth

        I hear that there are some republican built bridges to nowhere available for sale.

    • angelsinca

      The DOJ is busy. Eespecially since they seem to waste all that energy on battling/ignoring/opposing decisions by the SCOTUS.

      • RobertCHastings

        You apparently concur with some of the most egregious and heinous decisions handed down by SCOTUS over that past century. Citizens United granted “personhood” to corporations, DOMA was found to be unconstitutional which should enrage you (considering your apparent mindset), their decision on the Voting Rights Act was just plain stupid, which should fit you to a T.

        • angelsinca

          We trust the SCUTOS to ensure the law is consitutional. Reasonable citizens have the duty to accept the rulings by not disparaging their role because of ideological differences. I accept their reasoned rulings, whether I agree with them or not, despite your false claim. It isn’t necessary to be an asshole toward those you are unable to communicate with. THIS is why republicans won’t work with your president or your kind. Smarten up dummy.

          • RobertCHastings

            Apparently you ARE a typical Republican – totally unwilling to exercise your Constitutional right to disagree with your government. Since you see no vestiges of a racism you feel has vanished, of course you will feel that the SCOTUS action on the Voting Rights Act is just fine. And even though corporations cannot be issued birth certificates or citizenship papers, driver licenses, etc., you have no issue with the Supreme Court granting them personhood through the Citizens United decision, possibly because it is the best way for an obviously minority party to introduce large sums of soft money into elections. You really don’t like to do much thinking, do you?

  • angelsinca

    For being peace-loving, Democrats sure like claiming a new war at every issue. Now, we have liberals claiming war on another supposed Republican war. Blame gets more creative everyday.

    • Mark Forsyth

      Well,we certainly have been enjoying your creativity,contortions,and mental gymnastics.You never cease to amaze us with the ridiculous.

  • RobertCHastings

    Once again, the conservatives on the Supreme Court have struck a blow for racism and repression, and have encouraged legislatures around the country to pursue the conservative agenda of controlling the electoral process by denying huge swaths of citizens their Constitutional right to vote. North Carolina, in spite of being a part of the Old South, was, at one time, almost progressive. They had the first state university, they WERE renowned around the country for their roads due to the efforts of forward looking moderates in the 1930’s AND 1940’S. However, overshadowing these good things is the resurgence of racism and a continuance of decades-long efforts to suppress minorities, especially blacks. I wish all luck and good will to Attorney General Eric Holder in his efforts to bring the South into the 21st century.

  • paulledwards

    The Political Left in this country is the epitome of what it means to be a “low information voter”. Of course the Left doesn’t want voters to have to show ID to vote! Of course the left wants anyone to be able to register to vote, citizen or not, legal or not, english or not. Literate or not. On the dole or not. In jail or not. A convicted felon or not. Of course the left wants all these people to vote AND to not be able to verify if they voted again and again and again. And dead people vote. The left wants these categories of people to vote because these are the Lefts Constituents, or there voters! Well Hell the left wants to vote multiple times on behalf of these voters because by gosh that’s what they themselves intended to do! But it’s only illegal to do these things if the right does it. Who’s going to win this battle, the crack heads or the store owners? The takers or the makers? Those from third world country’s that can’t speak or read English or the high school graduate that works in the family business? Good and decent and honest hard working Americans or the hateful thieving left that want the USA as it is destroyed and remade as a collectivist, Marxist, socialist, redistribution scheme? We shall see! COME TAKE IT!

  • paulledwards

    John Henry is is a phony! That’s right he’s a made up profile attempting to portray himself as an old white pig that hates himself for not being a protected class! He’s just an evil white guy! BS! You are a political hack that is trying to keep the water muddy and confuse other phony’s like Kenneth Heffley and Phony Collen Klemp

  • paulledwards

    Colleen Klempett, how disgustingly vile evil and tyrannical do you have to be to wish for the full force of the Obama Political machine to come after a governor of a state and destroy him because you disagree with his free market policy’s. it is because there are humans like you that would commit such an illegal and unjust act against God that you leftist pigs will never infringe on our right of self defense. Come TAKE IT”