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Neil Gorsuch’s Alarming Relationship With A Serial Voting Rights Misinformer

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Neil Gorsuch’s Alarming Relationship With A Serial Voting Rights Misinformer

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Gorsuch and Trump

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Newly released emails from President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, evidence an amicable relationship between the judge and National Review contributor and discredited conservative media legal analyst Hans von Spakovsky. The relationship is a sign that Gorsuch could continue Trump’s assault on civil rights from the high court.

According to emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, first reported on by The Nation’s Ari Berman, Gorsuch’s communications with or about von Spakovsky paint a picture of their  friendly relationship. In 2005, Gorsuch wrote “Good for Hans” after then-President George W. Bush nominated von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission. In another email that year, Gorsuch praised von Spakovsky for participating in a Bush-era Justice Department conference on the election system at a time when “Though the Justice Department was supposed to investigate both voting discrimination and voter fraud, the latter cause took priority and eventually led to Republican US Attorneys’ being wrongly fired from their jobs for refusing to prosecute fraud cases,” as explained by Berman.

As Berman wrote, “the emails suggest Gorsuch was friendly with von Spakovksy. But it’s far more disturbing if Gorsuch shares Von Spakovsky’s views on voting rights.” As Berman previously pointed out, Gorsuch’s “paper trail on civil-rights cases is slim,” and little is known about his views on voting rights. However, this relationship with von Spakovsky does nothing to reassure voting and civil rights advocates.

Von Spakovsky is one of the leading conservative media misinformers on voting rights, frequently hyping the false narrative that voter fraud is widespread. In November, von Spakovsky and his frequent partner, John Fund, rehashed discredited evidence to fearmonger about noncitizen voting in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The op-ed was published even though noncitizen voting is incredibly rare and studies that claim otherwise have been found to be flawed. Von Spakovsky has also erroneously suggested that double voting is not only a problem, but that it could be solved by strict voter ID laws. In 2012, von Spakovsky and Fund wrote a book filled with lies about voting rights.

Von Spakovsky has used these lies to relentlessly advocate for unnecessarily strict voter ID laws across the nation, which have been shown to systematically disenfranchise voters, especially voters of color. To promote these laws, von Spakovsky has hyped myths and misleading details, claiming that the laws don’tlead to voter disenfranchisement and that they actually speed up the voting process. Additionally, von Spakovsky has also praised blatantly illegal voter suppression tactics.

While von Spakovsky is often held up as a conservative expert on voting rights, his talking points are incredibly misleading and discredited, and his tactics are shady. His apparent disdain for civil rights and access to justice is supported by more than just his disregard for half a century of progressive voting rights jurisprudence. He has called the modern civil rights movement “indistinguishable” from “segregationists.” Von Spakovsky also has been a proponent of forced arbitration clauses, which are when an “employee or consumer is required to waive their right to sue, to participate in a class action lawsuit, or to appeal.” Forced arbitration is terrible for consumers, and according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, gives less consumers eligibility for financial redress than they would have through class-action settlements.

Gorsuch’s friendly emails to and about von Spakovsky should trigger alarms among those who are worried about voting rights and civil rights in general. If confirmed, Gorsuch would be ruling on many of these issues from the bench. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 68 bills have been introduced in 2017 alone to restrict access to the ballot in 27 states — and Trump’s lies about the election and voter fraud are only paving the way for an even wider assault on voting rights. This is to say nothing of Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who has a record of being incredibly hostile toward civil rights, even calling the Voting Rights Act “intrusive.” If Gorsuch’s correspondence with von Spakovsky is any hint, access to basic rights and liberties may only get worse.

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17 Comments

  1. Godzilla March 20, 2017

    I’m positive not one Liberal can see the hypocrisy here, but just in case:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddf4be3f34515315c21ba62002d2898f66b211580a11092bbd07d316f341a552.jpg

    Reply
    1. ⚡️ I Am Helpy ⚡️ March 20, 2017

      OK thanks for sharing yet another Stormfront meme that someone else made, or whatever.

      Reply
    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 20, 2017

      You’re abnormally fascinated with the rear-end motifs. It’s quite a source of amusement to you and a source of concern for us in the rational world.
      Do what you feel is best.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2017

        Well Godzy would be fascinated with asses. After all, he is up Putin’s most of his life.

        Reply
        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 21, 2017

          Here! Here!
          Where? Where? Over at the Kremlin, licking Putin’s shoes is where we’ll find Godzy, and his friends waiting in line.

          Reply
    3. The lucky one March 21, 2017

      Oh, we all see your hypocrisy quite clearly, to be accurate you would have a picture of an elephant in the same position by the donkey’s side.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2017

        Godzilla is another of the Goosifer Putin robot trolls Putin floods all of the threads that Putin wants brainwashed into becoming Commies like Godzy. Godzilla is a paid Putin Ruskie troll.

        Reply
    4. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2017

      Hey Ruskie Comrade…Did you and Putzy decide yet what He will do with YOU after Trump goes to trial for treason? Because you know the groundswell of Americans who are demanding Trump’s ouster is now at 67%. That leaves Titfaces like you with no job. Better not think you can live off American Unemployment. Speak to Comrade Putzy for your unemployment.

      Reply
    5. FireBaron March 22, 2017

      Hey, ‘Zilla, nice self-portrait. Who took your picture for this? Box or one of your other alt-right amigos.

      Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 20, 2017

    Is there no end to the irrational transformations happening to the extremists on the Right? Every day reveals some fresh assault on the dignity of human beings, in one form or another, with as many variations as days in the year—and with each assault, the extremists become more distorted. The machinations conjured up by extremists are multiplying, many being morphs of a rigid attitude from the past—as though some dark force within impels right-wing extremists to think of new ways to torment others.

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila March 22, 2017

      I beg to differ on one issue. The six nations in Trump’s Muslim ban list share ideological convictions not too dissimilar to what drives some members of the GOP.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 22, 2017

        I believe, based on a variety of clues discerned from studying the resonses of society to change that the one ingredient that is common to the GOP and certain religious communities is “Conservatism” in its broadest sense. I’ll elaborate further up in this thread.

        Reply
  3. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2017

    First of all, the Democrats must delay this appointment of Gorsuch for no reason other than justifiable revenge. When Ted Cruz sat at the appointment review table of Gorsuch and started to include “people” who didn’t want Merrick, I thought I saw the BS running down his chin and out of his ears.

    This Canadian Texas sat there giving a 20 minute Republican ideological BS discourse to Gorsuch, who must have been getting more and more frustrated.

    The reality is that if Trump goes down for Treason, no appointments he has made or executive orders he has signed can be validated.

    It is time to teach the right wing Republicans they are NOT the voice of the “people” and only represent people in hick states they have dumbed down to the level of third graders.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 21, 2017

      Gorsuch, like so many other justices, has put himself in a bind. No matter what he says, his sense of Justice is thoroughly tainted by a rigid a priori assumption of how to apply justice—namely, mix in one’s political tendencies and preconceived notions with the pure essence of Justice. The result is no longer Justice, but an altered form, bitter and unsavory. Looks like Justice to the sight, but tastes quite differently.

      Reply
  4. yabbed March 21, 2017

    Demand your Senators vote NO on Gorsuch. He is not appropriate for the Supreme Court.

    Reply
  5. mazie.sanchez March 22, 2017

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  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 22, 2017

    I would like to add a perspective which I was motivated to bring up again as a result of an astute observation by “Dominick Villa”, as well as by responses from the rest of you who are light years ahead of Trump, the generality of the GOP, and a legion of others.

    First, one thing which the sponsors of terrorism and cyber-war, right-wing extremists of all stripes, the GOP in general, and ultra-nationalists share is a desire to maintain the status quo. This takes different forms: An intransigent resistance to social change; a rigid religious interpretation; the urge to enforce such rigid interpretation; and an inertia that once established in the social conscience forces one to always seek ways to maintain comfort, power, and influence.

    These qualities are seen as key to exerting influence, albeit ostensibly in a “democratic” setting. The latter is a convenient smokescreen for a far more insidious process of quietly incorporating an autocratic system outfitted in the garb of a “Distorted Democracy”—a variant of Democracy in its ideal form.

    The modern-day version of this conservative attitude is informed mainly by business, political, and religious entities. Whichever channel one seeks to insert this “conservative” approach, will result in the impasse in a new guise afflicting society and its decision-makers.

    Everything is so inextricably tied to Religion, or more accurately, the misinterpretation and distortion of religion. Politics didn’t proceed from a vacuum from out of nowhere, but is a logical extension of human societies to want to bring order. And that sense of order derives first and foremost via Religion, whose twin duties were, and are, to edify the hearts of humanity, and to provide for an stable society to channel the lofty sentiments which are bequeathed to all humans by Order and the Will of an unknowable Essence, commonly referred to as ‘God'(or ‘Allah’ in the Arabic tongue), whether one wishes to accept this or not.

    If we just casually look over the history of Religion and the history of human civilizations, we see that they appeared not all at once, but in a steady unerring progression. Each region of the planet which gradullay became inhabited had its own Messenger, most of whose records are either lost or were only transmitted orally. Those civilizations we are familiar with, all have some tie to a Religion—the civilizing influences in Egypt are associated with religious influence for that period; later, the contribution of “Jewish” influences, as a result of the influences of Abraham and Moses in the Levant, were felt by Greek philosophers, such as Plato, Socrates, Empedocles, Pythagoras, and others who had contacts via travel and commerce with influences derives as a result of the reviving forces released by the Mosaic Dispensation; Arabia was transformed from a degree of barbarism which was transformed as a result of the salubrious influences of Muhammad and His renewal of Religion by introducing what is commonly called “Islam”, which gradually made its way into Europe and transformed it to the point that it was able to step out of what is called the “Dark Ages”, jump-starting the then-dormant earlier Christian influences, resulting in an efflorescence called the Byzantine Empire. Up to that time, the notion of a university, algebra, and the hospital, were unknown until Muslim conquerors were able to bring enlightenment through the Iberian Peninsula(Moorish Spain/Portugal), through the Mediterranean regions via Sicily and Italy, and through the eastern regions of Byzantia.
    The Mongol Horde, by virtue of sacking Baghdad and other parts of the Muslim world, carried back to Asia the influences they received as a result of many Mongols becoming Muslims, who would carry the Islamic influence as far east as China, the southeast down to Indonesia eventually, and up into Russia and its dependencies.

    But in each phase of the inception of these Religious influences, we find the orthodox views(read “Conservative”) resistant to the changes required by each new Religion’s appearance: Pharoah’s rejection, that of the Pharisees and Saducees towards the Message of Jesus, the ruling merchants in Mecca contesting Muhammad, as well as long-established Jewish and Christian tribes in the Hijaz region of Arabia resisting the new Religion in its midst; the Church, both the Vatican and the Russian Orthodoxy refused to entertain the offers proffered by emissaries sent out by Muhammad to their respective courts, and the advances of the “Golden Horde(unfortunately with hostility and a zealotry which was opposed to the intent of Muhammad) were resisted by Russian Orthodox sentiments. These are examples of the incidents which have been well chronicled in the history books, and recounted extremely well on a different level in Surah 11 in the Qur’an, and even more clearly and eloquently in Baha’u’llah’s “The Kitab-i-Iqan”(‘Book of Certitude)—particularly in the first 30 pages
    of this volume.

    And so, today we have an effete political order in America concerned more with maintaining a status quo according to a materialist point of view centered on greed and power, even while trying to convince us that they are motivated by religious sentiments. Such sentiments are appallingly lacking, as any unbiased observer will immediately note, and directly are responsible for the turmoil which has been destabilizing America inexorably since its birth as a nation.

    Reply

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