Shelby County v. Holder: Inflammatory Rhetoric, Biased Reporting, Irresponsible Hyperbole

 

The Supreme Court rules that it's not 1965 any more. The Horror....

The Supreme Court rules that it’s not 1965 any more. The Horror….

Sometimes one would think that the left-tilted media and the race-grievance industry is conspiring to divide America. Sometimes, one would be right, and such a time was the disgraceful and misleading reporting of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, followed by apocalyptic and fear-mongering cries of outrage from Democrats, whose characterization of both the decision and its meaning were not just wrong, but dishonest and irresponsible.

The decision did not “gut” the 1965 Voting Rights Act as several news sources stated, nor strike at the “heart” of it, as the New York Times, editorializing in its headline, told readers (quoting Bill and Hillary Clinton), nor  did the Supreme Court “reset” the “voting rights fight,” as USA Today headlined the decision. There is no dispute, or “fight,” over whether minorities should have the right to vote (Really, really unethical headline, USA Today…)  Nor did the ruling “turn back the clock,” as multiple critics claimed. The latter was an especially Orwellian description, given that what the decision really did was insist that a clock that had been stopped for 40 years finally be set to reflect the passage of time.

The majority opinion in the case made the hardly unreasonable argument that taking away a state’s right to govern itself based on the presumption that the state has a racist proclivity to disenfranchise minority voters is a significant breach of state sovereignty, and such an incursion ought to be based on something more accurate than 40 year-old data and incidents occurring even earlier. The Court told Congress that its map of such states subject to “pre-clearance,” including such hotbeds of discrimination as Alaska, Arizona, Florida and parts of New York and California, needed to be redrawn and updated by Congress, which had lazily reauthorized the old map as it had been for decacdes when the 1965 law was reauthorized in 2006. It did this despite such obvious changes as what was evident in Mississippi, where only 6.7% of blacks were registered to vote in 1965 (as compared to 70% of whites), and today the percentage of registered African-Americans exceeds the percentage of whites. In 1965, that segregationist and racist motives were rampant in the South was undeniable, and it is equally undeniable that the prevailing culture in those states has changed dramatically for the better. Yet partisans, civil rights entrepreneurs and race-baiters think that it we are obligated to pretend it is 1965 forever.

The news reporting of the decision was astonishingly misleading and politicized, even for the sadly diminished US media. As attorney Jonathan Adler noted on the Volokh Conspiracy, referring to an earlier decision, “What is it about civil rights cases that causes otherwise sensible reporters and commentators to lose their senses?” The media’s hysteria was nothing, however, compared to Democrats and the left’s columnists. “The Supreme Court has stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act,” wrote Rep. John Lewis. Irresponsible and dishonest. Nothing in the decision diminishes voting rights in any way. MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, predictably, engaged in outright misrepresentation, saying, “This is a devastating blow to Americans, particularly African-Americans, who are now at the mercy of state governments. Given last year’s attempts by states to change voting rules, it is absurd to say that we do not need these protections.”  “At the mercy of state governments, “ says Al, as if blacks don’t have exactly the same legal remedies available as I do. And those efforts to change voting rules were the dastardly attempts to require voters to prove who they were before voting—a requirement that is neither unreasonable nor presumptively biased.

You know that the most vociferous critics of the ruling have a weak case, because the attacks have been rooted in nostalgia and appeals to emotion. Even Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, read from the bench, seemed to argue that because a law was bravely fought for by activists and did its job well, it is blasphemy to acknowledge that it is now out of date. Post columnist Dana Milbank issued a jaw-dropping argument that the majority’s opinion was offensive because it arrived as the 50th anniversary of Rev. King’s “I have a dream” speech approached. So now the Supreme Court is supposed to decide the law of the land with regard to whether or not their decision aligns well with anniversaries, and is insensitive and biased if it does not. This nonsense is what qualifies for op-ed prominence in today’s Washington Post.

Read between the lines of the over-the-top accusations, and the real reason for the alarm is clear. Of course the map of states and regions requiring judicial “pre-clearance” for changes in voting regulations needs to be updated (and reduced); the problem is that a Congress so poisonously divided—and dominated by hyper-partisan combatants like Nancy Pelosi, who issued her own absurdly inaccurate condemnation of the ruling—appears incapable of agreeing on a fair map that would remove the Court’s objection to Section 5 of the Act as it is currently being enforced. That’s right: the Supreme Court is expected to tolerate an obviously outdated and unfair provision that robs states of their right to govern themselves because Congress is dysfunctional, and the President is incapable of leadership.

That is not the Court’s job. Neither is it the job of journalists and elected officials to try to divide the country by falsely telling African-Americans that racism is as widespread and deeply rooted at it was half a century ago, and only the looming authority of the Feds keeps the US from sliding back to the era of literacy tests and Jim Crow.

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Sources: Daily Caller, Washington Post 1, 2

Graphic: Sergent.com

98 thoughts on “Shelby County v. Holder: Inflammatory Rhetoric, Biased Reporting, Irresponsible Hyperbole

  1. Your whole argument is as biased, hyperbolic, dishonest and misleading as those you railed against. Congress did renew the act in 2006 after reviewing over 15,000 pages of discriminatory acts in said states. Obviously, from your perched, you haven’t noticed GOP dominated state legislatures trying to suppress voter participation by minorities. I’ve read your rationalizations and it’s all lawyer doublespeak and excuses as from those harboring racial animus.

    • The Court warned Congress that the map was out of date. There was no Congressional finding that the states on the list hadn’t changed—for political reasons (and cowardice) it just punted. The Court warned it four years ago that the map was out of date, and Congress did nothing. (And if you believe Congress reviewed 15,000 pages of anything, you need to be protected from Nigerian Princes.)

      And no, I haven’t noticed, because voter IDs have long been approved as reasonable, and a partisan and politicized Justice Department led an attack on a reasonable measure to score political points with gullible voters in an election season.

      You don’t get to accuse me of rationalizations and doublespeak without specifying and defending your position. States’ cultures haven’t changed since 1964? Knocking down this provision pending responsible Congressional review DOES gut the Act? Alaska, California and Arizona are hotbeds of racism? Bull Connor still runs amuck? Those headlines weren’t misleading? Al Sharpton isn’t a flagrant race-baiter? The arguments based on how hard activists worked for the 1965 Act aren’t emotional and irrelevant?

      Your assignment: Make a case, or be quiet.

  2. The egregiousness of efforts to disenfranchise black voters prior to 1965 leads me to believe we ought to err on the side of caution, rather than assuming that what progress we’ve made means the protections of the VRA aren’t needed. A 40 year wait does not seem long enough. The occasional racist lunacy, almost invariably coming from the same political party seeking to new restrictions (some admittedly sensible) at the polls, further supports my sense that the court is not being sufficiently cautious.
    You may find Lewis’s remarks “irresponsible and dishonest,” but I would respectfully submit that he’s had more facetime with race-based disenfranchisement than you have. His experience, however emotionally expressed, can be part of a reasonable consideration of a decision that does indeed set the clock back. That’s what nullifying an old law does. We are assuming that a culture, changed dramatically from 1965, can provide the same securities that necessitated a breach of state sovreignity. In my view 1965 isn’t that long ago.

    • Please, show me how Section 2 of the VRA doesn’t do the things you are saying the law no longer does.

      You speak of “occasional racist lunacy”, ignoring the nearly unending racist vitriol directed at black Republicans.

      Republicans PASSED the Civil Rights Act, and the Voters Rights Act, AND the 13th Amendment. They elected the first blacks into congress MANY DECADES before Democrats elected even one.

      And somehow THEY are the racists. Sure. Whatever, sparky…

    • “The egregiousness of efforts to disenfranchise black voters prior to 1965 leads me to believe we ought to err on the side of caution, rather than assuming that what progress we’ve made means the protections of the VRA aren’t needed.”

      Ok, so erring on the side of caution can be used to assume we ought to enforce the upon ALL the states that which has been so far relegated to a few.

      “A 40 year wait does not seem long enough. The occasional racist lunacy, almost invariably coming from the same political party seeking to new restrictions (some admittedly sensible) at the polls, further supports my sense that the court is not being sufficiently cautious.”

      I believe ABM above handled that well.

      “You may find Lewis’s remarks “irresponsible and dishonest,” but I would respectfully submit that he’s had more facetime with race-based disenfranchisement than you have. His experience, however emotionally expressed,”

      Appeal to authority, in this case an authority using emotion and not reason. Flawed argument.

      “…can be part of a reasonable consideration of a decision that does indeed set the clock back. That’s what nullifying an old law does…”

      Nullifying the law will not suddenly bring all the states into question back into the cultural mindset that was held when the law was passed to combat that mindset. So no, it doesn’t ‘set the clock back’.

      “We are assuming that a culture, changed dramatically from 1965, can provide the same securities that necessitated a breach of state sovreignity. In my view 1965 isn’t that long ago.”

      Then your view is limited or blinded.

      • Everyone’s view is limited, which is why John Lewis’s experience is no more irrelevant to the conversation than mine. Neither is the experience of black Republicans. I would in fact be for a fair weighing of what black Republicans go through versus what the rest of black America has gone through, and to weigh those views accordingly.
        Yes, Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Act both. And then stuff happened after 1965. Stuff which changed the demographics of, among other things, the Republican party. Stuff which in my view – limited, like that of all y’all – means the act should have been upheld.

        • You have yet to give an actual example that proves your assertion that a) Republicans are racist and b) that the voiding of Section 4 does anything besides reduce the ability of the Federal Government to host a state’s sovereignty hostage or c) this will in any way reduce the ability for minority voters to, you know, vote.

          • a) I didn’t say that Republicans were racist. I said that occasional bursts of racist lunacy often come from members of a party that seeks new voting restrictions. Which means that we can’t dismiss that some of these restrictions could have a racial component to them. Both parties want more of their own, and less of the other guy’s, to vote.

            b) the voiding of 4 means that states can pass stricter restrictions with their new unfettered sovereignity. This sovreignity allowed for racial voting restrictions in the past. It’s not impossible to think it could happen forty years later.

            c) It depends what restrictions are put in place and the real-world applications of them. Recent history (ie the 1960s) has shown that these restrictions were put in place specifically to reduce minority voting. Assuming that it could never happen again seems as foolhardy as assuming it definitely will. I for one would err on the side of caution.

            • I didn’t say that Republicans were racist. I said that occasional bursts of racist lunacy often come from members of a party that seeks new voting restrictions. Which means that we can’t dismiss that some of these restrictions could have a racial component to them. Both parties want more of their own, and less of the other guy’s, to vote.

              So yeah, you were calling Republicans racist. Own it or don’t say it, Sparky.

              the voiding of 4 means that states can pass stricter restrictions with their new unfettered sovereignity. This sovreignity allowed for racial voting restrictions in the past. It’s not impossible to think it could happen forty years later.

              And yet Sections 1 and 2 still exist, so no it couldn’t happen because 40 years ago they didn’t exist meaning there was no check.

              It depends what restrictions are put in place and the real-world applications of them. Recent history (ie the 1960s) has shown that these restrictions were put in place specifically to reduce minority voting. Assuming that it could never happen again seems as foolhardy as assuming it definitely will. I for one would err on the side of caution.

              First off, it isn’t “recent”. the 60’s are over half a decade past. That ain’t recent. FFS, we haven’t gone to the moon for over 40 years. Second, your “err on the side of caution” is a reworking of “if it saves just one child” and is the last refuge of a complete twat. By your logic ALL STATES should be under Section 4. And really, “these restrictions” you are talking about aren’t even remotely what are being suggested and implemented today. Photo ID is not a poll tax, it isn’t a literacy test (though honestly if you can’t read how the fuck are you informed enough of a voter to cast an informed vote), and it isn’t groups of people standing in front of a polling place preventing a certain race from entering.

              Because that kind of shit is what Democrats do now.

              • I never said Republicans are racists. I said some racists are Republicans. Maybe that makes it clearer to you.
                It’s true nobody has a literacy test. But there’s nothing stopping them from doing so. In fact you appear to be amenable to the idea.
                I’m old enough to remember when erring on the side of caution was basically the definition of conservative thought. Or maybe I’m not so old – if the 60s are “over half a decade past!”

                • But there’s nothing stopping them from doing so.

                  Except for Sections 1 and 2 of the VRA. Which you seem dead-set on pretending doesn’t fucking exist anymore.

                  I’m old enough to remember when erring on the side of caution was basically the definition of conservative thought.

                  So we should ban all swimming pools and hot dogs because doing so is the more cautious option when attempting to protect kids?

                  • A literacy test isn’t made illegal by Sections 1 and 2, but if a literacy test were applied racially at the polls – as some were back in the day – there could only be a challenge after election day. You know, after the votes were counted.

                    I’m in favor of paying for lifeguards at my community pool. You know, just in case.

                    • A literacy test isn’t made illegal by Sections 1 and 2, but if a literacy test were applied racially at the polls – as some were back in the day – there could only be a challenge after election day

                      Do you not know how laws work? They can’t just throw a literacy test at the poll without passing a law beforehand, and as such it would then be open to challenge. You know, before election day.

                      I’m in favor of paying for lifeguards at my community pool. You know, just in case.

                      But private pools!!! People have to hire lifeguards for their pools at home, if we’re being properly cautious…

                    • Hmm, not letting me reply below you.

                      >>Do you not know how laws work? They can’t just throw a literacy test at the poll without passing a law beforehand, and as such it would then be open to challenge. You know, before election day.

                      Do you know how disenfranchisement works? You pass a law for a literacy test, which is legal, and apply it disproportionally, which is illegal, and then it’s not challenged until the election is over.

                      >>But private pools!!! People have to hire lifeguards for their pools at home, if we’re being properly cautious…
                      Yeah, so at a private pool I make sure my kids have adult supervision. Even if it’s me with a margarita in my hand.

                    • You pass a law for a literacy test, which is legal, and apply it disproportionally, which is illegal,

                      That would trigger an emergency injunction halting the entire use of the test. It would last MAYBE two hours. Tops. The damage would be incredibly minimal, and certainly not any greater that what happened at the polling places in Philadelphia in 2012.

                      So no, apparently you don’t know how that law works.

                    • >>That would trigger an emergency injunction halting the entire use of the test. It would last MAYBE two hours. Tops.

                      That’s an optimistic scenario, to put it mildly. It’s why I favor caution. Time will tell.

                    • Hardly. Injunctions on Election Day are frequent, especially these days.

                      Look, just admit that you don’t like the idea of stopping voter fraud because it benefits your side. It’s OK… I mean, we all can see from your earlier comments that that is your concern – that the government won’t have the ability to prevent measures that help secure the integrity of the vote…

                    • I’m against voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement. One of them has a much longer, larger and much more well-documented history in this country. But that was – what did you say – over half a decade ago.

                    • One of them has a much longer, larger and much more well-documented history in this country

                      You’re right… Voter fraud was a hallmark of NYC politics for ages, back towards the Civil War, and lord knows that Chicago is famous for it…

                      Oh, wait, were you trying to prove the other thing? Shit, my bad Skippy…

                    • Denying groups of people an opportunity vote has had a much more profound historic effect – at least in America, which is what we’re talking about – than voter fraud. Consider, say, elections that barred women from voting.

                    • Denying groups of people an opportunity vote has had a much more profound historic effect – at least in America, which is what we’re talking about – than voter fraud.

                      Yes, and it was Democrats in the South that were preventing blacks from voting. Again, we’re back to your side being the ones with the problem.

                      Consider, say, elections that barred women from voting.

                      You mean when they couldn’t legally vote? Really? You’re counting when women couldn’t legally vote at all as “preventing from voting”?

                      Seriously, are you always this fucking stupid?

                    • >Yes, and it was Democrats in the South that were preventing blacks from voting. Again, we’re back to your side being the ones with the problem.

                      The Democrats aren’t “my side.” I’d keep an eye on them as much as I would the Republicans, or the Greens or Libertarians for that matter. Do you think the DOJ will always favor Democrats? That’s an odd view.

                      And re: women voting, absolutely. When it was illegal they were disenfranchised. And the battle against suffrage was a movement to disenfranchise a set of voters.

                    • “Disenfranchise” is to deprive someone of the right to vote. Women were disenfranchised by the American government until 1920. Unless, you know, you think rights are granted by the federal government.

                    • Hey Greg–I enjoy your participation here, but I just noticed your fake e-mail. You have til the end of the day tomorrow to send me via private email 1) your real name and 2) a genuine e-mail address. Sorry, that’s non-negotiable, and it in fact IS my business, because it’s my site, ethics is my business, and I think anonymous comments are unethical in most circumstances. I don’t give out any names or contact info, but I insist that I know how to contact anyone who comments here, if only to tell them to shape up.

          • Best response I’ve seen to the charge that the Republicans had a big ‘switch’ that all the racists went running to:

            The deepest parts of the south – Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama – were the most racist, correct? Places like Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia were less racist. So If the Republican party suddenly started send secret coded messages welcoming the racists, then the most racist areass would have been first to start voting republican. If, instead, it was a shift motivated by factors other than racism, then the most racist areas would have been the slowest to change their voting habits.

            Florida, texas, North Carolina, Tennesee, and Virginia were the first to make the switch. So. Hotbeds of racists, frothing at the mouth to join up with the hated enemy that foisted foul integration upon them, or gradually changing electorate?

            • I’ve never heard the narrative that Republicans attracted racists. No mainstream political party would try to attract racists. I’ve only heard that blacks abandoned the Republican party. If you were a racist, you’d likely join the party that was whitest.

  3. “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

    I agree that this decision doesn’t “gut” the Voting Rights Act, the DOJ still has the power to act — now it just has to do it after the fact. But read Section 2 above. Congress has the power to enact appropriate legislation — it doesn’t have to be perfect legislation. I think this was overreaching was the Court.

      • It’s not the Court’s job to second guess every piece of legislation. Such rulings can harm conservatives as much as liberals, so don’t cheer too loudly.

          • DOMA was unconstitutional the day it was passed — the same is not true for the Voting Rights Act. Ridiculous example.

            • It was Constitutional for over 17 years. Does length of time a law exists make it more Constitutional?

              You said it isn’t the government’s job to second guess legislation, so which is it? Should it or shouldn’t it?

              Or should the Supreme Court only second-guess laws you don’t like?

              • It wasn’t constitutional for the last 17 years — it just wasn’t overturned. That’s an important difference. In any event, if you read my earlier posts, I don’t disagree that the VRA needed to be altered. I just think the Court erred in its reasoning. The law might be outdated, but it’s not unconstitutional.

                    • “Courts are wrong when they disagree with me, but they are right when they agree with me.”

                      Another classic, Tex, thanks! I just might put that one on my wall.

                      We have to be cautious though, because it would be very easy to trip and fall with:

                      “Laws are wrong when I disagree with them, but they are right when I agree with them.”

                      Of course, there will always be “leaders,” “courts,” and “judges,” who will act just like that, toward laws…and toward the people to whom the laws ostensibly apply.

                • Beth, that only makes sense if you don’t believe that a state is empowered under the Constitution to govern itself unless there are extraordinary, CURRENT conditions dictating Congressional interference under the 14th amendment. But that is still the better and more reasonable view. Taking away a state’s—and a state’s citizenry—ability to make its own laws is too great an incursion to rely on 40 year-old data…that’s really the ruling. I don’t understand, frankly, how anyone can reasonably disagree with that reasoning.

                  • There is more recent data Jack. In any event, I think the 15th A. language is pretty clear. BUT, as I said earlier, this just means that the DOJ will have to beef up enforcement. I’m not that concerned.

                    • There is more recent data, and Congress had and has access to it, but “chose” as in “default”, to pretend that it didn’t warrant any actual changes in the map. That wasn’t credible, and wasn’t fair. It was just incompetent, lazy, and cowardly (being afraid to oppose pro forma re-authorization of the act rather than stand up for necessary changes, and thus become a target of the Sharptons and Pelosis.)

        • It’s the court’s job to ‘second guess’ legislation if a viable suit regarding the legislation is brought before it.

          Sort of like what happened in Shelby county v Holder.

        • When legislation has the effect of removing an entire state’s populace’s right of self-government as opposed to other states, based on invalid or outdated assumptions and data, that is obviously a justification for Supreme Court review. Yesterday USA Today’s argument for not altering Section 5 was, “It has worked.” Quiz: what’s the matter with that argument?

          • Conservatism* for conservatism*’s sake.

            Not conservatism as in the ‘right leaning political platform’, but conservatism as in “It worked for granpappy, it worked for pappy, So Dammit, it’s gonna work for us”

            Also it bears a slight resemblance to consequentialism

                • Consequentialism is justifying an act as ethical based on how the final results turn out. The end justify the means is prospective, arguing that a result is so desirable that it justifies any action, no matter how unjust, that will make it occur. Under consequentialism, that act would become unethical only after the desired result DIDN’T occur. The extreme utilitarian would argue that the act was still ethical, because the desired results were a reasonably likely alternative, and worth the risk of failure.

                  The two are closely related, obviously.

  4. now it just has to do it after the fact

    And has to make a valid argument to even start the case, instead of forcing the states to slap their stupidity down. Requiring someone to show their ID doesn’t prevent anyone from voting, except in the cases where they try to vote as people they aren’t.

  5. Unless, of course, they don’t have an ID. Or the poll worker says he thinks the ID looks funny to him. I wonder if that could ever happen to, say, a black guy in Alabama. We could ask a black guy who is from Alabama. Like John Lewis.

    • You are aware that both parties watch polling places, right? That such a stunt would trigger an injunction?

      Well, both parties watch the polls, unless you are in Philadelphia, in which case they will do their best to keep the Republican poll watchers out – by force if needed.

      The only side that flaunts election law is yours, Skippy.

      Just admit that your problem with this is the fact that it might reduce your side’s ability to do so. It isn’t like it isn’t obvious, so you might as well own it.

      • All political parties regularly try to manipulate elections any way they can, and all of them over history have crossed the line by flaunting one law or another. That’s a given. The recent Supreme Court decision made a certain kind of manipulation easier and a certain kind more difficult. That’s why I like to consider history. Your view appears to be that in the “decade” following 1965, the culture has changed enough that racist disenfranchisement won’t happen again, and that the real threat is voter fraud. I think that voter fraud is a smaller problem in comparison. Time will tell.
        You know, it was a 5-4 decision, so it’s not surprising that it’s controversial. You might attempt to see the other point of view rather than deciding that anyone who disagrees with you is obviously harboring a secret agenda.

        • Gregg, Meatshield is showing great restraint in not calling you out on this, but can the “Haha he thinks the 60’s were a decade ago” schtick. He clearly meant half a century, not half a decade. Everybody got it. YOU got it. The first time you made the joke it was funny. Now you’re just adding the tag “Plus you’re stupid because you used the wrong word once” to every reply you make. It’s old. Stop.

            • Yeah…
              sure…

              If so it betrays a lack of humor and proportion.

              Like Luke said, it was funny once.

              This many times? either shows you AREN’T funny or you ARE using it to debase ABM’s assertions.

              • Using typos to attack my posts is cheap, but it has the benefit of making me proofread an extra time. Using typos in comments is cheap, and a Golden Rule breach. There’s no edit function here, and I don’t expect replies to be labored over like submissions to a publisher (though I appreciate those of you—tgt, Michael R, Ampersand and others—who obviously do that). Mocking an obvious typo repeatedly is just gratuitously nasty.

        • “The recent Supreme Court decision made a certain kind of manipulation easier and a certain kind more difficult.”

          No it doesn’t. The decision only made it where the few states that were unfairly required to pre-clear no longer have to.

          “That’s why I like to consider history. Your view appears to be that in the “decade” following 1965, the culture has changed enough that racist disenfranchisement won’t happen again,”

          You keep drumming out this “best to be cautious” line of argument. If you really wanted to be cautious and assume that culture hasn’t changed, then be more cautious and assume that culture has gotten worse. Your logic implies you ought to be pushing for EVERY STATE to be required to pre-clear according to Section 4 of the law in question. If that isn’t what you imply, then you are illogical, because there is no reason to believe the few states on the ‘racist’ list need to be on it anymore while others don’t need to be on it.

          Everything you keep repeating has been addressed and demonstrated to be in error.

          • I’d be in favor of all 50 states being pre-cleared, but it’s neither in my power nor the Supreme Court’s to make it so. I won’t hold my breath on Congress. I’d say it’s more cautious to have some states do it – and it’s not like those states were chosen at random – than none.

            I think laughing at human error is all in good fun, but I apologize if mentioning “decade” came off as a mean-spirited act, and I applaud Meatshield’s restraint. Like when he called my argument “the last refuge of a complete twat.” I’d hate to see the unrestrained version!

            • Do you even fucking know what pre-clearance MEANT?

              It meant re-districting had to be approved by the DOJ. It meant that moving a polling place needed DOJ approval. And the DOJ was not known for saying “Sure, that sounds reasonable”.

              It was a weapon used by at LEAST this administration to fight a political battle against Voter ID laws, and you damned well know it, unless you are SUCH a partisan troll that you are unaware of anything you don’t get at TPM.

              You might attempt to see the other point of view rather than deciding that anyone who disagrees with you is obviously harboring a secret agenda.

              Take your own fucking advice, jackass. Though “secret agenda” isn’t even right when we talk about you – it is absolutely, 100% clear that you don’t like this law because it will help allow states to pass laws that will damage your side’s ability to cheat.

              I get why you don’t like that, asshole, but your fucking projection is getting more than a little old. This isn’t going to make racism flow like water, and cause every black man to be turned away from the polling place.

              To suggest it will is to just be a fucking ignorant little cunt.

            • “I’d be in favor of all 50 states being pre-cleared…”

              The foreseeable and inevitable injustice and failure with that requirement is the selectivity of enforcement – whether by incompetence, or by corruption, or by both – not unlike enforcement of immigration laws.

              So, even with 50 states required to pre-clear, we still would find ourselves right back at the problem with polling places like the one in Philadelphia. If the feds don’t want to act, for whatever reason, the states and locales can rig elections in whatever manner holds the favor of the party that has the power to control the feds.

              The “racism-tainted states” targeted by the original VRA provisions have, over a sufficiently long time, demonstrated worthiness to be restored to equal status with the other states.

              I am not suggesting a United Nations election-law-enforcement deployment. (But that will happen anyway, in federally targeted states, soon enough.)

              • IN fact, that happened last time. Progressive groups called on UN observers to come watch polls.

                You know what happened? The UN folks saw the process and said “Wait, you mean you don’t require IDs? Seriously?”

                Funny how no one talked about what the observers saw and thought once the election was over. Almost like it would have ruined their argument…

                • Any law has room for the failure of enforcement. The fear of Voter ID laws is that they could be enforced along partisan lines – which could overlap with racial lines – at polling places. The fear of pre-clearing is that it could be enforced along partisan lines – which could also overlap – at the DOJ. One way to try to try to determine which course of action is more sensible is to look at the historical record. If you think that voter fraud has been more widespread than voter disenfranchisement, you’re more likely to favor the recent decision.

                  • If you think that voter fraud has been more widespread than voter disenfranchisement,

                    You mean like the Supreme Court?

                    In fact, there is no honest study that shows that Voter ID laws disenfranchise anyone. At all. Period.

                    And yet you persist at claiming it happens, which isn’t surprising since you’re nothing but a blatantly partisan hack who’s only worry is that your side won’t be able to cheat anymore.

                    • Like 5 of the justices, yes. I side with the other 4. I’m sure you’ve sided with the minority opinion sometimes in your life. I wouldn’t assume that makes you a “blatantly partisan hack.”

                      I claim that disenfranchisement has happened in the past and could happen in the future, hence caution.

                    • Actually, I think the 4 liberal justices, in this case, are indeed acting like partisan hacks, and I say that with all due respect. Ginsberg’s dissent proves my case. It’s a kneejerk jeremiad, based on more emotion and desperation than anything else. To wit…
                      “Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake­ proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.”

                      Huh? Blacks voted 98% for Barack Obama. Under her theory, every single Red state , or even “purple state” is by definition racially polarized. Actually, by her definition, even blue states are racially polarized…but only GOP states that were demonstrably racist in 1965 have to endure having their laws checked out by a partisan, corrupt Justice department. Then her opinion just lines up cheery-picked examples of alleged racial schemes in states on the list.

                    • Presumably by “racial polarization” she means relations between races, not the way individual races voted. But I agree the dissenting opinion is not particularly well-written. As for “having their laws checked out by a partisan, corrupt Justice department,” I don’t recall this being a concern when Alberto Gonzalez was in charge.

                      At the risk of getting slapped down again, I’d like to say that “cheery-picked evidence” is my favorite typo since “decade” became the new “century.”

                  • Gregg, I am not sure I am getting everything you mean in your June 27-4:14.

                    You discussed fears. You said earlier that you would err on the side of caution. Caution definitely seems unnecessary, even futile, unless there is a fear of something which motivates the caution. Desiring to err on the side of caution suggests willingness to accept that certain ends are justified by any means necessary.

                    So, what do you fear? What ends are at risk, such that any and all means necessary must remain available? At whose disposal must which means remain available, and why?

                    So far, your siding with the dissenting SCOTUS minority in this case suggests that you have neither admitted all that you fear (or, all that you consider relevant and a basis for fear), nor fully disclosed all ends and means which you are convinced are at stake.

                    • I’ll share what I fear: I fear that the people of the U.S. and its states are becoming a beguiled, easily manipulated pool of “voters” (more accurately, knee-jerking pawns), for whom not even technology for the most error-free individual identification and enforcement of one-citizen-one-vote will be allowed to get in the way of fraud – all in the name of “democracy.” Dehumanization of the vote, as the result of disenfranchisement via centrally controlled enfranchisement, at this time is the more likely end to be achieved by means not yet being exploited (for good or evil) thoroughly enough to be noticed, considered and regulated such that truthfulness shall be predominant.

                    • In the spirit of democracy, I try to listen to the fears – “concerns” might be a less loaded word – of others and weigh them accordingly. (That’s why I don’t find John Lewis stating his opinion to be unethical, which is how I waded into this. The guy has faced things I honestly can’t imagine. That’s a useful perspective, even I disagree with his conclusions.)

                      A concern that parts of this country might still be steeped in racism, and that the racism could manifest itself in voter disenfranchisement, is not one that keeps me up at night. But it keeps plenty of other people, people one could not reasonably describe as “partisan hacks,” up at night. So I weigh that. And I weigh the views of people – again, reasonable-seeming people – who are concerned that voter fraud, ushered in under cover of one-person-one-vote, is a more likely, more powerful corruption. I think about both these sets of concerns, and I look at the historic record as best I can. Are incidents in Philadelphia last year anomalies or harbingers? Is it pretty much easy for a black man at the polls in Alabama nowadays? With so much uncertainty, I’d proceed with caution.

  6. Nevertheless, I appreciated being called out on my repetitive joke. It does tend to sour a spirited debate when things get nasty. By the way, Meatshield, when you said “This is what happens when I tie of showing it, you disingenuous pile of shit,” I think you mean “tire.”

  7. Unless, of course, they don’t have an ID.
    ***********
    The idea that ANY American, in 2013, can’t somehow obtain valid photo ID is complete and utter crap.
    You “progressives” don’t want ID for everyone because then, exactly as AblMS said, you cannot keep cheating.
    You know it and so does everyone else on this board.

    • There is virtually no activity in this country that can be completed without a valid photo ID. You can’t bank, you can’t get a job, you can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes, you can’t fly, you can’t get benefits unless you have an ID.

      If you are so disconnected from society as to not have an ID, I’m pretty sure you are too disconnected to be informed enough to vote.

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