Patterico's Pontifications

6/2/2009

DOJ Rejects Georgia Voter ID System

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 6:58 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s voter ID system that requires voters provide Social Security numbers and driver’s license data in order to vote. The rejection letter cites the law’s disproportionate impact on “African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters” that burdens their right to vote.

The rejection resulted from a requirement that Georgia obtain “preclearance” of voting changes under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Georgia and 16 predominantly Southern states, including Texas, are required to get “federal approval before changing election rules because of a history of discriminatory Jim Crow-era voting practices.” Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that the local government prove to federal authorities that the voting change is not discriminatory and will not adversely affect minorities.

The Georgia rejection may illustrate why a tiny Texas case brought by the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 — a case that was argued before the Supreme Court on April 29, 2009 — could have a big impact on the law:

“Texas is one of the states that is still subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Thus, when the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 (”MUD”) serving 3,500 residents wanted to change a polling place from a garage to a school, it was required to get preclearance from the DOJ. “It took two months and cost $1,250 in legal fees.”

MUD sued the federal government claiming the Section 5 preclearance requirement is no longer necessary.”

As I understand it, the lawsuit will not affect the obligations under the Voting Rights Act but it could change the burden of proof under Section 5. Specifically, instead of a local government having to prove that the proposed change does not discriminate in order to obtain preclearance, it could eliminate preclearance and thus reverse the burden by requiring that any plaintiff(s) prove a voting change has a discriminatory effect.

— DRJ

76 Responses to “DOJ Rejects Georgia Voter ID System”

  1. it could eliminate preclearance and thus reverse the burden by requiring that any plaintiff(s) prove a voting change has a discriminatory effect.

    We’ll see.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (290fb9)

  2. “The Obama Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s voter ID system that requires voters provide Social Security numbers and driver’s license data in order to vote. The rejection letter cites the law’s disproportionate impact on “African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters” that burdens their right to vote.”

    Well, that’s silly.

    Like most Dem voters don’t already have fake i.d.

    Dave Surls (dada03)

  3. Ignoring the legacy issues related to the voting rights act, this is an absolutely idiotic decision an exactly what you would expect from a politicized Justice Department. Let’s destroy confidence in the integrity of the American election system while my party is in power! Who’s with me!!!!111!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  4. “this is an absolutely idiotic decision”

    Not if your party’s electoral success is heavily dependent on the votes of convicted felons, illegal aliens and dead people.

    Dave Surls (dada03)

  5. Didn’t the Supreme Court decide that Ohio’s Voter ID law did not violate the Voting Rights Act? Why is this one different?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  6. “Let’s destroy confidence in the integrity of the American election system while my party is in power!”

    Considering the topic, your irony is strong, daley.

    poon (093c46)

  7. Patterico would this ruling disenfranchise all legitimate voters by diluting their votes with those of unknown and provable right to cast legal votes? Georgia should ignore the DoJ and enforce it’s own statutes since under the Constitution the States have the right to determine who is eligible to vote provided they do not discriminate against a single group of citizens, that is apply the law uniformly across the board. Indeed they should arrest federal agents if they attempt to interfere with the Georgia voting laws that are applied equally and intended to reduce vote fraud. Let us see what the federal courts do in such a circumstance.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  8. Could we get the already several times banned troll, now calling itself “poon”, out of here, please?

    nk (157acd)

  9. Kevin Murphy,

    Please understand I’m not a Supreme Court scholar but I think your question illustrates why preclearance status makes a difference. Ohio is not one of the 16 states required to get preclearance under the Voting Rights Act, but Georgia is. In addition, an appeals court panel ruled that Georgia had to obtain preclearance on this issue.

    The Ohio voter ID law was challenged in the courts and the Supreme Court found it valid, but the burden was on the plaintiffs in that case to show the law discriminated against them. On the other hand, in preclearance states, the burden is on the local governments to prove there is no discriminatory impact. Furthermore, the DOJ has the power to decide whether the local government has met its burden in disproving discrimination.

    DRJ (180b67)

  10. How in God’s name do you prove a negative like “there is no discriminatory impact”? Sounds fair, but what it really means is “do what DOJ sez.”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  11. cubanbob,

    I think dilution and discrimination are issues in voting rights cases like these, and it will be interesting to see where this case goes next. I noticed the Governor of Georgia filed an amicus brief in the MUD case, as did many of the other preclearance states. Also, please note that Patterico didn’t write this so if there are any errors in the post, make sure you don’t blame him.

    DRJ (180b67)

  12. Kevin,

    Exactly. That’s why a procedural issue like the burden of proof can sometimes have such a dramatic substantive impact.

    DRJ (180b67)

  13. Given the fact that Holder dropped the actions against the New Black Panthers for overt voter intimidation, does this really surprise anyone? It has long been a Leftist canard that requiring someone Þo identify themselves prior to voting will have some disproportionate impact on minorities. From the party that wants to “count every vote”. Meh.

    JD (df39e3)

  14. #2 — Comment by Dave Surls — 6/2/2009 @ 7:26 pm

    Well, that’s silly.

    Like most Dem voters don’t already have fake i.d.

    …some don’t even have a pulse.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  15. Didn’t the Supreme Court decide that Ohio’s Voter ID law did not violate the Voting Rights Act? Why is this one different?

    I believe Georgia’s Voter ID law requiring government-issued photo ID at polling places remains. A non-US citizen can obtain a driver’s license which is flagged.

    Any methodology needs modifying if more than 50 percent of those challenged in GA were actually U.S. citizens.

    Loretta King – who wrote the six-page letter – served in the same capacity under Alberto Gonzales, no? She may have been ACTING Deputy Assistant AG for Civil Rights at the time.

    steve (acab57)

  16. voter fraud is an increasing problem that may become critical as Obama erodes the rights of all but protected classes.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  17. As the Left will surely demonstrate, they care very little about the integrity of the vote. Watch for about 9624 strawmen, claims of racism, disenfranchisement, blah, blah, blah … This is one issue that they are nearly universally mendouchous on.

    JD (df39e3)

  18. “Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that the local government prove to federal authorities that the voting change is not discriminatory and will not adversely affect minorities.”

    No, it doesn’t. It says…

    “SEC. 5. Whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 4(a) are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, such State or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color”

    Anyone can get identification from the state DDS, if you don’t already have a driver’s license (all you have to do is show proof of residence in Georgia, have a SSN, a valid i.d. showing DOB, proof of citizenship, if you’re a citizen, and pay the $20 fee) and all citizens are required to have social security numbers. As a matter of fact, you can’t legally be employed in the United States unless you do have a social security number (or so says the Social Security Administration). And, no one is denying African-American citizens state i.d. or social security numbers…at least not that I’ve heard about.

    The idea that such a requirement would deny or abridge the right of ANY citizens to vote on account of race or color is pure horseshit. What it would do, however, is make it hard for members of groups like illegal aliens to vote, because they don’t usually have SSNs…not valid ones anyway.

    However, since the Dems don’t want to make it hard for illegal aliens to vote, they don’t want this rule.

    Simple as that.

    From one of the links

    “But the ACLU and the Mexican American defense fund sued”

    Uh huh. The Communist “Liberties” Union and the Illegal Alien Defense Fund sued…shocking.

    “Secretary of State Karen Handel blasted DOJ’s decision, saying it opens the floodgates for non-citizens to vote in the state.”

    That’s the general idea.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  19. “Considering the topic, your irony is strong, daley.”

    Considering that the whole reason we have a Voting Rights Act is because of the constant and consistent rigging of elections by the Democrat Party, the fact that people like you have the nerve to open their mouth on the topic takes irony to levels rarely seen.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  20. The Department of Justice has determined that any action that prevents Democrats from cheating is illegal.

    Ken Hahn (022fe7)

  21. I just don’t get this issue (or, rather, I do).

    You cannot buy liquor without a driver’s license or other kind of ID. You cannot cash a paycheck. And so on.

    Yet you can vote without presenting ID?

    And how does presenting ID constitute voter intimidation? Especially given Holder’s posture toward the Panthers case.

    We know the answer:

    It’s not fascism when we do it.

    But trust me: when Republicans do it, it certainly is.

    Hey, how is that ACORN voter fraud case going?

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  22. “Considering that the whole reason we have a Voting Rights Act…”

    In the 1964 presidential election, Republican Barry Goldwater carried just 6 states.

    All 6 of them are on the DOJ list of probationary states.

    poon (093c46)

  23. Now that is a good definition of trollery. Given the history and published records around the Voting Rights Act.

    But…that’s different, I know.

    If this character is a banned sock puppet, it should just go away. But it should certainly quit playing troll. Tiresome.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  24. “Given the history and published records around the Voting Rights Act.”

    It’s okay to blame antebellum Democrats for Southern voting hijinx in 1964…but in no way should those states’ spotty voting records in the 1960s be taken into consideration today?

    The hypocrisy is strong with you today, Eric.

    poon (093c46)

  25. I know understand what it was like in Weimar Germany as Hitler built his power base and what must have happened after the enabling act. Are Americans any less to blame for Obama’s fascist rise than the Germans who choose to ignore the evil they witnessed?

    Let none say it cannot happen here. Pravada was right.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  26. “In the 1964 presidential election, Republican Barry Goldwater carried just 6 states.”

    Yeah, so the Democrats’ 100 year old Jim Crow system of rigged elections in the south was starting to break down, and they couldn’t reliably deliver the southern vote any more.

    Boo freaking hoo.

    Can’t tell you how sad that makes me feel.

    Too bad the rest of the country voted for that jackass LBJ. Only cost us about 60,000 dead in Vietnam.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  27. Funny that there’s no mention of Kennedy’s election in 1960. That’s a little more representative of the Democratic ‘influence’.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  28. Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, Apo.

    5 years is a long time in politics.

    Compare America politically today with where it was back in 2005.

    poon (093c46)

  29. Here’s what a rigged election looks like:

    http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=1932&off=0&elect=0&fips=45&f=0

    Almost nobody votes, and the handful of people who do vote almost ALL vote for the “liberal” DemoKKKrat (what a coincidence).

    98% for Roosevelt…just like in Saddam Hussein’s elections in Iraq, or the commie elections in the USSR.

    That’s why they passed the Voting Rights Act to put a stop to crap like that.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  30. 5 years is a long time in politics.

    I’m glad you agree that what transpired in the early 60’s with regards to the Voting Rights Act no longer applies.

    If 5 years is a long time, try 44.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  31. So everyone but white people and Native Americans has trouble showing an ID? Why is this so much harder for some groups?

    KateC (3f5714)

  32. Dave Surls (#18 6/2/2009 @ 9:25 pm): With due respect, you’re mistaken in quibbling with DRJ on this point. You stopped reading too soon (and less significantly, what you’re quoting from doesn’t reflect the subsequent amendments or the “as codified” language as it appears in the United States Code).

    As currently enacted, section 5(a) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1973c(a), and it reads (boldface mine):

    Whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the first sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the second sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1968, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the third sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1972, such State or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure neither has the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title, and unless and until the court enters such judgment no person shall be denied the right to vote for failure to comply with such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced without such [declaratory judgment] proceeding if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, or upon good cause shown, to facilitate an expedited approval within sixty days after such submission, the Attorney General has affirmatively indicated that such objection will not be made. Neither an affirmative indication by the Attorney General that no objection will be made, nor the Attorney General’s failure to object, nor a declaratory judgment entered under this section shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure. In the event the Attorney General affirmatively indicates that no objection will be made within the sixty-day period following receipt of a submission, the Attorney General may reserve the right to reexamine the submission if additional information comes to his attention during the remainder of the sixty-day period which would otherwise require objection in accordance with this section. Any action under this section shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of Title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court.

    The bold-faced language after “provided that” is the preclearance requirement: A covered jurisdiction may skip the declaratory judgment step and go straight to implementation of the proposed change if, but only if, it’s gotten preclearance through the Attorney General (meaning, in practice under the applicable implementing federal regulations, the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. As the SCOTUS explained this legislation in, for example, Lopez v. Monterey County, 519 U.S. 9, 20 (1996)(citations omitted):

    A jurisdiction subject to § 5’s requirements must obtain either judicial or administrative preclearance before implementing a voting change. No new voting practice is enforceable unless the covered jurisdiction has succeeded in obtaining preclearance. If a voting change subject to § 5 has not been precleared, § 5 plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction prohibiting implementation of the change.

    Beldar (55de2e)

  33. Of course, by the time they got around to passing the Voting Rights Act, the Dem stranglehold was already broken and their little game of arranging matters so that only a handful of Roosevelt or Woody Wilson supporters COULD vote, was already falling apart, and now, by 1964, we see election results like this:

    http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=1964&off=0&elect=0&fips=45&f=0

    Now, instead of 100,000 people voting out of a population of 1.7 million we have 525,000 voters out of 2.4 million, and instead of some phony 98-2 DemoKKKrat’s win crap, we have a believable 59-41 split. Things are getting better, even before the Voting Rights Act was passed.

    IOW, 1964 was about the first time in U.S. history that places like South Carolina saw an honest election, or at least a more honest election, seeing as how the place was still crawling with Jim Crow Democrats desperately trying to keep their little system alive.

    And, Demscum ought to keep their crappy little mouths shut about rigging elections, since that’s what their foul Slaveowning/KKK/Jim Crow party was built on…and, also since that’s obviously what they’re trying to do now by playing games with the Voting Rights Act.

    Same old crap, different year.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  34. “With due respect, you’re mistaken in quibbling with DRJ on this point.”

    The only thing I was quibbling with was the “and will not adversely affect minorities” part, because that is not what the Act says.

    What the Act says is: “…such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure neither has the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color”

    …and, that ain’t the same thing “and will not adversely affect minorities”.

    A standard which denies the vote to illegal aliens might very well adversely affect minorities (probably so, since illegal aliens are in the minority), but it won’t deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color…and, that is a vitally important distinction.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  35. “what you’re quoting from doesn’t reflect the subsequent amendments or the “as codified” language as it appears in the United States Code).”

    So noted. The part I was concerned with says the same thing it always said. Namely that standards can’t abridge or deny the vote on account of race/color.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  36. Mr. Surls (#34 6/2/2009 @ 11:15 pm), we ultimately agree, but I wouldn’t phrase the argument in quite the way that you have. I don’t think you were intending to argue that effects can’t matter; but that’s how I originally, if mistakenly, interpreted your argument. And there’s no question that as drafted, the Act does cover both actions undertaken from purposeful discrimination and actions which lack that purpose but nevertheless have a disproportionate effect on a racial class.

    Were I defending the Georgia statute, I would concede, as I must, that both purpose and effect matter. But I would argue that the Georgia statute has neither the purpose nor effect of impeding the voting of any qualified voter, regardless of his or her color, race, religion, etc. It instead has the purpose and effect of impeding illegal voting by those who aren’t legally qualified to vote. If there were proof — even persuasive circumstantial proof — that the effect of the statute was to prevent, for example, qualified black people or Latinos from voting because for some reason black people or Latinos can’t manage to keep track of their social security numbers and drivers license information, then perhaps that could support a showing that the Georgia statute violates the Voting Rights Act. Similarly, if there were proof — even circumstantial proof — that for some reason black people or Latinos can’t manage to keep track of their social security numbers and drivers license information, and that Georgia’s legislature and governor had as their real purpose to take advantage of that (with the suppression of voting fraud only being a pretense), then again I would agree that could support a showing of a violation.

    But whether it’s for purposes of showing disparate effect or showing discriminatory purpose (pretense), there can be no such credible proof. Indeed, any suggestion that there could be is itself shamefully vile and racist. Duly qualified voters of any race are as likely to be able to keep track of their information, and to as readily comply with the statute’s requirements, as those of any other race. When the debate is kept sharply focused on this question, the DoJ’s position will be exposed for the shameful piece of identity politics and sophistry — barely concealing, and indeed requiring, racist assumptions — that it is.

    Beldar (55de2e)

  37. Sorry for the threadjack, but this just in: Conservative justices agree with Sotomayor on gun rights, so she’s no radical. The article is from the Washington Post, so it must be true.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  38. Stated slightly differently: The question for purposes of effect and disparate impact is not whether the statute disproportionately affects blacks or Latinos. It’s whether it disproportionately affects blacks and Latinos who are qualified to vote, as compared to whites who are qualified to vote. Of that, there will be no credible evidence.

    Fifty years ago, some of the Jim Crow laws were, on their face, equally as racially neutral as this one is. But they were administered differently for different races. Literacy tests, for example, were ostensibly designed to weed out “unqualified” voters who lacked a sufficient knowledge of public affairs to cast an intelligent vote. In actual practice, however, whites never had to take any such tests, or if they did, the tests were at lower grade school levels, whereas blacks were required to read and interpret Shakespearean sonnets or passages from James Joyce. There was ample proof then that the ostensible purpose of those laws was pretextual, and that their real purposes were to keep blacks from voting precisely because they were black. But I simply don’t believe such a factual record can be developed today.

    Beldar (55de2e)

  39. Beldar:

    “No fewer than 53 percent of black adults in Milwaukee County were not licensed to drive, compared with 15 percent of white adults in the remainder of the state. According to its author, similar disparities will be found across the nation.”

    John Pawasarat, The Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, June 2005), p. 1.

    poon (093c46)

  40. How many of the black adults not licensed to drive had Wisconsin ID cards?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  41. “..The hypocrisy is strong with you today, Eric…”</i

    >

    Just. Another. Troll.

    The audacity of another of the “...that’s different..” (foot stomp) crew calling anyone at all a hypocrite is astounding.

    But then, that is what trolls do.

    By the way, troll with the offensive name, how do those folks in Milwaukee County buy liquor, rent or buy a home, rent a video, or cash a check? I mean, without any form of ID?

    Strange that asking a voter for ID is–how should I put it?—different.

    By the way, how is that ACORN voter fraud situation going? Damn Republicans and their voter fraud…

    Oh.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  42. Don’t you understand, Bradley? Asking someone to demonstrate that they are, in fact, eligible to vote is, as JD would remind us, utterly racist.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  43. #36

    We are substantially in agreement.

    I am also substantially in agreement with DRJ, I was just quibbling with that one little section of the post that wasn’t quite correct, and I thought needed to be clarified a bit.

    The idea of the law is to make sure that no one’s right to vote is denied on account of race or color. Whether any particular voter is part of a minority or not isn’t important.

    One obvious example is is that you couldn’t have a standard where whites constitute a majority, but aren’t allowed to vote. That might not adversely affect a minority group…but it would be a flagrant violation of the Voting Rights Act.

    And, as I mentioned, if a standard adversely affects a minority that isn’t entitled to vote (illegal aliens, for example), that’s of no consequence.

    It’s not about minorities/majorities, it’s simply about no one can have their right to vote denied or abridged because of race or color.

    It really is a very important distinction, and worth clarifying, I think.

    That’s all I was saying.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  44. funny, it is ok to have all kinds of “hardships” on people that want to exercise their second amendment right, which is enumerated specifically… but not for voting which isnt enumerated…

    chris (1c120e)

  45. “but not for voting which isnt enumerated…”

    I think you would have to say the right to vote is enumerated in various amendments, the 15th, for example.

    Dave Surls (e279d6)

  46. “…calling anyone at all a hypocrite is astounding.”

    The idea that “conservatives” who constantly whine about judicial activism by liberal judges want their remaining pet judges on the Supreme Court to overturn a 44 year old Constitutional law that was recently reauthorized by Unanimous Consent in both the House and the Senate does strike me as a touch hypocritical, Eric.

    poon (093c46)

  47. Left out of the AP report that is the source of both links in the OP:

    Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Handel, said he could not respond to King’s contention that minorities were more likely to be flagged because the department would not reveal its methodology.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution story
    So, to answer the question posed by Kevin Murphy, it really is because the DOJ says so.

    Mark (230d05)

  48. […] of the helpless, the proposed Georgia voter identification rules would place a disproportionate burden on minorities, much in the same way that paying taxes places one on Obamanominees. When they’re unable to […]

    Hate-F*ckGate [Dan Collins] (7a2640)

  49. ““Secretary of State Karen Handel blasted DOJ’s decision, saying it opens the floodgates for non-citizens to vote in the state.”

    That’s the general idea.”

    Open the floodgates? What’s the status quo?

    imdw (95eea6)

  50. Dave Surls:

    We lost 58,240 men and 9 women in the Vietnam War. Actually, Jack Kennedy began our involvement in Vietnam after being advised by President Eisenhower to avoid a land war in Asia. Kennedy’s decision to send in special forces to train the South Vietnamese was a good one. LBJ decision to raise the in country troop strength and take over the war, was unwise, and cost his party the presidency in 1968. BTW, I have a degree in Asian Studies and I fought in Vietnam.

    Concerning the subject:

    I’m from Alabama. I was born here in 1944. Although I lived all over the world as a military dependent and as a career military officer, I frequently spent summers or vacations in Birmingham or Memphis visiting my grandparents. In the Bull Connor era, Birmingham was a very racist city. The Klan was a force to be feared regardless of race.

    In 2006, I moved back. Today’s South is a very different place, where racism is not tolerated and neither is the KKK. My grandchildren go to school, play sports in a very integrated, friendly environment. Downtown Birmingham is, like most inner cities, a basket case. The administration in the city is black, democrat and corrupt. The same can be said for Buffalo where I lived from 1987 to 2006.

    It’s been 45 years. In 1964 when all the troubles boiled over, I was 20, a year too young to vote. Today, I’m 65. We need federal laws to be applied without regard to location. I think it’s time to stop discriminating against whites in 16 states.

    arch (20bb59)

  51. I’m confused. I can’t cash a check, buy a gun, board a plane, and drive a car without a picture ID from a government agency. But somehow, it is different when I vote. I look at this ruling as a continuation of letting the Cole bomber’s off, letting the New Black Panthers off, and picking judges for empathy.

    PS: there’s only one reason for opposing voter identification, the need for illegal votes.

    jkstewart2 (a5b062)

  52. How about biometerics? If we can afford millions of computerized ballot machines and 50 billion for GM why not two Biometric readers for voter ID

    In other words everyone registers biometrically the first time they cast a vote or when they change or register to vote – costas nothing to the taxpayer individually

    There is no poll tax

    EricPWJohnson (7033c9)

  53. Comment by Beldar — 6/2/2009 @ 10:46 pm

    Knowing the recent history of the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, all jurisdictions subject to pre-clearance requirements should go straight to Court rather than subject themselves to the crap-shoot at DOJ.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4a0d27)

  54. pay the $20 fee

    I continue to not understand how a system which requires that a potential voter pay a fee in order to be able to vote is not an unconstitutional poll tax.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  55. aphrael – requires that a potential voter pay a fee in order to be able to vote

    The fee is not necessary to vote. Identification is. That the state charges for an ID card that it requires in order to conduct state business may be your constitutional problem, but the fee is not required to vote.

    This is all simply a smokescreen to de-legitimize the electoral process, and is extraordinarily dangerous. Politicians of all people should be very concerned that they possess the seal of legitimacy.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  56. If the fee for a state-issued ID is so offensive, then get a Constitutional Amendment requiring all states to issue ID’s to all lawful residents without charge – ID’s that must clearly identify who is, and who is not, a Citizen!

    End of Problem.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4a0d27)

  57. Doesn’t Georgia provide State issued ID cards for free?

    JD (cb1063)

  58. AD – RtR/OS: I would interpret the poll tax amendment as requiring that whatever documentation is demanded as proof of eligibility to vote be made available for free. That is to say: if you want people to prove their eligibility to vote at the polling place, whatever proof is required must be provided by the state without charge.

    If that is done, I have no objection to requiring ID at polling places (although I think that it’s pointless given that there’s absolutely no ID requirement for absentee ballots).

    JD: I don’t know about Georgia’s rules, but Dave Surls’ comments above suggest you need to pay $20.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  59. Showing a Govt ID (not provided gratis by the State):
    Went to the local Court House to pay a traffic ticket, and had to show ID to get past the metal detectors.
    Plus, to purchase a firearm anywhere in the U.S., you must provide a Govt-issued photo-ID to establish your identity; plus, in many jurisdictions (CA in particular) you must also provide documentation of your residence back 90-days (in CA) to prove that you are a resident of the state you are purchasing a firearm in (GCA-68).
    All this to avail yourself of a fundamental right guaranteed/affirmed by the 2nd Amendment.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4a0d27)

  60. Aphrael – we agree. State issued ID should be available at very low cost or free to those who are of reduced means.

    I agree that absentee ballots have problems with identification, which is why in another thread quite a while ago, I suggested certain rules regarding the issuance of absentee ballots.

    I think that ensuring the voting process is secure and fair is important for all sides, and protects what is the very heart of our republic. That anyone would choose to err on the side of sloppy accounting is beyond me.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  61. Even if they are given away for free, the vast majority of the “sanctity of the vote” and “count every vote” crowds will squeal racism for the idea of identifying yourself prior to voting. It is what they do. It is an irrefutable truth.

    JD (0b5895)

  62. The juxtaposition of this decision with the dropping of charges in the “New Black Panther” case even though the case had ben won is the story of the 2010 election. Obama and company are determined to do a Peron on us.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  63. Mike K – Go look at places like firedoglake, or huffingtonpost. They do not even acknowledge that these things exist. Ironically, there is not a post at either place about the murder of a US serviceman by a Muslim with suspected ties to terrorists either. The MSM is not covering these things, as apparently this is just putting things back in its proper order.

    JD (0b5895)

  64. “there is not a post at either place about the murder of a US serviceman by a Muslim with suspected ties to terrorists either”

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/01/arkansas-military-recruit_n_209886.html

    poon (093c46)

  65. That is a lie, and you are a liar.

    That was from 6/1, 2 days ago.

    JD (0b5895)

  66. JD,

    I admire your refusal to leave the bunker, but you should avoid making statements that are so easy to disprove if you want to avoid reality.

    poon (093c46)

  67. Maybe I was not clear. If you go to the frontpage today, I could not find a post on it. There is a post from 6/1. There are all sorts of other posts on there about such topic events as Spencer Pratt, Tiller, Kobe, Newt, but nothing about US servicemen killed by a Muslim with suspected ties to terrorism.

    JD (0b5895)

  68. Apogee: I think that absentee ballots are a huge gaping hole in the integrity of our voting system.

    I understand their utility. I understand their popularity. I think in many ways they are a great thing … and I think in many ways they are horribly subject to untraceable abuse.

    They worry me only slightly less than electronic voting machines do.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  69. Beldar and Dave Surls,

    Thank you for amplifying on a legal aspect of this issue that I (admittedly) glossed over in the post.

    aphrael,

    Good point about absentee voting, and I would add my concerns about Washington state’s Vote by Mail program and any similar programs.

    DRJ (180b67)

  70. “thus reverse the burden by requiring that any plaintiff(s) prove a voting change has a discriminatory effect.”

    Interesting… yeah, the unequal effect thing is a catch all (re: meaningless) lefty phrase. WFB would tell that old joke about NYC being destroyed, with the headline being ‘women and minorities hardest hit’….

    Thomass (b3d800)

  71. “I continue to not understand how a system which requires that a potential voter pay a fee in order to be able to vote is not an unconstitutional poll tax.”

    Well, if I refuse to pay my taxes they’ll throw me in jail, and won’t let me vote either, so I guess I’m not too worried about paying the state a few bucks to get my driver’s license.

    “Thank you for amplifying on a legal aspect”

    You’re welcome. I thought your post was excellent, btw. As usual.

    Dave Surls (bb8611)

  72. “WFB would tell that old joke about NYC being destroyed, with the headline being ‘women and minorities hardest hit’….”

    Interesting is quoting WFB on discriminatory impact and 60’s racism.

    imdw (78153f)

  73. […] identification is the key to preventing voter fraud. Which is why the Department of Justice’s refusal to allow states, such as Georgia, to implement identification systems based on alleged disparate […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ACORN In Iran? (e2f069)

  74. […] I blogged on this case earlier here and (tangentially) here. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Supreme Court Decides Voting Rights Act Case (e4ab32)


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