Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2014

Holder: Give Felons the Right to Vote

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Of course. What kind of land doesn’t allow folks like O.J. Simpson or Brett Kimberlin to vote? Note the way Holder phrases his objection:

Disenfranchisement of the formerly incarcerated is unnecessary, unjust and counterproductive, Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience at the Georgetown University Law Center on Tuesday.

“At worst, these laws, with their disparate impact on minority communities, echo policies enacted during a deeply troubled period in America’s past – a time of post-Civil War discrimination,” Holder said. “And they have their roots in centuries-old conceptions of justice that were too often based on exclusion, animus and fear.”

In case you missed the significance of the “disparate impact” language, let me explain: Holder is implying that he may not just be talking about this. He may mandate it, under the Voting Rights Act.

It would be a new bloc of Democrat voters, of course, but that’s not the reason he would do it. Oh my no! It’s about fairness.

But why wait for that? Why doesn’t Holder simply declare that he will not prosecute any election official who allows a felon to vote even though they are not on the voter rolls? Obama’s rewriting all the laws anyway.

No, that sounds too voluntary. I have a better idea. Let’s have all state governors, legislators, and elections officials certify, through a self-attestation on their tax forms, that they are not discriminating against felons by preventing them from voting.

Thanks to Dana.

31 Comments

  1. Ding.

    Comment by Patterico (9c670f) — 2/12/2014 @ 7:52 am

  2. And sick !

    (sigh)

    Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:24 am

  3. Holder is a toxic wheedling obamaslut what doesn’t believe that there should be consequences when the right people break the right laws

    just like his whore president

    It’s not supposed to be this way.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:32 am

  4. It would be interesting if he tried disparate impact under the Voting Rights Act. The Fourteenth Amendment expressly permits disenfranchisement for crime. (And the Thirteenth enslavement but let’s not go there. For now.)

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:40 am

  5. If this link works http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=286 it shows felons voting by state. Kimberlin can vote in Maryland or DC now. In Maine or Vermont, he could have voted by absentee ballot from prison. Of the remaining 49 (sic) states, 36 allow voting after completion of the sentence (prison and/or parole and/or probation). Only 13 impose lifetime bans. Like the other things the SCOAMF does, it’s small and more for looks than substance.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:53 am

  6. Part of goverments ongoing drive to turn small business owners into felons… but on the bright side maybe they’ll still be allowed to vote?
    Or will it be violent person who plead guilty on related drug charges but not on violence gets to vote, but white collar crime of perjury on the tax form? no no no vote for you.

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:59 am

  7. Felons 4 Gun Control…I can see it now.

    Comment by DejectedHead (a094a6) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:38 am

  8. Who knew the Zombie Apocalypse would look like this?

    Comment by DejectedHead (a094a6) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:47 am

  9. A lot of RKBA proponents want to repeal or amend the federal prohibited person provisions for gun ownership. Felons, who have served their time, have a right to self-defense too. There’s already a pathway, a pardon, but it’s only for the wealthy and politically connected.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:52 am

  10. Why doesn’t Holder simply declare that he will not prosecute any election official who allows a felon to vote even though they are not on the voter rolls?

    Well, for the most part, they would be violating state law, not federal law, and he also can’t bind the courts if this becomes an issue in a contested election.

    And there’s the outrage quotient.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (c08134) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:53 am

  11. This isn’t rocket science. Felons who do vote cast their ballots something like 70-30 for Democrats. Or more. For obvious reasons. And the office of the presidency and the federal agencies have vast powers and matter a great deal. That’s news to Ross Perot and his ilk, but not to the rest of us.

    Comment by Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:58 am

  12. Holder wants himself and his cronies to be able to vote after getting out of jail after the getting the same gentle treatment from the federal justice system he and they have been inflicting on conservatives for the last 6 years. Cheers -

    Comment by agimarc (324b03) — 2/12/2014 @ 10:05 am

  13. Perhaps they should vote, if only to remove the perverse incentive: e.g. that the Holders of the country declare key swaths of the electorate guilty of the crime of “insensitivity” and cancel their voting rights, tipping the swing ridings just enough in just the right places.

    They would if they could. They’ll be able to soon enough.

    And please don’t start about “armed insurrection” if that ever happens. Which side has billions of dollars of military gear? Which side has already most of the populace to bend over, literally, on command? Which side controls the media? Which side can hack any computer?

    If it comes to that, the country is gone anyway, and a long, slow rebuild-from-scratch is all that remains.

    Comment by ras (be1e0d) — 2/12/2014 @ 12:03 pm

  14. If Eric Holder believed that felons would be voting Democrat, he wouldn’t want them to vote.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:08 pm

  15. I just can’t believe the aspersions being cast upon this Eric Holder person.
    He is an honest man.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:09 pm

  16. The problem is more that too many things are called “felonies.” The term once was reserved for crimes that were capital crimes or nearly so, but now it’s nearly anything (except, unfortunately, spamming).

    A felon was someone who was put outside of society, unredeemable except in the Christian sense. Killers, rapists, kidnappers, highwaymen, etc. Not just someone who told a lie to a government official (which was once viewed as an inalienable right).

    Now, Holder will conflate all of this to suit his master, but the idea that no felon can ever vote again isn’t really defensible.

    Comment by Kevin M (131754) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:31 pm

  17. Kevin, it’s been pretty obvious for a while now that our laws exist just to ensure that the government has something on you. Nobody who pays taxes can really say for sure they’ve complied with the tax code.

    Which is why people who aren’t concerned with the surveillance state because they don’t think they’re doing something wrong are whistling past the graveyard.

    They may not be interested in the surveillance state, but the surveillance state is interested in them.

    And no I don’t think Snowden is a hero.

    Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:49 pm

  18. http://news.rapgenius.com/B-horowitz-why-i-did-not-go-to-jail-annotated

    …Beyond that, U.S. accounting law is extremely difficult to understand and often seems illogical and random. For example, the law in question with respect to stock options, FAS 123, is filled with paragraphs such as this:

    “This Statement does not specify the measurement date for share-based payment transactions with nonemployees for which the measure of the cost of goods acquired or services received is based on the fair value of the equity instruments issued. EITF Issue No. 96-18, “Accounting for Equity Instruments That Are Issued to Other Than Employees for Acquiring, or in Conjunction with Selling, Goods or Services”, establishes criteria for determining the measurement date for equity instruments issued in share-based payment transactions with nonemployees.”

    And that is the clear part…

    Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:52 pm

  19. Warren Meyer, of Coyoteblog, notes that Kevin Drum is off shilling for Holder, of course…

    Counter-Proposal for Kevin Drum on Voting Rights
    February 12, 2014, 1:24 pm
    Kevin Drum argues that rules preventing voting in many states by felons are unfair. After all, we don’t deny them their first amendment rights for having been in prison, right?

    Well, unlike Drum, I put voting further down the list of essentials for a free society, well behind property rights and the rule of law (see here and here). If I wanted to get worked up about post-incarceration loss of rights, I would address the increasingly draconian post-incarceration restrictions on those convicted of even trivial “sex” crimes (treating 17 years olds that sent a nude selfie the same as a rapist).

    However, let’s talk voting. Yes we do not deny ex-cons their first amendment rights. But we do deny them their second amendment rights. So I offer this compromise:

    I propose this bipartisan compromise: Voting and gun ownership rights for convicted felons should be identical. Set them wherever you think is fair, but make them consistent. I am not sure this is really a very fair comparison — after all, a politician can do a heck of a lot more damage than a gun — but as I said, I am willing to compromise.

    Comment by Smock Puppet, Gadfly, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d) — 2/12/2014 @ 5:59 pm

  20. Mr. Snowden kicked this neofascist lil whorestate in the nuts good and hard

    love to you my brotha

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:27 pm

  21. Putin goes home to find his girlfriend dressed in some raggedy old jeans and a stained t-shirt. He says, “As the companion of the President of Russia, you should dress nicer than that”. “I have nothing to wear”, she whines. “Nothing to wear” storms Putin. “You have closets full of nice clothes.” He opens a closet, “Dior, St. Laurent, Armani, hi Edward, Donna Karan ….

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:43 pm

  22. :)

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 2/12/2014 @ 10:22 pm

  23. 40 years ago when I was 18 I had a drug related felony. I got probation and served it out. So I am a felon. However in Oklahoma felons may vote and I do. I am not a democrat or a republican although I generally vote republican. There is some kind of rule that if enough time has passed since the felony sentence was served then you get the right to vote back. I find this perfectly reasonable.

    Comment by Steve In Tulsa (b3a1f5) — 2/13/2014 @ 6:55 am

  24. The Oklahoma rule right now is no voting while incarcerated plus on parole plus on probation. Which is the second strictest, after lifetime ban. Some states are incarceration only. Only 13 states impose a lifetime ban. Also, under the Thirteenth Amendment, you could have been sold into slavery. So be grateful for that, too. ;)

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:10 am

  25. If one can’t possess firearms, one can’t meet obligations of citzenship. No vote.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:36 am

  26. disparate impact

    There we go again. The Orwellian language of the left, used to promote and enforce tyranny.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:43 am

  27. I thought the whole point of the American justice system (the one that conservatives call the envy of the world) was to have the offender pay his debt to society?

    Once a debt is paid, it’s paid. Unless, of course, conservatives don’t really believe in the rule of law.

    Comment by JEA (fb1111) — 2/13/2014 @ 12:36 pm

  28. If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a libertarian is a conservative who’s been jailed. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370815/prison-industrial-complex-conrad-black/page/0/1

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:16 pm

  29. He’s just preparing the field for when he becomes a felon (which was actually about 5 years ago).

    Comment by bob (93b49b) — 2/13/2014 @ 9:48 pm

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    Comment by helicopters mode (867ee9) — 2/16/2014 @ 7:19 am

  31. They also want to do disparate impact for school discipline – or maybe not even that, claim finding more black to be disruptive in school must be racial bias. The truth, however,, is not like that. There’s a lot of history that went into even why a 12 year old does things.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c) — 2/16/2014 @ 6:14 pm

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