The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Voting Rights Act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Voting Rights Act. Show all posts

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tracy Knauss Captures Legal Voting Rights Set Back For Republicans

Tracy Knauss gets the word as did I from friend of the TPI Sheila Datz and "the word" is fantastic. 

CHEATING REPUBLICANS SLAPPED DOWN BY TOP COURTS — After months of depressing news of Republicans cheating in our electoral process because that's the ONLY way they can win, I'm telling you right here and now we have some GREAT news for our nation and our Democratic Party. The SCOTUS has seen the light! You'll recall that recently the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, with Chief Justice Roberts writing the majority decision. He felt we no longer have problems with people's right to vote being suppressed. However, today's SCOTUS decision might be their recognition of how very wrong they were. Wisconsin's "Republican sponsored Voter ID Law" has been struck down by a 8 to 3 decision with fascists Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissenting. Tells you who on the court wants to give the Republican Party an unfair advantage in national elections. Did I say those three jurists are Republican?! Also, today in Texas, a U.S. District Judge shot down the Texas Voter I.D. Laws, similar to those in Wisconsin. Federal Judge Nelve Gonzales Famos calls the Texas I.D. law  "an unconstitutional poll tax" that creates "an unconstitutional right to vote INTENDED to DISCRIMINATE" against those who primarily vote Democratic. In essence, Texas's Voter I.D. Law would have prevented almost a half million Texas Democrats from voting, all to prevent one or two cases of "voter fraud." In essence, the SCOTUS caught the Republicans for cheating. And it's about time! Spread the great news. Now let's see ALL of those voter suppressing, Republican sponsored "Voter I.D." laws fall as fast at marriage equality has been legalized in scores of states in our nation. 

(My thanks to Sheila Datz and Celin Navarro for notifying me about these two great decisions, so I could inform you.) 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jon S Randel : Blood Sunday..A Quest For The Right To Vote

State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights march in Selma, Ala., on March 7, 1965.
State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights march in Selma, Ala., on March 7, 1965. The day would later become infamously known as "Bloody Sunday."
AP Photo

All Jimmie Lee Jackson wanted was the right to vote.

Jackson, a deacon of the St. James Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama, had tried to register to vote without success for four years. Jackson and 500 peaceful protesters had planned a peaceful walk from the church to the county jail and back, singing hymns. Jackson never made it back to the church. They were attacked by Alabama police and state troopers and beaten with clubs. Many protesters took refuge in a cafe behind the church. There, Jackson attempted to protect his mother from being beaten when he was shot twice in the abdomen by a trooper. He was unarmed. Injured badly, he was still able to run out of the cafe, followed by the troopers who continued to club him. He died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma, on February 26, 1965. He was only 26 years old.

Jimmie Lee Jackson was the inspiration for the first Selma to Montgomery march that occurred a few days later, known as “Bloody Sunday.” On March 7, 1965, an estimated 525 to 600 civil rights marchers led by John Lewis were again met by state troopers and beaten with nightsticks, gassed, and trampled by mounted troopers. Immediately after "Bloody Sunday," Dr. Martin Luther King organized a second march on Tuesday, March 9, leading 2,500 marchers to a prayer. That night, three white ministers who had come to support the march were beaten by the Ku Klux Klan, killing one of the ministers who was refused treatment at the local hospital because he supported the march.

Because of the impact of the marches, President Johnson presented a bill to Congress, saying "What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and state of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause, too, because it is not just Negroes but really it is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome." The bill was the Voting Rights Act. When Dr. King heard this speech, a tear rolled down his cheek.

Finally, on this day, March 21, 1965, Dr. King attempted to complete the march from Selma, where Jimmy Lee Jackson died, to Montgomery Alabama. The march started with close to 8,000 people. By the time, Dr. King reached the Montgomery capitol on Thursday, March 25, nearly 25,000 people were with him. Most of the participants were black, but some were white and some were Asian and Latino. Spiritual leaders of multiple races religions and faith had marched abreast with Dr. King. King delivered the speech "How Long, Not Long." "The end we seek," King told the crowd, "is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. ... I know you are asking today, How long will it take? I come to say to you this afternoon however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long."

The Voting Rights Act became law on Aug. 6. 1965.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Judicial Activism And Voting Rights Dismantling

How many times have you heard a Republican or a conservative say the words: "Judicial Activism?"  With even a whisper of talk related to the SCOTUS the phrase comes forth as quickly as like a conservative "USA, USA, USA" chant when people speak other than Conservative "speak." 

If you have not learned the party on the Right is all about words that have no substance, you truly have lived your life in a vacuum.  If the word "sophism" is not part of your  vocabulary  you should grow to know the word. Sophism embodies the very way the GOP goes about its governance. 

The mantra "Judicial Activism" from the right is comparable to more frequently used slogans like: welfare, impeachment, spending, defund, leading from behind, fiscal conservatives, and those never to be forgotten Bush slogans "Moral Majority and Compassionate Conservatives." Now, think for one moment, have you ever known a compassionate conservative?  And, according to social statistics, it appears GOP voting bloc states do not reflect a high degree of morality as it is influenced by GOP policy: STDsviolent crime, teen birth rates I (2), education as  matter of policy, homicide rates, poverty rates, and suicide rates

We really do not need to explore issues of GOP compassion. Let's simply take a look at how state governors have either adopted or turned away Medicaid expansion and State Exchanges as a key components of the Affordable Care Act.  
Our digression related to GOP mantra with subsequent unfulfilled policy, political acts or initiatives.  The use of the phrase "judicial activism" when used by republicans is a form of sophism very much in the same vain as "moral majority" and "compassionate conservatism."

While the court has been well stacked to lean far Right, there was no decision and appointment more judicially strategic than George W. Bush's giving the nation Roberts as Chief Justice of the SCOTUS.  The following meme illustrates the point. When accompanied by a piece from MotherJones, Republican influence on the social fabric of the nation is clear and will last for decades.

DEMOCRACY'S FIREWALL BURNS THROUGH — In 1982, as a young lawyer in the Reagan Administration, John Roberts became the point man for defeating the 1982 renewal of the Voting Rights Act, leading many legal experts, 30 years later, to declare that he should have recused himself from this case when the VRA came before the Supreme Court where Roberts is now the Chief Justice. Not only did Roberts fail to recuse himself, he authored the majority opinion gutting the Voting Rights Act by using failed logic and out of context "facts" to justify his bigoted opinion, now the law of the land. Voting rights violations, according to one memo he helped draft in 1981, "should not be too easy to prove since they provide a basis for the most intrusive interference imaginable." Roberts helped the Reagan administration hone its argument. He wrote that it made sense for parts of the VRA to require proof that discrimination was intentional. And when he became Chief Justice, he took it one step further by gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act, making it difficult to enforce.

Chief Justice Roberts' Long War Against the Voting Rights Act

Fact Monster Dot Com

Service           Birth
Name, stateAssoc. JusticeChief JusticeYrsPlaceDateDiedReligion
Antonin Scalia, DC 1986–N.J.1936Roman Catholic
Anthony M. Kennedy, Calif.1988–Calif.1936Roman Catholic
Clarence Thomas, DC1991–Ga.1948Roman Catholic
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, DC1993–N.Y.1933Jewish
Stephen G. Breyer, Mass.1994–Calif.1938Jewish
John G. Roberts, DC2005–N.Y.1955Roman Catholic
Samuel A. Alito, Jr., N.J.2006–N.J.1950Roman Catholic
Sonia Sotomayor N.Y.2009–N.Y.1954Roman Catholic
Elena Kagan N.Y.2010–N.Y.1960Jewish

Conservative activist are highlighted in red. Another disturbing fact about the Court: No Protestants (if religion means anything to you).

As the meme and associated article present, Roberts was bound to strike Voting Rights Act provisions as surely as he is hardcore conservative by paradigm. From Ronald Reagan's Scalia through George W. Bush's two appointments (Roberts and Alito), the SCOTUS is dangerously conservative. Evidence of danger beyond killing key sections of the Voting rights Act: Citizens United and the ruling Walmart discrimination case ruling.

American Exceptionalism?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Addictinginfo, Stephen D. Foster, and The US Confderacy

Re-posted from
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

A piece that echoes the reality of a continuing confederacy in the United States. A confederacy that is the tool of plutocrats and greedy politicians, the tadpole pool of the gullible and an anvil for the nation.

How Southern States Are Harming America And What We Can Do About It

Author July 5, 2013 4:27 am

There are currently two versions of America operating in this nation. One comprises the states in the North, the other, the states in the South. At first glance, the average visitor wouldn’t notice much of a difference. After all, we nearly all speak the same language, eat the same kinds of foods, share common histories, customs, religions, wear similar clothing, and enjoy the same sports. The only thing that seems to be dividing us is politics and how we view government. In the South, conservatives are in control. Fear and hatred of the federal governments run rampant, which leads to the election of those who want to dismantle it. In the North, liberals are the majority. Government is generally viewed as a bastion for the common good, which leads to the election of those who seek change to advance the country and solve its problems. The question is, can these two visions of governing co-exist or do we have a problem that only separation of the union can solve?

In an article published on Alternet, an argument is made explaining why allowing Southern states to secede would be good for America as a whole. But is this a viable option, or just a fantasy of what a perfect world would look like?

It is clear that there are major differences between the North and the South. The South is anti-union while the North is largely pro-union. The South is anti-choice while the North is pro-choice. The South is anti-gay while the North is rapidly expanding gay rights. Religious fundamentalism is more prevalent in the South than it is in the North. The South is still fighting the Civil War while the North has moved on. Furthermore, Southern states oppose gun regulations, government health care, increased voting rights, lower taxes, do not fund public education as much as they should, and are profoundly more racist. To be sure, lower taxes appeal to just about every American, but when the nation has a debt problem, it is the liberal North that generally supports raising taxes as part of the solution to debt issues. And even though all Americans support Second Amendment rights, the liberal North realizes that common sense regulations can prevent gun violence without infringing on gun rights. And there is no doubt that racism can be found in every state in the nation. It’s just that the South has a deep-seated history of it. 
The main argument for allowing the Southern states to secede is that the South is dragging the nation down. Because the South is anti-union and anti-worker’s rights, they offer foreign nations cheap labor which brings in jobs at the expense of Northern industry. Cheaper labor leads to cheaper products, which means Southern businesses will rake in more demand. The core example used to show this is the American auto industry which is based in Michigan. Since the South is able to offer cheap labor to foreign auto-makers, they can sell cheaper cars to the American public resulting in less American made cars being purchased by consumers. This is a major problem if you support worker’s rights and strong American industry. How can we have strong protections for workers and revive American industry if Southerners are constantly willing to work for far less money and fewer protections? As Alternet notes, by voting for conservative politicians and conservative policies, Southerners are voting against their own interests and as a result, “also have “inferior health and pension plans, less job security, higher risk of being fired for trivial reasons, and diminished safety precautions. …” But the question is, wouldn’t the cheap labor policies still hurt the North even if separation occurs? I assume foreign countries and businesses will still prefer the cheap labor of the South and unless tariffs are enacted, I’m betting Northerners will still buy the cheap goods produced by Southern industry. 
Another argument for separation involves the amount of taxpayer dollars that go to red states (the South) versus blue states (the North). According to Alternet, the South, “home to nine of the nation’s 10 poorest states, is rabidly against government spending, yet all of its states get far more in government subsidies than they give back in taxes.” In short, conservative states are welfare states that benefit from the tax paying blue states. As it turns out, liberals have been supporting conservatives financially this whole time and not the other way around. That means conservative states are parasites even while they accuse liberal states of being lazy. 
The argument concludes that if separation were to become a reality, both sides would be happier and everyone would prosper in their own way. Blue states could keep their policies and tax dollars and red states can keep screwing over their uneducated populace and maintain their conservative policies. 
So would separating into two different countries solve our problems? The answer is, no. Yes, the North and South are divided along political, economic, and social lines. But that will not make both sides happier. The problem with this argument is that there are conservatives in the North, and there are liberals in the South. Is the South going to transfer political opponents to the North and vise versa? Certainly not. What would more than likely occur is that the South will likely oppress liberals, African-Americans, Latinos, and women in worse ways than they do now. The only thing stopping them from doing so currently is federal law and the judicial system. Sure, the Supreme Court wrongly gutted the Voting Rights Act, which will allow Southern states to suppress the vote of those they hate even more than in the last 40 years. But remedies still remain to challenge oppression and suppression. It’s wrong to abandon half of the nation’s citizenry simply because we disagree. 
Another point to make is that if we allow separation to occur, the blood spilled by 600,000 Americans during the Civil War would mean nothing, especially Northern soldiers. Should we really invalidate a hard won victory for civil rights and Union by allowing the South to leave 150 years later? Wouldn’t that allow the South to go full on state’s rights and return back to the kind of way of life (segregation, Jim Crow, etc…) that contradicts the Constitution in every way? The Civil War was fought for a damn good reason. It settled the question of slavery and so-called state’s rights for good. The South needs to get over it and move on. 
Another reality to consider is that conservatives currently control state governments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maine, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Indiana. These are Northern states. So even if North and South separated, it wouldn’t render conservatives and conservative policies extinct, including the economic policies that are dragging the nation down. In fact, it is more likely that the same destructive conservative policies would continue and anti-voting policies combined with ridiculous redistricting maps could result in Northern states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to turn red and continue to cause the same divisions in Congress and could even place a Republican in the White House. What then? Do we merge back with the South? Or do we transfer those new red states to the South as well? The whole idea of separation sounds very messy now. It can also be dangerous. 
Conservatives are very fearful and paranoid, especially of liberals. That’s because they’ve been brainwashed by Republican politicians to see liberals and Democrats as the greatest enemy of freedom on the homefront. That being said, it is likely that eventually the South will strongly consider going to war against their liberal neighbors in the future to protect what they call freedom. There is not an ocean separating the North and South. We are landlocked, and thus would be right next to each other the same way Israel is with Palestine. So it’s not out of the question to see war breaking out, because once we are separated, the differences will only become greater, leading to guaranteed conflict. As Alternet points out, there is no other subject that Southerners express their patriotism more than on war and the military. Combined with rampant religious fanaticism, that kind of patriotism will lead to bloodshed the likes of which this nation hasn’t witnessed since the Civil War. What will we do to prevent that? Turn states like Kentucky and Tennessee into a no-man’s land? 
Separation is not the solution to our nation’s ills. The only real solution to our problems is the American people themselves. We have the power to settle these political battles between liberals and conservatives. Not only do we need to start voting more intelligently and in greater numbers, we need to wage a movement to change people’s minds. One ideology is wrong. That much is clear considering the conditions in the South due to extreme conservative policies. Southern voters have the power to change these policies, but that starts with education, either by school or by life experience. By life experience, I mean the federal government could strip benefits from Southern states and show the people of that region what a hell hole their elected officials have turned their states into. The results of losing all government funding would be disastrous to the South. And when people start to lose things, they get angry at who represents them. Conservatives in Southern states have been able to use government funding to hide what their policies have actually done. That should end. And when it does, the fireworks will begin. 
But separation is a bad idea for another reason. In states across the South, demographics are constantly changing. The old guard is dying off, while the idealistic youth are becoming more powerful politically. Not only that, women are waking up to how their state governments are trying to legislate their bodies and African-Americans are mad as hell about more restrictive voting rights. On top of that, demographics are changing because of increased Latino populations. For example, the Latino population is growing so rapidly in Texas that it is believed that Texas will turn blue as early as a decade from now, maybe earlier. Even Florida is turning a deeper shade of blue. That change has resulted in Florida flipping to the Democratic column in the last two Presidential elections despite voter suppression efforts by the conservative controlled state government. A liberal Texas would tip the scales on the electoral map and if you add Florida, Republicans may never again occupy the White House unless they change their policies or stoop to illegal means to win it. Why give up on America now when the long-term looks so promising? 
The relationship between North and South is a long and complicated one. Although both have many things in common, the differences between the two haven’t been so fever pitched since the Civil War and Civil Rights eras. But change does and will happen. It always does. At one time, the South voted Democratic and hated Republicans. Then Democrats changed their positions and the result was a nation transformed by liberal policies. Out of that, we got the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, Title IX, the Environmental Protection Agency, several landmark Supreme Court rulings such as Roe v. Wade and Brown v Board of Education, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and a whole host of other pieces of legislation that has shaped the America in which we live. 
Republicans, divided as they are now, morphed into a party of conservatives and have grown in strength over the last 60 years. But once again, change is on the horizon. It’s going to take a grassroots movement to combat conservative bad ideas, and a changing demographic will only aid that movement. Conservatives will either change their policies, or they face certain political doom, and the new liberal majorities in southern states will drag them kicking and screaming into a new American era. During the most divisive time in American history when Southern conservatives and Northern liberals couldn’t be more different, Abraham Lincoln once said that “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” That adage holds true today. Conservative politicians are fooling the good citizens of the South, and it’s up to liberals across the country to convince them to open their eyes. America should be one nation as our Founding Fathers intended. We cannot separate and pretend to be one nation dedicated to liberty and freedom while our southern brothers and sisters are oppressed in their new separate nation. It just won’t work and considering it amounts to giving up on America. 
Read more from Addictinginfo  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Addictinginfo On The SCOTUS Striking 1965 VRA Section 4

According To New Poll The American People Despise Supreme Court Decision To Gut Voting Rights Act

Author July 3, 2013 7:20 pm

When the Supreme Court decided to gut the Voting Rights Act last week, America lost a landmark piece of legislation that was pivotal in the fight against discrimination across the country. The ruling instantly became one of the single worst in American judicial history, and most Americans could not agree more.
According to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, over half of Americans disagree with the high court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act. That number includes a whopping 71% of African-Americans, who initially fought for and achieved the passage of the act during the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Only 33% of Americans actually agree with the court’s decision.
For over 40 years, the Voting Rights Act prevented states, mostly in the South, from discriminating against people of color to keep them from voting. The teeth of the law, known as Section 4, required states with a history of discriminatory policies to obtain pre-clearance from the Justice Department before any new laws could take effect. 

Read more (Visit Addictinginfo to finish this piece...and read a few more "Addicting" pieces at )

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SCOTUS Strikes Down Key Provision of 1965 Voting Rights Act!

A Historic Supreme Court

Alas, conservative America reaps the fruit of carefully crafted and strategically positioned SCOTUS.  Since the reign of Ronald  Reagan and "The First" Bush  George Herbert Walker Bush) the US SCOTUS has evolved from a pre-Reagan high court which handed down rulings benefiting a Judicial Branch of a once great nation to a judicial activist wing of right-wing social movement. The GOP gas boldly practiced overt restriction of voting blocs from the beginning of President Obama's  announcement of a run for a second term. Factually speaking, a form of suppression in the 2000 "selection" of G.W. Bush over Al Gore lead to possible suppression of over 10,000 votes.   Follow me a moment.  

A voting administration contractor in the state of (get this) Texas wrongly classified over 10,000 people with non-felony convictions  as ineligible to vote.  Bush received the benefit  of a (Pontius Pilat)  SCOTUS which refused to order a vote recount  in an presidential election decided by just over 500 votes. (We all know how that all ended in 2007/08/09.) 

The essence of the story? The GOP learned in 2000 the power of "vote deprivation" against potential voters who generally vote against the party.  No, the Jim Crowe voter prohibitions and strife against a people who sought to exercise an American "right" may be less prevalent in a specific county in a (southern) state, but the greater impact will be disparate against African-Americans and Latinos.

Many manifestations of voter suppression exemplified by audio and video evidence of intentions to suppress votes stand as reminders of a political strategy.  Even Mitt Romney was caught on audio coercing  executives and managers to influence their employees to vote against Obama with false claims of high job losses. How do managers influence employees to vote for one candidate ever another? Threats of job counts including lay-offs will influence votes.

From top to bottom the GOP is about depriving voting rights.   While the The Roberts Court etched its place in US History, we are left with a bold lie about how the Alabama decision was not taken lightly.  We at the TPI would rather have a thumbed nose or middle finger salute than have the conservative wing of the SCOTUS 'play' us as of we are viewers of Fox News!  Do the five conservative men actually think intelligent people (Right or Left) believe Scalia, his minion Thomas, (Citizens United) Alito, Kennedy and Roberts  weren't frothing at mouth to get their conservatism  judicially exercised in Alabama?

USA Today Jun 25, 2013 (This is a must read USA Today piece)

The Roberts Court v. the Constitution: Column

The Supreme Court's decision in "Shelby County v. Holder" abandons constitutional protection of the right to vote.
(Photo: Library of Congress)


The Voting Rights Act decision fails to explain what makes law's core provision unconstitutional. 
Chief Justice Roberts avoided the part of the Constitution that's most applicable: the 15th Amendment. 
The Shelby County case is an abandonment of the Constitution's protection of the right to vote. 

The most basic requirement of any Supreme Court decision involving the application of the Constitution is to explain how the Constitution's text and meaning command the result the Court reaches. By that standard, today's 5-4 opinion in Shelby County v. Holder is a colossal failure. In the majority opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court struck down a core provision of the Voting Rights Act – a statute that has ensured protection of the right to vote for millions of Americans – without ever explaining what provision of the Constitution rendered this iconic, landmark statute unconstitutional. 
Not only that, but Chief Justice Roberts also studiously avoided the part of the Constitution most directly applicable. The Roberts opinion flouted the text and history of the Fifteenth Amendment, which expressly give to Congress broad powers to prevent and deter all forms of racial discrimination in voting.
Read more (linked above)

Huffington Post

President Obama's reaction to the landmark decision:

 "I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent....."
As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process. with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent. 
As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.

 The TPI will of course follow this historic SCOTUS decision and reaction going forward.