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View Diary: I was denied free voter ID today: Pennsylvania (402 comments)

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  •  I wish I had a nickel for every time someone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, high uintas, Only Needs a Beat

    thought Eric Holder or President Obama could change everything wrong in this world.

    They aren't the magic fairies.

    •  They don't need to (7+ / 0-)

      right every wrong (that's a strawman, BTW), but they could sure as hell enforce the voting rights laws of the country. Couldn't they?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 05:19:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how, specifically? (5+ / 0-)

        Is Holder supposed to strike down the PA voter ID law? How? There's SCOTUS precedent on this that makes it, at best, very hard to win in federal court. Evidently it's hard to win even in state court.

        I'm not asking rhetorically. I have no idea whether Holder is doing everything that he reasonably can do. But when people say that Holder should be doing more, and don't mention any particular thing that he should be doing, I have the same reaction SixtySomething did.

        •  I'm no attorney (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrJersey, flitedocnm, Orlaine

          But I believe the AG has the duty to enforce federal statutes and the Constitution. I am positive PA is violating the law and Holder should put a stop to it. If PA has a problem, let them take it to the court and but they should be forced to follow the rule of law in the mean time.

          -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

          by Blueslide on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:44:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  at the risk of repeating myself... (0+ / 0-)

            How, specifically? "Holder should put a stop to it" how?

            In the last six hours (sorry about that), some folks have commented on what the DoJ has done so far. Again, I'm open to specific arguments that DoJ should be doing more.

            •  Federal Troops works for me n/t (0+ / 0-)

              -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

              by Blueslide on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:11:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Holder controls federal troops?! (0+ / 0-)

                Wait. Am I on Daily Kos?

                •  hudsonvalleymark (0+ / 0-)

                  No holder reports to the President of the USA. A different President, in another civil rights matter you may recall, used federal troops to uphold the civil rights marchers in Alabama.

                  These times call for bold action. We have a recalcitrant and obstructionist right wing and a prone Democratic Party in "opposition".

                  You asked what remedy I thought would work. Asked and answered...next.

                  -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                  by Blueslide on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:05:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Blueslide (0+ / 0-)

                    No, not asked and answered at all. If you've written off Holder and moved on to Obama, then the next question surely is obvious: what on earth, specifically, do you think Obama should do with the federal troops? "Bold action"? What bold action?

                    •  Deny the enforcement of this law at the polls (0+ / 0-)

                      If that takes force then so be it. Force the states to prove these laws are not discriminatory BEFORE enactment as Holder has said.

                      I haven't written off Holder, but he is going about this in a"bi partisan" namby pamby style as has been the wont of the Obama administration. This is a civil rights issue that demands immediate and forceful action.

                      What remedy do you suggest in forcing these states to follow the Constitution?

                      -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                      by Blueslide on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:02:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  please tell me you're just brainstorming (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Murphoney

                        Are you proposing that Obama send troops into Pennsylvania polling places to compel Pennsylvania pollworkers, at gunpoint, to violate Pennsylvania state law?

                        That sounds like something out of a RedState fever dream. Letting the president trump the judicial branch by treating the U.S. armed forces as his private army seems pretty close to the opposite of following the Constitution.

                        DoJ should keep pressing the state to demonstrate that it can adequately implement the law -- which I daresay none of us really believes. Assuming that the state can't adequately implement the law, DoJ can press for an injunction under the Voting Rights Act (although Rick Hasen thinks that, at the moment, that is a long shot). Maybe Holder has some more creative options, but he doesn't have plenipotentiary power here.

                        Probably the best chance to get an injunction hinge on getting people to PennDOT offices and proving that PennDOT is unwilling and/or unable to implement the law. It appears that PennDOT has provided for far too few IDs, but that can't be demonstrated until people start demanding them. If the Commonwealth Court judge is sincere in distinguishing between a "facial" and an "as applied" challenge to the law, Pennsylvanians can help him out by acting now (or, for those who are only eligible for the DOS ID, next week) to obtain their IDs. That will give Holder, Advancement Project, the ACLU et al. more to work with.

                        Getting people to PennDOT in the first place will take a formidable organizing effort, and it shouldn't be necessary. Those civil rights marches shouldn't have been necessary, either. But I really don't think Obama can solve the problem by invading Pennsylvania. YMMV.

                        •  Of course I am brainstorming (0+ / 0-)

                          But sitting around and waiting for Republicans to do the right thing is a recipe for failure. Are you seriously suggesting the federal government has to prove this law is discriminatory? You are going to wait around for some group or organization to gather evidence and formulate a case to prove it, then take it to court? How many people get disenfranchised in this process?

                          It never ceases to amaze me how, when the law is violated, Democrats have trouble enforcing it. I am proposing that Obama compel poll workers to observe federal law. Perhaps the original voter registration requirements prior to the enactment of this law can be used as a guideline in November?

                          The Republicans have been busy breaking the law for quite some time. Perhaps the most egregious is Bush's war crimes. The President's response was to take a pass. Rather than the opposition party too often Democrats act like the status quo party.

                          -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                          by Blueslide on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:41:32 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  oh my (0+ / 0-)
                            Are you seriously suggesting the federal government has to prove this law is discriminatory?
                            Nope, not at all. Dirty Harry can move in and kick some asses!!!1!

                            But if we're going to talk about upholding the Constitution, then yeah, your suggestion has some problems -- and misrepresenting my position and complaining about how the Democrats are weak on law enforcement(!) doesn't address those problems.

                            Here, let me try for some common ground:

                            Perhaps the original voter registration requirements prior to the enactment of this law can be used as a guideline in November?
                            If a court issues an injunction, that could still happen, yes, and just about all of us here thinks it should.

                            Election protection: there's an app for that!
                            Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:11:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Does the state of PA (0+ / 0-)

                            need to prove their law does not discriminate? According to Holder they do have to prove it to the DOJ and they have not.

                            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                            by Blueslide on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 06:05:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  If the diarist is correct (3+ / 0-)

          and I have no reason to think he's not, then PA is violating it's own laws as well as federal law. Holder should have them in front of a US district court judge explaining why this is not a poll tax.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:46:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The court of public opinion counts -- a lot. Ohio, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimene

          for example. There was public outrage that D counties had early voting cut way back and R counties got their hours expanded. The major newspapers in the state were forced to cover it. The Secretary of State backed down under the intense pressure, and now every county will be the same. THAT'S why leadership from Obama and Holder matter -- not just to push this in the courts, but to make this so much a public issue that the overt disenfranchisers are forced to back down.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 11:14:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They can only intervene if there is an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE

        infraction of the voting rights law of '65. It narrowly defines what the Dept of Justice can do. IIRC only 5 counties in PA are under that law and the Dept is investigating those counties.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 07:23:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think there are suits in the works (0+ / 0-)

        but that stuff takes time.And, you can still lose, I suppose.

        "...annoyingly ethical,"

        by chicating on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:51:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I actually don't expect them to be magic fairies (0+ / 0-)

        and fix it.  I just want them to be talking about it.  I want the President to talk everyday about how the our votes and our democracy are being stolen.  

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