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View Diary: Ousted Florida Republicans, including ex-Gov. Crist, say voter suppression was state GOP's goal (146 comments)

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  •  I think I understand what you're saying - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wisper, CA wildwoman

    but like a lot of people here, I don't want to believe that the only way to stop elected officials from pursuing voter suppression is to not vote them in in the first place, or to vote them out once they're in. I mean, our right to vote is suppossed to be guaranteed by our Constitution, isn't it? It's hard to accept that there's no way to punish elected officials who want to take that right to vote away.

    So you live in a state where you're a minority, and the elected officials in that state pass laws that make it difficult or impossible for you to vote. The majority of the residents in your state either don't vote anyway and don't care, or know that you're likely to vote differently than them - so they agree with the elected officials that you shouldn't be allowed to vote. It seems that this person's only recourse, in order to make sure that their right to vote is honored, is to move to another state. That's just ridiculous! Is there really no other way? There must be some way that we can work to change this.

    •  I agree with the sentiment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA wildwoman

      but the Speech and Debate Clause is what it is.  

      Any law they enact can and should be challenged.  The speech and debate clause is in the Constitution but so are your rights.  ...but you just cant charge a legislator for legislating.

      I just wanted to bring a little reality check to the people calling for indictments or jail time.  This is not a case of the Obama DOJ looking the other way.

      ...oh, but the jokers we read about during the campaign season that were tossing out registration forms or absentee ballots... now THOSE m-f'ers should be looking a stretch on the inside.  (but that's typically state laws, not Federal)

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:47:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does the speech and debate clause (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA wildwoman, Vetwife

        allow parties to conspire to interfere or prevent people from voting on a national level? The National GOP works with 50 state GOP parties to support actions that prevent legitimate voters reasonable access. The results are very clear in areas they did attempt to suppress voters, and I'm willing to bet that the GOP didn't spend money suppressing votes in states they knew they would lose. That is evidence too. I doubt they could show why in good faith that their legislating was necessary, especially while you have former GOP heavyweights in FL saying they are essentially guilty. Why wouldn't DOJ want to take this on even if they lose? Politics is no longer a downside.

        If I were a resident of FL I'd feel like my civil rights were being violated, even if it happened to my neighbor Manuel. Voting is done in secret, everything about it needs to be transparent or voting is a myth.
        Obviously I'm no lawyer, but for gods sake if it looks like a duck... they are guilty of much more than being assholes.  

        Who is John Galt? An ASSHOLE, thats who

        by Max Runk on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:20:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it does (0+ / 0-)

          I responded to a lot of comments in this thread with the same answer...aside from the actual Speech and Debate clause which was written to make sure office-holders were not prosecuted for unpopular measures... people need to understand these terms of "conspiracy" and "crime" and "indictment".

          This grand criminal cabal was all done in open sessions of state legislature.  These politicians publicly campaigned on these issues, sent out flyers, held town halls and asked people to support them and vote for them to MAKE SURE these measures were put in place.  ....and they won.

          The laws were clearly written... passed by majorities.. signed by governors... and enforced by the appropriate state-level agencies.  There is no crime here.  Its not a matter of "taking this on even if they lose".  There is NOTHING to take on from a criminal standpoint.  You couldnt even get an indictment or a warrant.

          Now the LAWS themselves?  Very suspect.  They should (and, in many instances, have been) challenged and the courts (not the DOJ) can find them unconstitutional (which is a civil issue, not criminal) and can overturn them or prevent them from being enforced or anything else a court feels it needs to do to make the law constitutional.

          Now if people act outside the law (like destroying ballots or tampering with registration forms) or openly defy a court order, THEN you are looking at criminal behavior.  But legislators can write and pass ANYTHING they want. (I used the example elsewhere that Florida could pass a law reestablishing slavery if it wanted)  The checks to this are the requirement of a majority, a governor signature or over-riding super-majority, judicial review and the inevitability that every one of these legislators must answer back to their voters at the next ballot box.

          But criminal prosecution?  No...that is simply not possible constitutionally or by Federal Statute.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:57:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was Illegal (0+ / 0-)

            1.  Used to influence an election.

            2.  Discrimination central to the activity.

            It was surely and clearly illegal under the VRA.  Nothing could be clearer.

          •  As a disabled Vietnam veteran (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            who served honorably - I came to the point of tears when it was a possibiity that my absentee ballot would be challenged in Hillsborough County, FL.  It was a possibility as my ballot was torn when I received it the first time.  Tears.  

            Moreover, If the county where you vote implements illegal activity related to one's sacred vote/ballot, that is serious and dire.  If it is as follows:

            1.  Used to influence an election.

            2.  Involves discrimination.

            Then it truly violates the VRA and the DOJ should act.  

          •  I'm not talking about politicians in office (0+ / 0-)

            If we can't touch elected officials because of law protecting elected officials ok fine. BUT, the people running the party, the person in charge of the GOP, the party chairman is not an elected official and does not work for any state. This person is conspiring with multiple state party chairmen, and not all of those folks are elected officials either. I don't see how the S&D Clause would protect them.
            Am I getting warmer?  

            Who is John Galt? An ASSHOLE, thats who

            by Max Runk on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:41:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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