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View Diary: Antonin Scalia develops split personality disorder (175 comments)

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  •  Reasonable minds can disagree on that. (0+ / 0-)

    And I will be the first to confess that I haven't studied the facts of the case sufficiently  to evaluate the Court's arguments, so I will play a little Rebecca of SunnyBrook Farm here knowing that I could be wrong, wrong, wrong...

    On its face, I've always been bothered that the law seems to have frozen a set list of jurisdictions over the years -- especially when you see big complaints in the last election come out of places like Ohio and Philadelphia. It does have a little luck of punishing the south for old news while ignoring dirty laundry in northerly climes.

    The thing that really seems questionable about the latest renewal of the act -- and something different from earlier iterations -- was the length of the extension. 25 years.  That's a long time to freeze special circumstances into place.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 08:43:17 AM PDT

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    •  Here's what I see as the likelihoods: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Berkeley Fred

      1. This Congress will not legislate a new formula for the one the Court decided was so dated. The 18 Senators in those nine target states (plus several more states where a jurisdiction, usually a county, smaller than a state is under the re-clearance requirement) will not - not ever! Never! - allow a re-creation of that process. This GOP House will not tolerate reenacting the VRA.

      2. There is zero likelihood that Congress would put a preclearance VRA requirement on all states. Why? Because that would be tantamount to erasing state jurisdiction over qualifications to vote, in favor of a Federal override and at the front end, before the restrictions could become effective. The Court acknowledged the difficult truth that except in a few specific instances (such as defining who is a "citizen," the 18 years threshold, etc.), the Constitution gives the states almost all power. They ain't gonna give that up.

      3. It is true that voting matters can be jiggered in Oh, so many ways, and are by other states than the targeted nine. But that throws the baby out with the bath water. The way that the Feds get involved at all - given so much state power to decide qualifications, mess with voting hours and locations, etc. - is because states typically disadvantage groups, such as people of color, who are protected by Federal law. Those state-legislated disadvantages do not limit likely Republican voters.

      What will happen now is that restrictive laws on registration, voter ID, election processes (polling location and hours, process, advance vetting, etc.) and the many other ways to screw those who want to vote will get challenged all right, but there's no pre-clearance. As it has been said, the wheels of justice will grind exceedingly slow and exceedingly fine.

      Moreover, a state legislature and/or local and county election officials might - just might; I'm only sayin' "might" - wait until the last minute to act, leaving very little time for challengers to get to court. Moreover, in the process, they'll obliterate the previous ways of doing things (records, defunding or disenfranchising election boards, etc.) so even if a court were to enjoin the new restrictions, it would be too late.

      The VRS decision is another case, like Citizens United, where the judges can say they had no such intent. To say their ruling - as such - had no such effect. To lament the human condition and break for coffee.

      We'll see.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 09:28:57 AM PDT

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    •  Only if you believe racism no longer exists (0+ / 0-)

      The only way Roberts' legal argument has any validity is if the facts are conclusive that racism does not exist at all in any of the jurisdictions covered by Section 4. Prove that by a preponderance of the evidence (at minimum), and then maybe the argument of the preclearance map being 'unfair' might make sense.

      Does anyone to the left of the KKK believe that racism does not exist in America today? Gee, if Roberts et al were correct, why there would not be any actions by local and state governments to restrict voting, because after all, there no longer is any more racist reason to do so. Wait a minute, what was enacted in Texas? North Carolina, literally hours after the decision? Are these laws designed to make it easier to vote? No? But I don't understand, if there's no more racism, what is the reason for these actions?

      Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

      For the KRATS, never ascribe stupidity when you can ascribe malice to their actions. Of course they knew that this would be the outcome. It's what they wanted. It's what too many Americans want - to 'move on' from all that icky racist past. Interesting how often they and their supporters insist there must be a deadline after which we can say the past no longer matters.

      'Let Congress decide.' Yeah, I'm sure they can't count the number of reps of each party in the House, either.

      They can count just like we can, they read the papers just like we do: they can see that American politics is polarized between the White Christian Party and the Everyone Else Party, and the numbers are pointing one way: the wrong way.

      •  Hardly. (0+ / 0-)

        I need only to believe that the pre-clearance districts were not chosen in a way that is reasonably related to the goal of preventing it's effects.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 09:51:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So if laws with the effect of restricting voting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          by race start being enacted in these former preclearance districts - which you agree with the Supreme Court were not reasonably chosen - well, I guess they were reasonably chosen after all. But obviously this evidence should be disregarded; after all, the Supreme Court said so!

          Who are you going to believe? Justice Roberts or your lying eyes?

          •  Sometimes it's not enough to get the "right" (0+ / 0-)


            Sometimes you have to get it the right way.

            There was a round of court decisions regarding tests that over-screened minority candidates.

            It's ok to screen out minority candidates if your screening test actually reflects the skills needed to do the job, but, if it  knocks out minorities for reasons that don't relate to the job, you can't use it.

            A couple of ways around the problem:

            1. Apply pre-clearance across the board, or
            2. Clarify the requirements for pre-clearance.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 10:30:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So 'a little' discrimination is ok then (0+ / 0-)

              Better to get rid of all existing preclearance requirements and allow wholly-expected local legislation leading to increased racial discrimination in voting in these same districts to pass, rather than permitting the old map to stand.

              You and the Roberts Supreme Court agree that's the balance that should be set in this case. Got it!

              •  No, it's not. (0+ / 0-)

                But -- If you are going to bring the machinery and might of the federal government into play (making the resources used unavailable elsewhere), you should have a good reason for doing it, or more accurately, a supporatable reason for doing it.

                Remember MB's diary about the effect of the law on Indian reservations? The ACLU examined more than 600 laws (or maybe they were just regulations, I don't recall) and found that about 600 were unobjectionable and something like 11 were a problem.

                If that's a pre-clearance district, the government needs to go through all 600+ regulations. And that's ok if there's good reason to be believe the locals are going to sneak in those 11 bad actions.  It means work for the feds, and it means gumming up the works for the locals. It's a high price, but --- when the locals can't be trusted, it's a price that must be paid.

                If there is no good reason to believe that locals can't be trusted, the price may be too high to pay, especially when you realize that the absence of pre-clearance is not the absence of remedy.  Look again at the example MB cited. Lakota were not in a pre-clearance district, but the ACLU sued and won, making the case that pre-clearance was justified.


                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 11:50:56 AM PDT

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