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    Ohio Republicans passed a voting law that, like Jim Crow laws, created two separate classes of voters.  Where Jim Crow laws created two classes of voters based off of the color of a person's skin, the Ohio Republican's Jim Crow-Style Laws created two classes of voters based off of a person's occupation.

     Last month, President Obama filed a lawsuit against the Ohio state law that eliminates in-person early voting for some voters while allowing in-person early voting for others based solely off of the person's occupation.  In short, the Ohio restrictive voting law creates two classes of voters: Military voters versus Non-Military voters.  

     Ohio Republican's restrictive voting law, ends early voting for the non-military class while keeping the early voting for the military class.  

      Mitt Romney's lawyer, Katie Biber, said creating two separate classes of Ohio voters does not violate the 14th Amendment.  Jim Crow laws also created separate classes of voters.  

Romney's Lawyer: "It is not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause to give military voters special flexibility in early voting. The Ohio legislature had every right to make this policy."
    Just like, giving white people special flexibility in voting rights during Jim Crow laws was a violation of the 14th Amendment, giving military personnel stationed in Ohio special voting rights is also a violation as the 14th Amendment forbids any State from giving one group of U.S. citizens special treatment.
     
14th Amendment: Equal Protection Clause
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
     The Ohio voting law blatantly does 'abridges' the 'equal protection' regarding voting rights of people based solely off of what a person's occupation is.

      The 14th Amendment does not say that a State can create laws and give people special treatment because of what their occupation is. In fact, the Constitution prohibits any State from passing laws that create laws that favor one class of people over another class of people.

     Basically, the Constitution does not grant special laws to people based off of the color of their skin or what someone's occupation is.

     The Constitution demands all people have the exact same legal rights no matter what someone's occupation is.  

Hence the phrase in the Constitution: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

    Yesterday, Mitt Romney said he is totally miffed at the Ohio State Law that restricts early voting for both military and non-military Americans
ROMNEY: ".... [T]he brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I’m entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I’ll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them."
    Notice, Romney language fights for the creation of two classes of voters as his his comment is clear; Romney does not give a damn about the restrictions the Ohio law has put on non-military members.

     Nice huh?  

     Between the comments of Romney's lawyer and Mitt Romney, it is clear, Mitt Romney agrees with creating two separate classes of voters based off of "occupation" status.

      Actually, Romney is fighting hard to keep in place Ohio's two class voter status as he condemns President Obama for filing a lawsuit to stop the efforts of Ohio Republican's creation of a two class voter structure:

ROMNEY: President Obama’s lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage.  
    Yeah Mitt, because America can not wait to get back to those Jim Crow-style laws (snark).

     Actually, I find Romney's fight to create and enable Jim Crow-style laws to be disgusting and underscores that Mitt Romney is unfit to become United States President.

     What's next, will Mitt Romney fight for laws that allow Corporations to vote but not humans?  

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Comment Preferences

  •  "occupation" is not a suspect class (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cph

    under the 14th Amendment.  Race (the basis for Jim Crow laws) is.  There's a big constitutional difference.  

    The Supreme Court has held over and over and over that some kinds of "discrimination" is constitutionally permissible.  Congress "discriminates"all the time, based on things like whether you have children, your age, how much money you make, etc.  Laws do not have to treat all citizens equally.  If the discrimination is not based on membership in a suspect class, the question is whether the legislature has a "rational basis" for the discrimination.  If there's a rational basis for treating one group of people (not based on a suspect class) differently, then the discrimination is constitutional under the 14th Amendment.  

    Here, the question will be whether there will be a rational basis for treating members of the military differently from other voters.  That is clearly NOT the same question that was asked for race -- a suspect class -- in examining Jim Crow laws.

    In other words, your equating this law with Jim Crow laws under the 14th Amendment is constitutionally way off base.  

    •  You are confusing Constitutional Rights with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kingfishstew, eXtina, myboo, a2nite

      non-Constitutional rights.

      With regard to Constitutional Rights, like voting, due process etc., the Constitution prohibits any and all discrimination.

      You are confusing Constitutional rights with laws that, for instance, decide whether or not someone is eligible for things like: Medicade, Medicare.

      Respectfully, I hope you understand the difference.

      I agree with the diarist, when a State separates people's Constitutional rights by enacting 2 classes of citizens for Constitutionally protected acts, like voting and due process, then that is setting up Jim Crow-Style laws.

      •  Coffeetalk is correct and you are not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk

        The Constitution simply does not prohibit discrimination of any kind.  Respectfully, I don't think you have a good understanding of constitutional law.

        •  So you think that a State can pass a law (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eXtina

          saying women who work outside the home have different voting rights than women who do not work outside the home.

          coffeetalk is only correct with respect to things like Medicare eligibility

           but not Constitutionally protected voting rights.

           Respectfully, I don't think you have a good understanding of constitutional law

          I urge you to research poll taxes.  The states that had poll taxes used the same argument you and coffeetalk are using and those poll tax laws were deemed Un Constitutional.

        •  Here's why you and coffeetalk are wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eXtina

          U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) that poll taxes for state elections were declared unconstitutional because they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    •  You are wrong, Constitutionally protected laws DO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      have to treat all people equally.

      look up Brown v. Board of Education.

      Voting is a Constitutional Right.  All persons 18 years of age or older have a Constitutional right to vote.

      The Constitution says, "No state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
      That means, all persons of Ohio shall have the exact same Constitutionally protected voting rights regardless of color of skin and regardless of occupation anything less is Jim Crow-Style laws.

      Ohio has set up two classes of voters and that is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment.

      Again, I urge you to read Brown v. Board of Education.

      Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
      Similarly, states laws establishing separate voting rights for one group is also unconstitutional.
      •  I'm a lawyer and this is first year law school (0+ / 0-)

        stuff.  

        Brown v. Board of Education was based on racial discrimination.  Race is a "suspect class" under the Equal Protection Clause.  

        Please familiarize yourself with basic constitutional law.  You can start here.

        •  I don't care if you are a lawyer you are wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eXtina

          Your entire notion is wrong.

          The Ohio law discriminates based off of "occupation" and you, claiming to have a law degree is neither here nor there.

          The fact is:
          It is a violation of the 14th Amendment to give women who work for a bank separate voting rights from women who work for a public school.

          It is a violation of the 14th Amendment to give men who work for a bank separate voting rights from men who work for a public school.

          It is a violation of the 14th Amendment to give military workers separate voting rights from people who do not work for the military.

          DUH!

          Respectfully, I would not want you representing me in discrimination case as you clearly have no idea what you are talking about with respect to Constitutional protected rights.

        •  coffeetalk: Your comment makes no sense (3+ / 0-)

          Are you seriously saying that as a lawyer you advise your clients that if they are not considered  "suspect class" then they can have their Constitutional rights abridged.

          That is the silliest thing I have ever heard and makes me wonder if you are really a lawyer or just claiming to be a lawyer.

          How about this, the non-military voters of Ohio are, in fact, comprised of "suspect classes" as the non-military voters of Ohio are comprised of people of: different race, different national origin, and different religions.

          So there's the violation of the Ohio law infringing on those Ohio voters who are considered "suspect class"

          The mere fact that you think a State can abridge and infringe on any person's voting rights bases off of what their job title is -- well that's absurd and I have serious doubts as to your claim of being a lawyer.

          •  Sigh. No, I am saying that the law gets (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth

            less scrutiny if it discriminates against a group that is not a suspect class.  

            Take a look here.  If a law discriminates on the basis of race, it gets "strict scrutiny" -- it can only be justified if there is a "compelling" state interest, and the law is narrowly tailored  to meet that interest.  Basically, to uphold a law that discriminates based on a suspect class, the court has to believe there's a really, really compelling purpose for enacting it, and the law is pretty much the only way of addressing that really, really compelling interest.  Laws discriminating based on a suspect class -- like Jim Crow laws, which discriminated based on race -- are almost never constitutional.  

            Laws that do not address a suspect class, or one of the groups that get mid-level scrutiny, are evaluated on a "rational basis" test.  Basically, if the government has a rational basis for the law that discriminates based on those other things -- class, wealth, age, disability, etc. -- it is upheld as constitutional under the 14th Amendment.   (Civil rights laws, not the constitution, prevent discrimination on some of those bases in certain circumstances.)  Most economic regulation is evaluated under this "rational basis" test.  

            Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (the poll tax case from 1966) essentially said that it failed a rational basis test.  The question under the rational relationship text is whether there is a rational relationship between a legitimate government interest and what the law does to further than interest.  The Harper Court held there was no relationship between the legitimate government interest of getting making sure people were qualified to vote and a poll tax:  

            Those principles apply here. For, to repeat, wealth or fee paying has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications; the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened or conditioned.
            There are all sorts of restrictions on voting that discriminate against one group or another.  For example, if you make 18 in between the time to register to vote and election day, you can't vote.  If you make 18 the day after election day, you can't vote. Laws that make you vote in person, or pick up an absentee or early voting ballot in person, clearly have a disproportionate impact on some groups, especially the elderly or disabled who don't have transportation.  Laws closing the polls at certain times have a disproportionate impact on those who work during the majority of the time the polls are open.  Ironically, the Voting Rights Act "discriminates" based on where you live -- there are extra burdens on certain states.  We'll see whether laws requiring some ID are constitutional or not when that issue reaches the SCOTUS.  If the SCOTUS is convinced, based on the evidence in the record of such a case, that the laws are directed to disenfranchising minority voters (i.e., racial discrimination), it would be subject to "strict scrutiny."

            I am not saying that this particular law -- discriminating in favor of military personnel -- is or is not constitutional.  What I AM saying is that it is NOT equivalent to a "Jim Crow" law -- a law that discriminates expressly based on race.  

            •  You got your law degree at wikipedia (0+ / 0-)

              1) Suspect Class:
              the Non-Military Ohio voters are made up of the "suspect class" as they are people of different races, different national origin and different religions.

              2) Rational Basis Test:
              The Ohio law violates non-Military voters Constitutional rights via the Rational Basis Test as the voting rights of the non-military members might infringe on their 14th Amendment rights -- which is the basis of the Rational Basis Test.

              3) Harper v. Board of Election
              How can you not see that Ohio's law that grants 2classes of voting rights based off of "occupation" is any different than saying 2classes of people will have separate voting rights based off of their wealth?

              Here's what the Court would have added in Harper:

              Those principles apply here. For, to repeat, wealth or fee paying [OR OCCUPATION] has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications; the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened or conditioned.
              The Supreme Court has ruled over and over that a State cannot have separate voting laws for people who cannot read at the same level -- yet you think it's ok for a State to have separate voting laws for people who have different job titles?!?

              I respectfully say, you would be a better 'lawyer' if you got a degree from a real college as opposed to Wikipedia which seems to be your only source for legal advice.

            •  Here's what you left out of Harper v Board of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy

              Elections.

              The Supreme Court Ruled:

              We conclude that a State violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment whenever it makes the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth nor to paying or not paying this or any other tax. Our cases demonstrate that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment restrains the States from fixing voter qualifications which invidiously discriminate.  
                Do you see that last line?
              ".... the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment restrains the States from fixing voter qualifications which invidiously discriminate
                 It is abundantly clear that the Ohio law that established 2classes of voters with separate voting laws is UN-Constitutional as the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to vote is too precious and too fundamental to allow States to f@*k with them:
              "the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment restrains the States from fixing voter qualifications which invidiously discriminate
            •  All 18 year olds have the same rules (0+ / 0-)

              The laws on age restriction treat all people the same.

              YOUR 18 YEAR OLD RESTRICTION COMMENT:
                   All 18 year olds, regardless of their job title and/or occupation have the exact same restrictions.

                   Meaning: No age restriction law says that 18 years old who have 'this' job title can vote longer than those 18 year olds who have 'that' job title.

              YOUR POLLS CLOSING AT DIFFERENT TIMES COMMENT
                  The polls close at different times for all the people.

                  Meaning: No poll closing time law says that people who have 'this' job title can vote longer than those people who have 'that' job title.

              YOUR EXTRA BURDEN ON DIFFERENT STATE COMMENT
                   States that have had laws that discriminate a person's right to vote by passing laws that say only people who can read can vote cannot pass new voting rights laws unless those laws are found to be Constitutional before they go into effect.

                  In short, states that have been found to discriminate and violate the People's right to vote have to prove they are not writing laws that will, again, discriminate and violate the People's right to vote.

                   You like to toss apples in with cupcakes.  You are trying to compare States that have the extra burden to prove they are not going back to their discriminating ways with States that are creating 2classes of voting rights for individuals, which is, itself discrimination.

                   Like I said, I would not want you representing me in discrimination case as you clearly have no idea what you are talking about with respect to Constitutional protected rights for individuals.

        •  you are not being "rational" (0+ / 0-)

          IF:
          you use the legal term: "Rationale Basis Review" -
          THEN: you, coffeetalk, are wrong.

          IF:
          you use the legal term: "Suspect Class"
          THEN: you, coffeetalk, are wrong.

          RATIONAL BASIS REVIEW:
              Congress is required to have a "rational basis" for legislation and must prove that without a certain law, a person's Constitutional right might be violated under the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

              Under the Ohio law, that sets up 2-classes of voters -- so the Ohio Republicans have passed a law that will and/or might violate the non-military class of voters their rights under the 14th Amendment.  

             Thus, under the Rational Basis Review the Ohio law created 2classes of voters is un-Constitutional.

          SUSPECT CLASS:
              The non-military class of voters in Ohio are made up of "suspect class" voters therefore, the Ohio law setting up 2classes of voters with different voting rights is un-Constitutional.

          Either way you slice it, the Ohio Law that sets up 2-classes of voters is Jim Crow-STYLE laws

  •  The most insidious (and ridiculous) thing... (4+ / 0-)

    ...about this latest right-wing meme is that the right is claiming the Obama administration will somehow take away the voting rights of military personnel. To wit Romney's comment:

    [T]he brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I’m entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I’ll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.
    This is, of course, pure bullshit. Whether the administration wins or loses this suit, military personnel will have the exact same voting rights. They will be able to vote early whether the Ohio law stands or falls. Nothing will change for them either way.

    The only difference is that everyone else will also have the right to vote early.

    That this meme is getting any traction at all shows the degree to which Republicans and their apologists will automatically and uncritically accept and believe any baloney the party chooses to sell them.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:24:32 AM PDT

    •  That Romney is (0+ / 0-)

      a lying turd is no longer a surprise. The question is how long will the media continue to give him a pass on overtly false statements portrayed as fact?

      I understand that the media prefer a horse-race atmosphere because it gets better ratings, but at some point they have to acknowledge reality.

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

      by happy camper on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 01:05:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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