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Chief Justice John Roberts made a claim in the hearing of oral arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Acts that Massachusetts has the worst African American voter participation in the country. Way off the mark, according to the the state's secretary of state as quoted by the Boston Globe (VIA):

The problem is, Roberts is woefully wrong on those points, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who on Thursday branded Roberts’s assertion a slur and made a declaration of his own. “I’m calling him out,” Galvin said.

Galvin was not alone in his view. Academics and Massachusetts politicians said that Roberts appeared to be misguided. A Supreme Court spokeswoman declined to offer supporting evidence of ­Roberts’s view, referring a ­reporter to the court transcript.

On Thursday, Galvin tried to set the record straight. “We have one of the highest voter registrations in the country,” he said, “so this whole effort to make a cheap-shot point at Massachusetts is deceptive.”

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011Bipartisan duo sues Florida Gov. Scott over rejection of federal high-speed rail money:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made two big mistakes when he rejected $2.4 billion federal stimulus money for building the Tampa-to-Orlando leg of the high-speed rail system that would eventually link Tampa to Miami with bullet trains.

First, he rejected the money, which would not only pay for 90 percent of the nation's first truly HSR line but also generate thousands of jobs in a state where unemployment is above the national average. And, second, the newbie governor, serving in his first elected office, failed to give advance notice of his intentions to the powers-that-be in the state legislature, including fellow Republicans. Along with much of the rest of the political and business establishments in Florida, those legislators were appalled at the first decision and irked at the second.

Twenty-six of them — 11 Democrats and 15 Republicans — sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking him not to divvy up the money and send it to other states while they tried to decide whether the governor had exceeded his constitutional authority.

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On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss the no-longer-"looming" sequester. NRO does its usual victim-blaming on rape in the military, even as conservatives say guns on campus will shut that whole thing down. Armando calls in to talk Woodward craziness. And UT ponders a bill giving parents the right to know if their kids' teachers are packing. This is somehow controversial.

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