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Federal court strikes down NC Voter ID

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Amiga, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    Constitutional scholars disagree...

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/voting-right-or-privilege/262511/

    Which constitutional right is the most important? You might answer "freedom of speech" or "free exercise" of religion. Some think it's "the right to keep and bear arms." Criminal lawyers think of the guarantee against "unreasonable searches and seizures," trial lawyers of jury trial in civil cases.

    But which right appears most often in the Constitution's text?

    It's "the right to vote."

    In voter ID cases all over the country, courts are considering the proper level of "scrutiny" to apply to "burdens" on the right to cast a ballot. In 2008, the Supreme Court approved an Indiana voter ID law, even conceding that it had a partisan basis, because it was not "excessively burdensome" to most voters. (Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for himself and Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, concurred separately to suggest that the proper level of scrutiny was more like "whatever the legislature wants.")

    Courts will defer to the wishes of legislators who wish to protect the election process. There was no evidence of fraud in the Indiana case; there's none in the Pennsylvania case or the others currently being heard. State officials claimed to be worried that someone somewhere might think there was fraud.

    This is deference to bureaucrats that neither courts nor citizens would tolerate where a right considered truly important is at stake. Consider the right to free speech. The majority in Citizens United brushed aside public perceptions of corruption to allow unlimited "independent expenditures," even though far more citizens are cynical about campaign donations than about "fraudulent" voters. What about freedom of religion? Would we tolerate licensing of churches so atheists won't worry that "fraudulent" religion is being practiced?

    Scholars and courts often note that the Constitution nowhere says, "All individuals have the right to vote." It simply rules out specific limitations on "the right to vote." A right not guaranteed in affirmative terms isn't really a "right" in a fundamental sense, this reading suggests.

    But if the Constitution has to say "here is a specific right and we now guarantee that right to every person," there are almost no rights in the Constitution. Linguistically, our Constitution is more in the rights-preserving than in the right-proclaiming business. The First Amendment doesn't say "every person has the right to free speech and free exercise of religion." In the Second, the right to "keep and bear arms" isn't defined, but rather shall not be "abridged." In the Fourth, "[t]he right of the people to be secure ... against unreasonable searches and seizures" isn't defined, but instead "shall not be violated." In the Seventh, "the right of (civil) trial by jury" -- whatever that is -- "shall be preserved." And so on.

    In those terms, it ought to mean something that the right to vote is singled out more often than any other. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a penalty upon states that deny or abridge "the right to vote at any [federal or state] election ... to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, ... except for participation in rebellion, or other crime." The Fifteenth states that "[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote" can't be abridged by race; the Nineteenth says that the same right can't be abridged by sex; the Twenty-Fourth says that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote" in federal elections can't be blocked by a poll tax; and the Twenty-Sixth protects "[t]he right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote."

    So if our courts treat the ballot as less than a fundamental right, they aren't reading that in the Constitution, but projecting it onto the Constitution. The projection comes from a longstanding belief that the vote is not a "right," but a "privilege" -- something granted by the powerful to the deserving.

    The "privilege" theory is one the United States regards as dangerous -- when practiced by other countries. After World War II, we imposed a constitution on Japan providing that "universal adult suffrage is guaranteed." The "Basic Law" of Germany gained a provision that "[a]ny person who has attained the age of eighteen shall be entitled to vote." The citizens of Afghanistan "have the right to elect and be elected." Article 20 of the 2005 Constitution of Iraq provides that "Iraqi citizens, men and women, shall have the right to participate in public affairs and to enjoy political rights including the right to vote, elect, and run for office."

    Americans are more conflicted about our own voters than about those in Iraq or Germany. Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, told me that since the country's founding, Americans have been torn between "voting as a right and voting as something that only the right people should do." Every step forward in human rights has given birth to a desire to "purify the electorate." Some Northern Republicans wanted to exclude "disloyal" pro-Southern Democrats and newly arrived immigrants from the ballot; Southern Democrats were adamant that freed slaves should not vote. As democratic devices like the referendum and initiative took hold in the 20th century, the pressure to purify grew. "The more you enhance the power, the more you want to make sure the right people vote," Foner said.

    Harvard Professor Alex Keyssar, author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States, noted that the current moment bears a strong resemblance to the late 19th and early 20th century. Like the 1960s, the post-Civil War period brought an extension of the vote. In the generation following, "you have close national elections and a lot of competition -- and very, very high levels of immigration coming decades after the barriers to the vote have been lowered," he said. Even progressive reformers supported devices to make sure "ignorant" votes didn't swamp those of the educated. In some states, naturalized citizens were required to bring their naturalization papers to the polls, he noted; Northern states instituted literacy tests just like Southern ones.

    The demographic panic of that era led by 1920 to a cutback on immigration and a crackdown on dissent. That same panic is loose today in a number of state capitals, as the population grows less white, less Anglophone, and less Christian. "Real" Americans -- who tend to vote Republican -- are afraid of being swamped by ethnic, religious, and racial "minorities." Those votes look might fraudulent all of a sudden.

    Eric Foner notes that Americans like to regard our history as a steady, if slow, forward march for democracy. The reality is much more complex. "It's not just a story of expanding the right to vote. It has expanded and contracted," he says.

    We may be living in one of the periods of contraction. If so, we should be aware that we are turning away from the text of our own fundamental law, from the only just basis for self-government, and from the standards of human rights Americans have tried, sometimes by force of arms, to impose on the rest of the world.
     
  2. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    You've posted this garbage before. What amounts to an editorial means nothing.

    Explain to me why felons can not vote? I'll save you the time; Because state laws are written to exclude them. And for a little "Constitutional Scholar 101", local, state and Federal laws can not over rule the Constitution.
     
  3. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    I dont bother to look at the Huffington Post as it is far too biased so I generally leave those kinds of sites on both sides alone. I do look at the NY Times which is fairly liberal but not nearly as far to the left as Fox is to the right. For balance of perspective I look at National Review, Fox News, Weekly Standard, and commentators such as George Will and David Brooks. The right wing sites like blaze and drudge are too often factually incorrect to be credible. I have always had interest in other points of views.

    I do think long lines are a problem - but here's the thing, no one is trying to shape future elections by depressing turnout by making lines longer. That's what the VoterID laws are all about. They are not about protecting elections at all. That's b.s. Their only impact is to help Republicans win elections and the fact you are denying this - your whole argument is disingenuous. These are the facts. You put these laws in place to get better odds of winning.
     
  4. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    You are out of your mind if you do not think reducing polling stations is not a tactic of voter suppression.

    Again, for the 20th time, I dont care about voterID laws one way or another. Everytime you keep bringing up the theoretical millions of disenfranchised voters, I bring you a legitimate problem that you flippantly ignore and dismiss as a mere inconvenience of the process.

    33 states have VoterID laws. The laws have been around for at least 70 years. This is not some new conspiracy that just cropped up. People like you are just caught up in the hype.

    Quit being a tool for the media and instead focus on real issues.
     
  5. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Where do you get that?

    15th Amendment says:
    [rquoter]
    Section 1.

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
    [/rquoter]

    The Constitution specifically grants the power to states and Federal government to remove rights of individuals if due process is followed.
     
  6. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Im not sure what you're getting at? Are you implying the 15th gives everyone a right to vote?

    Clearly its stating one can not be discriminated by race, color or previously being a slave. And obviously one could still discriminate based on sex at the time since the 19th wasn't passed until the 1920's.
     
  7. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    The 15th specifically says "The right (emphasis added) of citizens of the United States to vote..."

    That is pretty clear about citizens having a right to vote.
     
  8. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    If a state is reducing polling stations to reduce turnout that definitely should be investigated.

    But I don't see why you support new voter id laws that are having a negative impact on democrats voting. Actually, let's be honest, I do see why - because it helps the side you support win elections.

    So you can quit you self-righteousness here, be honest and just admit you rather win elections for Republicans than see democracy work.
     
  9. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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  10. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Im going to say it again. (21st time)

    I am not for or against voterID laws. Its a states right.

    Why does everything have to be black and white for you? You are one of the most obtuse people here (who actually believe what they say). I am not sure if there is a single person here who follows the party line as much as you do.

    Now that 3 states have been over turned, are you going to continue the grand fight on the other 30 states that have voterID laws?
     
  11. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Anything that limits the ability for people to vote in an election in a way that suppresses turnout amongst minorities or the elderly - voterID laws, closing polling stations, purging voter registration rolls like they do in Georgia - any of that should be fought. That's my position I don't see it as about voterid laws at all, I am just focusing on that right now because that's what this thread is about!

    I find it horrible that in Georgia they are requiring minorities to appear before a judge and proof their address or get purged from the roll.

    This country is losing it's democracy, and all you can do whine about how you don't care about voter id laws and throw some insults in there for good measure.
     
  12. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    If this country is losing its democracy, its because fools straight ticket vote. This is how we end up with people like Trump and Hillary. A no vote is better than either of these two. And the only reason why I am bothering to vote for Johnson is because I am going to vote for a local councilman. Otherwise I would not to take the (literally) 5 minutes out of my day to stop and vote. The voting office is 2 blocks from my home, on my way to work and I still do not want to be arsed with this election.

    So please, cast a vote to Hillary and let her know that you will vote Democrat no matter how ****ty the candidate is. Democrats know they can count on people like you.

    For the record, you are whining about voterID laws. I am doing anything but whining. I really don't care.
     
  13. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    This boggles my mind.

    Let me ask you... what should a liberal ought to do this election? You tell me? Vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson with an almost mathematical certainty that they will not win thus substantially increasing the likely hood of Trump winning?

    Tell me what we ought to do? Because the thing you don't realize is that for MOST liberals, they are voting AGAINST Trump rather than for Hillary.

    Give me a solution. Vote Trump? LOL k.
     
  14. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    No it's because people like you choose to not critique your own side with the shady practices they do.

    People like you who form their view points from one narrative and stick with it. The only ****ty candidate here is Trump and you can't even admit it.

    My friend you are a right wing partisan and that's why you have the views you do. If Trump were running as a Democrat I would not vote for him but would vote for the Republican. Because the most important thing to me is stopping Trump - not protest voting.
     
  15. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    I would vote for ****ing George W. Bush over Trump. This 'straight party ticket' line Space Ghost is trying to play with is just stupid. He can't grasp the notion that Trump is legitimately a less qualified individual to be the head of the executive branch of this government.
     
  16. Amiga

    Amiga 10 years ago...
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    The judge struck down the WI voting laws for similar practices of reducing polling places.
     
  17. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    If you think Hillary is a great candidate, then you should vote for her.

    The whole "im not voting for my party, Im voting against the other party" shtick gets old. Republicans have been using that line for 2 elections now. They've had 8 years to groom a half assed politician to run for office and they still can't get it right.

    This is why I do not fear Trump just as I didn't fear Bernie and his extreme socialist programs. He is one man and he can only do so much. He's not going to get us into WWIII. He's not going to ban muslims, blacks, hispanics and your mother. He's just going to be another politician stuck in a gridlock just as Hillary would, Bernie would, Obama, Bush, ect ...

    Obama believed in his policies and didn't flip flop like most running for president. He wasn't extreme. And look what he actually accomplished. ACA?

    Quit being afraid of one man and stand up to your party. At least conservative stood up to theirs.
     
  18. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    First of all it's not the same at all. Republicans have the House and Senate and the vast majority of state gov'ts. If any Republican wins, all of their ideas will be unleashed.

    Look at what they are doing on the state level - completely trying to secure their permanent seat of power by finding ways to lower Democratic voter turnout. That's pretty bad.

    We need balance of power in this country. If the Dems had control of the Senate I wouldn't fear Trump as much but I still think he would do a lot of damage - far more than you think.

    Case in Point - Trump and Christie have already talked about going after Clinton again and making sure she goes to jail. That is unheard of in American politics to use the power to go after your political enemies and has been strongly criticized by even conservatives. Does that not disturb you?
     
    #118 Sweet Lou 4 2, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  19. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    For someone who doesn't care, you've posted 17 times on this topic..?
     
  20. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Trump's issues have nothing to do with legislative gridlock buddy. Legislative gridlock and red tape will not quell the type of damage Trump can do especially as COMMANDER AND CHIEF of our armed forces and the head diplomat who interacts with other heads of states.

    I don't care how much you hate Hillary, at worst she will maintain the status quo. She still has the temperament to be respected by other foreign leaders and won't weaken alliances through a not so well thought out tweet.

    It's an election between a ill mannered child and a status quo politician who at the very least has basic policy knowledge.
     

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