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SCOTUS takes another knife to the Voting Rights Act

The red carpet for voter suppression has been rolled out.

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld two Arizona voting restrictions that a lower court had said discriminated against voters of color.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the opinion in the 6 to 3 ruling, which divided the court along ideological lines. Voting rights experts said the decision could make it harder to challenge some of the new voting restrictions being passed by state legislatures around the country. The Texas Legislature is expected to convene next week to consider legislation that would impose new restrictions on voting.

The court was considering the shield provided by the Voting Rights Act (VRA), first passed in 1965 to forbid laws that result in discrimination based on race.

The cases involved two voting regulations from Arizona that are in common use across the country. One throws out the ballots of those who vote in the wrong precinct. The other restricts who may collect ballots cast early for delivery to polling places, a practice then-President Donald Trump denounced as “ballot harvesting.”

I would advise you to read Slate, Vox, Rick Hasen, The 19th, and Daily Kos for the analysis and effect. The short answer is that there’s nothing in the Republicans’ way, and any subsequent court action will be really hard to win. I wish I had something more positive to say, but here we are. The challenge remains the same – we have to win enough elections to pass the laws we want to pass, and repeal the crap that needs to be thrown out. It’s just going to be harder to do now.

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34 Comments

  1. Manny says:

    Instead of worrying about what the Racist majority in the Supreme Court did, work on getting out voters to vote for the Democrats.

    But don’t send someone that is too progressive to the Rio Grande Valley and expect them to do well.

    Quit trying to oust moderate or slightly to the right Democrats.

  2. Lobo says:

    Re: “Quit trying to oust moderate or slightly to the right Democrats.”

    Amen, Manny. You have come to see the light, but Mr. Kuff & Co. … not so much.

    Now … about Mr. King and that new SAM party … Silence!

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    If you vote in the wrong precinct or district, you have a different slate of candidates from where you live. What if I voted for your county commissioner?

  4. Manny says:

    Lobo, what makes you think? I have not always felt the same way?

    The Russian bot does not understand how one votes; you can’t vote for the wrong candidate. If you lived here in Houston (Harris County), you would know that.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    The basic problem is, you’re using the ‘blacks and Mexicans are soooo stupid and poor that” narrative to come up with a lot of imaginary issues that don’t follow logic.

    OK, looking at Manny, I could extrapolate and say, sure, Mexicans and blacks absolutely must be dumb as rocks. They barely can figure out how to leave their government housing. OK, fine, let’s go with that. How are they going to vote in the WRONG precinct farther away from their free or almost free (Section 8) digs? They’re so stupid they’ll be lucky if they can find their own, closer polling place, because they don’t know how to use the internet. They aren’t going to accidentally go farther (walking, I guess, because they’re too poor and stupid to drive) to the wrong precinct to vote.

    I’d say to have success with this narrative, you’ve got to make it consistent. Having said that, if I was black or Mexican, I’d be really pissed that the DNC is making me and mine out to be village idiots who can’t function in society, and need special help from the government, in perpetuity. Somehow Whites and Asians can find their polling places, walk in and vote, but Blacks and Mexicans cannot do that. I mean, all the blacks and Mexicans I know don’t seem to have any of these problems. They’re just like everyone else and don’t have any problems voting if they want to. It’s weird, I was raised to see them just the same as everyone else (just like the rest of my generation)….it was the DNC that has me trained now to see them as different, as people to be pitied, whereas before, I never saw them that way. I just saw them as friends, neighbors, and coworkers. My mistake.

    The dangerous game the DNC is playing is, sooner or later, blacks and Mexicans are going to see the choice the DNC is putting on them and start checking the wrong box.

    [ ] People who are inferior and need help from government to make it.

    [x] People who are the same as everyone else in America and don’t need help.

  6. Ross says:

    I don’t have any real issues with this decision. In the absence of county wide voting like we have here, it is incumbent on voters to vote in the correct precinct. Election judges here have always tried to guide voters to the correct precinct in my experience.

    The bulk gathering of mail ballots is easily handled by putting drop boxes in remote areas to give a monitored method for mail voters to deliver their ballots directly to the election officials.

  7. Kris Overstreet says:

    Manny, why should people come out to vote for Democrats if they’re indistinguishable from Republicans?

    Bill Daniels: that’s a lot of words to say, “There’s no such thing as racial discrimination.” You could lie a lot more briefly.

  8. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny you are obviously in China. The one time I voted in my life, I went right down the street to the polling place, and here was a choice of city council, and they only offered my district councilman and the at large councilman. If I went and voted in another district, I bet that district councilman race would be on the ballot over there.

    By the way, you have been totally brainwashed, with the Russia Misinformation perpetuated by the TV set.

    this brainwashing is why we need voter suppression. Most people are voting based on bad information that they accept as gospel.

    Kris: No, Bill used a lot of words to say that the DNC says that minorities need all kinds of special helps to figure out how to vote, because they are either not smart enough, not motivated enough, or can’t afford to get there. It is the DNC that is racially discriminating by portraying minorities in this light. They are going against Joe Biden, who is so progressive that he acknowledged that poor kids can be almost as smart as white kids. Of course, in the Corn Pop Story, Biden also said that is how he learned about roaches, which is of course a racist slur, although the TV set never did call him out about that.

  9. Manny says:

    Kris, because if you control the house or senate, governor, Lt governor you control the agenda.

    Mitch McConnell understands that too many self-identified progressives have not figured it out. Some Republicans are smarter than some progressives.

    Jason, you have told us numerous times that you don’t vote; now you voted once. You are registered in a precinct to vote. So did you lie as to where you lived? I believe that Republicans do that all the time.

    Lobo, your logic is faulty. Texas overtime has used various methods to disfranchise minorities. What if the Democrats took over, and made it a requirement that there could only be one polling place per 10,000 people? Which voters do you think would get hurt? Ever wonder why Republicans have never just gotten rid of mail ballots?

    But, you are right not sure why some people think that minorities need to be held by the hand.

    https://www.texas-demographics.com/counties_by_population

  10. Manny says:

    kris, I will consider how you think and vote appropriately in the future, to hell with who is in charge.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    “But, you are right not sure why some people think that minorities need to be held by the hand.”

    This is THE core tenet of today’s DNC. Everything the DNC does, everything it sees, if filtered through the lens that blacks and Mexicans are inferior and need special help. If you don’t agree with that basic belief, and instead think like me, that blacks and Mexicans are just as competent as everyone else, why are you a progressive or a Dem in the first place?

    You’ve been all over the map lately. Why not consider coming over to the side that believes all Americans are competent, and believes in a rising tide lifting all boats? Come to the dark side, Manny! We have galletas, pan dulce and conchas!

  12. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, I don’t vote. But I did vote one time, I tried to vote a down vote for Turner, however, there is no way to do this, so I had to vote for Buzbee, even though the best choice would have been Bill King, but he didn’t get to the Run Offs.

  13. Lobo says:

    GOP, GOOSE, AND GANDER

    Manny says: “What if the Democrats took over, and made it a requirement that there could only be one polling place per 10,000 people?”

    Well, last year Abbott ordered (technically, by issuing a proclamation) that there could only be one drop-off location for early absentee ballots per county, which involves much greater disparity in population and extreme values way beyond 10,000.

    Texas counties range in population from a few hundred at one end of the distribution to millions on the other, so the 1/pop figure is hugely disproportionate. But the all-GOP state supreme court backed Abbott and nixed the trial court injunction against the restriction.

    THREE-BRANCH CONSONACE

    This arguably supports the proposition that the state Republicans are against making it easier to vote (in terms of logistics, which has little if anything to do with mental capacity) regardless of whether they sit in the judicial or in the exective branch. Or the legislative branch, for that matter.

    As soon as the legislative session started, the supposedly purely legal issues suddenly become legislative policy issues even though the supreme court had already delivered the desired policy judgments in high-profile opinions: such as the one restricting vote-by-mail eligibity under the disability ground and the one prohibiting county clerks/election administrators from mailing vote-by-mail application forms without a prior request from a voter. Note that both cases were initiated by another leading Republican, Attorney General Paxton, rather than by voters or advocates for them.

    What is your point here, Manny?

    That Dems wouldn’t be as ruthless and self-serving as the GOPpers if they had as much power?

    That they wouldn’t similarly try to rig the voting system in their favor?

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    If you’re skilled enough, and qualify to order a mail in ballot, and you’re healthy enough to go find a mail in ballot drop off box, what’s the problem with you voting in person, at a polling place? Seems like you have all the skill and knowledge required to vote like everyone else. If you’re going to be out of the area for the 2+ weeks of early voting, why can’t you mail it from wherever you are? You’d mail a check for the light bill, or a check for the mortgage. What’s different about mailing in a ballot? Put the flag up on your mailbox before you go and let your postman pick it up, or ask the hotel desk clerk to put your ballot in with the outgoing mail at your hotel in Maui.

    Mail in voting should be reserved for the traditional folks…..invalid elderly, deployed military, people who are out of the area during the whole two+ weeks of voting, and the involuntarily confined, if they qualify….those in hospitals or jails (who aren’t convicted felons, of course).

    For everyone else…..

    If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

    If you can get to a mail in ballot drop off box, you can get to an actual polling place and vote just like everyone else.

    The whole point of expanding mail in voting is to foment cheating. People who are doing wrong don’t want to proudly show up in person, present their ID, and vote. They want to skulk in the shadows to do their nefarious crimes.

  15. voter_worker says:

    Many counties in Texas have gone to countywide voting, including Harris. Arizona has declined to implement that, so it’s fair for them to insist that people vote in the precinct in which they are registered so that they are voting for their representatives and not someone else’s, as Jason points out. The assumption by the misinformed and paranoid that voting by mail enables fraud is just ignorant. The reddest state, Utah, does it with zero fraud. If nothing else, LDS folks are smart and know how to make things work. Texas should be embarrassed by its reluctance to emulate Utah.

  16. Bill Daniels says:

    No way the conservative, pro-America voters of Utah elected a piece of crap carpet bagger like Mitt Romney. There’s chicanery afoot in Utah, just like the Dems rigging the primary for Hillary against Bernie or the apparent chicanery in the NYC mayor’s election today.

    Voter, you don’t care about primary corruption in Utah because you figure red Utah is a lost cause anyway, but corruption is corruption.

  17. Ross says:

    Bill, why do you keep raising objections to making voting easier for everyone? What’s wrong with letting anyone who wants to vote by mail? What’s wrong with having ballot drop off locations staffed 24 hours for a couple of days? What’s wrong with having in person voting staffed for 24 hours for a couple of days?

    And, yes, Utah did vote for Romney. He’s one of them.

  18. Bill Daniels says:

    Why am I against this?

    ~I demand fiduciary responsibility from my representatives.

    Govt. shouldn’t be spending money it doesn’t need to spend. We have a perfectly good voting system already. No need for all night voting, staffed mail in ballot drop off boxes, drive through voting, or mass mailing ballot applications to millions of people, most of whom do not even qualify to vote by mail in the first place.

    That’s all the reason you should need to put a stop to this. Look at Manny. He’s proudly Chicano, obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and he has had no problem voting without all that new, superfluous, expensive to implement stuff being implemented.

    If senior citizen, non-White dullard Manny can do it….everyone else can, too, all without spending one more dime than we already spend.

    If Harris County has a surplus in the department that runs elections, instead of doing the corporate “spend the whole budget so we don’t get a smaller budget next year” thing, they should reallocate the surplus funds to Harris County Flood Control, to mow and de-silt drainage ditches.

    Have you noticed that the tax office, permit offices, and other public offices, don’t do this kind of stuff? Hey, why not have the tax offices stay open 24 hours a day? Why can’t I pay my license plate tax by drive through at 3am? Why don’t I have manned drop off boxes to pay my property tax every year?

    That would all be nice and fun, but we don’t do it because it’s unnecessary and wasteful….not a good use of finite resources.

  19. Manny says:

    The core tenet of the Trump party is to eliminate anyone that is not a white Christian anal opening.

    Jason, keep on writing soon; you will convince everyone, including yourself, that you are a Russian bot. So you thought it was like the comment section where you can thumb down or thumb up;-)

    Lobo, you did not understand. Your ability to bs is much greater than your logical ability. One voting location per 10,000. Not one drop-off per county. But even there, you fail to comprehend because mail by postage was still allowed. You write well, sorry about the lack of the other ability.

    Bill, if one can get to the post office, then why even allow them to vote by mail. The only ones that should be allowed to vote by mail are those in the military. I have no problem removing mail voting; it has always benefited the older voter who tends to vote conservative. So Bill, why haven’t the racist party, Republican, removed mail ballots?

    Lobo, as I said, you fail to understand. I believe Democrats should be just as ruthless or worse than how the Republicans act.

  20. Jason Hochman says:

    Yes, I did, and I think that would be the greatest innovation to get more people voting is that you could vote a negative vote. Most of the pukes that run for office wouldn’t even make it to zero.

    I even hear that Moe Biden’s boss, Mrs. Harris, is a bully, a tyrant, and her staff is pushed to the limit, and now, they think that she might not even be the best candidate for 2024. When she tried to run in 2020, she didn’t get very far, but she cackled her way onto the ticket with the man who voted against her school bus in 1965.

  21. Bill Daniels says:

    “Bill, if one can get to the post office, then why even allow them to vote by mail?”

    You’re getting there Manny. You’re asking the right questions. If they can vote during the day, and walk into the polling place, why do they need to drive through vote in the middle of the night? A: They don’t! Anyone who can make it to a manned mail in ballot drop box can just as easily make it inside their local polling place. No need for wasteful redundancy, and obviously, being opposed to government waste isn’t racist.

    Whether you are a leftist or a right winger, we all benefit from reducing waste in government. Whether your idea of infrastructure is actual roads and bridges, like redoing I-45 by downtown, or your idea of infrastructure is paying for day care centers, not wasting tax money on superfluous stuff is good for your cause.

    Would we pay for TXDOT to pick up trash along I-10, then pay for Harris County to pick up trash in the same area the next morning, then pay Houston to pick up trash in the same area that afternoon? We wouldn’t, we’d all decry that as wasteful.

    Same thing applies to voting.

  22. Jason Hochman says:

    I see many vehicles on the street with expired registration. Not expired last month, but with stickers for 2019, and even 2017. Just driving around town. I dob them in to the police all the time, so that the city could fine them and collect some revenue rather than sitting around weeping because the GLO didn’t gift wrap a slush fund for the Turner regime to use for promotion of segregated housing.

    But HPD doesn’t bother racing out to write the fine to get the money. So, maybe they should have drive through renewal and that way maybe increase the number of people paying to renew.

    On the other hand, I am against drive through voting because cars contributor to climate changes, which are the existential crisis and threat to humanity. But, then again, maybe they could have a cop at the polling location, and when someone drives through an expired vehicle, they can be taken into custody and the car confiscated and sold to a better citizen.

  23. voter_worker says:

    Bill, you are pretty bad at divining what I think about Utah, and why. I sense you’ve never been there. As a capital city, Salt Lake makes Austin seem poorly laid out and somewhat difficult to navigate by comparison. The mountain views don’t hurt, either. Mr Romney has led a clean life and still managed to get pretty well off. The fact that you don’t like him is as irrelevant as it gets.

  24. Bill Daniels says:

    Jason,

    If I was a cop, I’d be a sonofabitch, and do exactly what you suggest. I’d put a group together, troll parking lots looking for expired license plates, then have accomplices stationed at the parking lot exits, to pull those cars over as soon as they got on the public roadway. Easy revenue, and a great way to make pretextual stops. If their plate is expired, what else is wrong with them? Warrants? No insurance, no D.L.? Illegal aliens? Drugs? Stolen goods in car?

    Of course, I’d be the one doing the parking lot trolling, finding cars to pull over, I wouldn’t want to actually pull those drivers over, because I’d prefer not to get shot over a traffic stop. The nice thing about pre-identifying cars to stop is that you can check for warrants, no insurance, no D.L., whether it’s been reported stolen, etc., before a traffic stop is ever initiated in the first place. You can also see if the plate tax has actually been paid, but the sticker just hasn’t been updated yet. I’d give those drivers a pass.

    It’s probably for the best that I’m not a cop.

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    My other policing idea, one I actually WOULD like to see implemented is, at intersections with a lot of trash being dumped, I’d put plainclothes spotters on foot with video rolling, catch people littering, then call the cars in to waiting squad cars for a traffic stop. If they’re littering in full view of everyone, chances are, they’re breaking some other laws, too, and even if littering is the only infraction found, I hate people who litter and illegally dump, so I want those folks persecuted. Make them pay a fine AND pick up trash, so they learn that littering and dumping is wrong, since their parents obviously failed them.

    They’re assholes committing quality of life crimes that make things shitty for everybody.

  26. Manny says:

    Bill, so like spend money like a commie, who would have thought? Like a commie you want to force people to work, who would have thought?

    Jason, do the vehicles have dealer’s tags? Last year did not have to get the car inspected.

    https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/12/15/covid-19-waiver-texas-vehicle-title-registration-end-2021/

  27. Manny says:

    Bill, you are the racist come lately to the mail ballot issue. For years I have advocated that only the military should be allowed to vote by mail. But then again it is has been the racist/republican party that benefited from mail ballots.

  28. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    I don’t believe in forcing people to work. Not sure where that came from. I also don’t think we should be feeding, housing, and providing medical care and clothing to people who can work, but refuse to. I’m amenable to helping those who, through no fault of their own, cannot work.

    If you want to eat but not work, work hard enough when you are young to save so you don’t have to work when you get old.

    Since you also support vote by mail only by the military, then one of two things is true:

    1) since restricting vote by mail in any way is racist, then you are a racist because you support that

    or

    2) limiting vote by mail is NOT racist, and the DNC is lying about that to gullible people

    Pick one.

    Having said that, even if we pass that law, that only military gets to vote by mail, I don’t think that would pass constitutional muster. There must be a way for the physically infirm, who are of sound mind, to vote, and there must be a way for people involuntarily detained in hospitals and jails who are not prohibited from voting, to vote. We don’t have to cater to the just plain lazy, though, and shouldn’t.

  29. Bill Daniels says:

    Edit:

    I see where you were going with that. Yes, I support forcing people convicted of illegal dumping and litter to either do jail time in addition to a fine, or to servitude, picking up trash. We shouldn’t force those convicted of littering to work, but offering them the option to work in lieu of serving time in jail seems reasonable to me.

  30. Bill Daniels says:

    Edit II:

    I’d work the cleaning trash in lieu of jail option like this:

    I’d order the person convicted to clean a designated stretch of roadway, however they best saw fit, regardless of how quick or long it took. So someone with friends could get help to get it done faster, someone with money could pay others to do the work….as long as it gets done, I’m good. For convicted illegal dumpers, I’d pick a dump site (there’s plenty in Houston) and order them to pick it all up and show a paid dump fee receipt to prove they just didn’t clean up, then dump somewhere else.

    Jason, if you win office, this is an idea you should pursue.

  31. Ross says:

    Well, Bill, I am willing to spend some money to make voting as easy as possible for everyone. It’s not something that happens very often, and the expense would not be as high as you think. I am not saying all counties have to spend the money to provide more voting options, but, since the people in charge of the budgets are elected, why prohibit it if the elected officials approve? If the majority of citizens object, then the officials will not get reelected. It’s really that simple.

  32. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    I really can’t argue with your logic….it’s sound. If the voters of a locality wish to spend their money on something I find wasteful, then yeah, I guess they should be able to do that. Likewise, if the voters in that state object to the local decision, and wish to dictate how elections are run, and what is and is not permissible (entirely in states’ wheelhouses for federal elections, by the way), then THOSE voters have spoken, and state overrides local, it goes to court, a decision is made, and that’s it.

  33. Manny says:

    Bill, where do you come with that the Democrats claim that restricting mail-in voting is racist?

  34. Lobo says:

    Thanks for the link, Manny.

    Turns out that the least populous Texas county has 98 people in it. So, I stand corrected regarding the lower end of the range.

    Here it is again:
    https://www.texas-demographics.com/counties_by_population

    ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL (COUNTIES)

    The notion that uniformity in voting infrastructure and arrangements (number of in-person polling stations or mail ballot delivery sites) amounts to fairness based on equal treatment of counties, as opposed to individuals/voters – and comports with the equality principle on that basis – is deceptive.

    The right to vote is individual.

    And while in the correction mode, the word referring to Republicans operating as a choir and harping on the same “election integrity” theme irrespective of branch — should have been spelled CONSONANCE. Apologies for the bad spelling.