The preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act are up for Supreme Court review. A decision is expected soon. Conservatives in Congress renewed the Voting Rights Act in 2006 and President George W. Bush signed it, surrounded by civil rights leaders:
President Bush on Thursday signed legislation extending for 25 years the Voting Rights Act, the historic 1965 law which opened polls to millions of black Americans by outlawing racist voting practices in the South. “Congress has reaffirmed its belief that all men are created equal,” he declared.
Bush signed the bill amid fanfare and before a South Lawn audience that included members of Congress, civil rights leaders and family members of civil rights leaders of the recent past. It was one of a series of high-profile ceremonies the president is holding to sign popular bills into law.
The Republican controlled Congress, eager to improve its standing with minorities ahead of the November elections, pushed the bill through even though key provisions were not set to expire until next year.
Here’s the elected conservatives in 2012:
As they entered and exited weekly party luncheons Tuesday afternoon, I and other reporters asked many GOP senators if they consider a centerpiece of the law, which was battered by conservative justices during Supreme Court oral arguments last week, should be upheld. Every one of them dodged the questions, some more artfully than others.“Uh,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), before a long, awkward pause, “I haven’t even thought about it.” He laughed and said, “I’ll leave that to the courts. I’m having a hard enough time being a senator, much less a Supreme Court justice.” The landmark 1965 law has been reauthorized four times by Congress and was most recently renewed by a 98-0 vote in the Senate.
Here’s Justice Scalia on why Republicans in Congress can’t be expected to take a public position on the VRA. They’re suffering from Perpetuation of Racial Entitlement Theory, a malady that Justice Scalia diagnosed:
I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes….And I am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless—unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution… [T]his is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.
If PRET sounds both very bad and very powerful, well, it is. Also, “it’s been written about” may be the funniest cite I have ever heard. I don’t think that would pass muster in the Balloon Juice comment section, but it’s good enough for Justice Scalia who is brilliant, as you all know or should know. It’s been written about.
Perpetuation of Racial Entitlement Theory has the power to silence US Senators. Not just silence them, but force them to vote to reauthorize a law and appear at photo ops immediately before an election. When will African American and Latino voters stop forcing Senator Lindsey Graham to reauthorize laws he’s opposed to? Can Justice Scalia halt this cruel victimization of United States Senators by African American and Latino voters?
This is why elected Republicans want a court to invalidate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a law they oppose but are too cowardly to oppose publicly:
On August 28, 2012, a federal court in Washington found that Texas’s redistricting maps were “enacted with discriminatory purpose” and violated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Texas Republicans not only failed to grant new power to minority voters in the state, the court found, they also took away vital economic resources from minority Democratic members of Congress.
From the opinion:
Congressman Al Green, who represents CD 9, testified that “substantial surgery” was done to his district that could not have happened by accident. The Medical Center, Astrodome, rail line, and Houston Baptist University — the “economic engines” of the district — were all removed in the enacted plan. The enacted plan also removed from CD 9 the area where Representative Green had established his district office. Likewise, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents CD 18, testified that the plan removed from her district key economic generators as well as her district office. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of CD 30 also testified that the plan removed the American Center (home of the Dallas Mavericks), the arts district, her district office, and her home from CD 30. The mapdrawers also removed the district office, the Alamo, and the Convention Center (named after the incumbent’s father), from CD 20, a Hispanic ability district.
No such surgery was performed on the districts of Anglo incumbents. In fact, every Anglo member of Congress retained his or her district office. Anglo district boundaries were redrawn to include particular country clubs and, in one case, the school belonging to the incumbent’s grandchildren. The only explanation Texas offers for this pattern is “coincidence.” But if this was coincidence, it was a striking one indeed.
Li says that based on the state’s rapid population growth, legislators should have drawn an additional majority-Hispanic Congressional seat in North Texas and a Democratic-leaning district in Austin’s Travis County, along with six to seven more state House seats with a higher minority population that are more favorable to Democrats. Between 2010 and 2011, Texas gained 687,305 new eligible voters, 83 percent of them non-white, a trend that has political analysts speculating that Texas will turn purple in the not-so-distant future.
Honestly, the Republicans in Congress had better be praying the Supreme Court lets the VRA stand. If Scalia and Co. shut it down, we can expect legislatures in the South and Arizona to basically bring Jim Crow back, with enthusiastic support from Republicans in Congress and Fox News. That’ll set the “Republicans are racist” narrative in stone, if not cold-cast steel, and that might be enough to see at least a few Repubs tossed out of Congress…
I thought they would be somewhat restrained until 2012 happened. Forget “2012”. Now. Still. They’re targeting minority-voter districts with voter fraud prosecutions in Ohio right now.
Amazing how with all the talk about how activist justices are bad, and they should only follow the law, you’ve got a conservative justice flat-out saying that because a law is written in such a way that Congress would never overturn it, the Supreme Court should just go ahead and do it for them.
Maybe, but how long will that take and how much damage will ensue?
If they had the convictions they talk about they would stand up and do the wrong thing. But they don’t, the conservative caucus are wimps. They need the SC to do their dirty work because they can’t get elected if they do. And this SC seems to have little regard for precedents they don’t like so the conservative caucus may get it’s wish.
You’ll never see Greenwald write about this. Wonder why?
America’s conservatives have been scheming to find a way to stop people of color and low-income voters from getting to the polls, or finding methods to invalidate their votes since blacks were granted the right to vote. Frankly, I think wingnut hatred of Eric Holder has its roots in his aggressive use of voting rights provisions to stop republicans from suppressing black and brown votes.
If racial entitlements are impossible to remove through legislation, how did the Voting Rights Act get passed in the first place?
Thanks, Kay. Between this in the courts, defunding DACA in the House, and setting the stage in the Senate to squash meaningful immigration reform, their electoral strategy seems to be full steam ahead on exclusion and a dawning age of American apartheid. They still think the excluded and their neighbors will just take it passively, which the 2012 election should’ve at least hinted against.
Racial-based voting entitlements are pretty bad and lead to politicians who pander. A better solution would be to set color-blind performance standards. I’d suggest standards of veteran status, land ownership, and not being on the government dole. Any disciplined worker would meet this threshold, which seems about right. Having honest government leaders really is in everyone’s best interest.
@lockout: And maybe a color-blind poll tax or literacy test, with an exception for people whose
grandfathersgreat-great-great-great-grandfathers were eligible voters, of course.
It’s true in Holder’s case, broadly, but it’s even more true in their opposition to Thomas Perez, who headed the civil rights division and is now up for Labor:
They are completely insane on Perez. They made up all this bullshit about him in the black panther white-people-voter-suppression-case ginned up by Fox News. It’s been going on for years. It gets no media attention because he’s just voting and labor. Minor issues.
Your suggestion is analyzed, found to be ridiculous, and rejected.
Thanks for stopping by.
Conservatives would never win, then, because so many elderly conservative are wholly dependent on Medicaid for their health care. 40% of Medicaid goes to the elderly. They’re on “the dole”.
funny contrast between then and now, very nice. these dudes do not like black people.
@Burnspbesq: What, you don’t think the government in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers should be a model for reality?
To be fair, Scalia is right about this — after all, we had to fight the Civil War to get rid of the previous set of racial entitlements.
@lockout: You’re a fucking moron.
@lockout: I call parody.
I dunno. If we were to encourage work by politically empowering people who work, it seems that a whole lot of problems would be solved.
Under Bush, the Civil Rights Division was stuffed with political appointees from Liberty University and the like, who switched the Division’s focus from protecting the civil rights of minorities to protecting the evangelization efforts of fundie churches. I guess they think Holder and Perez are usurpers for wanting to use it for its intended purpose.
I think you’re right :)
Hey wait, in the Citizens United arguments Scalia was appalled that Kagan was arguing that Congressional votes might be swayed by money. Silly her, she kept pointing to the record and saying, “Look, here’s findings that this happens.” I believe then he delivered a stirring monologue about the Court’s humility and how it must not question the rationale behind these august elected officials’ votes.
Also, two shout outs to Scalia today in GG’s twitter feed this afternoon. I believe “brilliant” is the word that was used. Ahh yes. Agendas agendas.
Scalia talking about Perpetuation of Racial Entitlement Theory is just appalling. He’s old enough that he ought to remember when His People were Too Olive Toned, Too Smelling of Garlic, and Too Catholic to be considered trustworthy and smart enough for positions of power. Italians somehow were white enough to become “white”, while other folks were a bit too brown to make that leap. Scalia is the perfect example of pulling up the ladder after you’ve climbed it. Fuck you, darker, browner people.
It was appalling. I followed it at the time. I was having a rage attack when Bush did that ridiculous signing ceremony. The civil rights leaders were so polite and restrained, too! They were all “the important thing is enforcement” Yeah. Like that’s happening.
Harry Reid, to his credit, was bitter as hell and not afraid to say so. He had what was basically a rant on his Senate site.
And yet not a single one of your proposals would “empower people who work,” because the vast majority of people on welfare have jobs, and the ones who don’t have jobs are mostly too young to vote anyway. Funny, that.
@Kay: I agree with you. It’s dissapointing that liberals don’t fight for people like Mr. Perez. They’re so good at jumping on the wagon of every ginned up distraction instead of fghting for what matters.
@Anya: It’s process. It’s boooooring. How are you going to get page clicks and 500 comment threads from supporting the prez?
Wonder if there coud be a cheatsheet provided for which positions are “working” enough. Govt military or police teats: OK; education teat: Leach. Where do all those sacred stay at home moms rate? Voting or not voting? But then, how they going to thread the needle about unemployed mothers, unwed mothers? Demomandering is hard work!
Great idea, if we can also disembowel people who send their businesses and jobs overseas.
Also worth mentioning that Bush himself got into office thanks to a purge of black voters in Florida who were misidentified as felons and prevented from voting thanks to state Republican officials. That’s the story that went unmentioned in all that hanging chad crap, and what allowed him to even get within the margin of error where it would’ve made a difference.
Perlstein’s next book is supposed to be about the Reagan era, and I’m looking forward to it, but I really hope he has it in him to give us a George W. Bush one after that.
@lockout: “Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means — decent folk — should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk — people without means.”
— Joseph Heller, “Catch-22”
Pfft, simple. Women don’t actually need the vote. Married women can let their husbands vote for them, and those unmarried sluts shouldn’t be listened to anyway.
Justice Scalia would know very well that this has been written about. Really, really well, in fact.
Because he’s the one who wrote about it.
Scalia’s idea that voting rights legislation can’t be left to Congress is so fundamentally undemocratic (small “d”) that it brings into question his acceptance of basic constitutional principles.
I’be repeatedly held that there is an overly large cohort of overprivileged, well-off gay white men who are invested in keeping a conservative status quo for purely economic reasons.
Greenwald is one of them.
@Yatsuno: Also, too, fighting for Perez means Obama (same as Bush) did something right, and we can’t have that.
@dmsilev: Easy, yes, except they’re always so quick off the mark with the soccer moms demographic and waving (the proper kind of) endangered children as low-flying ad sells. Having only Rambo to market to might force them into reworking some advertising. ow ow ow.
@Anya: That. Also. Too. Sigh.
This is really weird but every time I post something about GG it disappears. Who’s the culprit, NSA or another 3-letter agency?
@Anya: Four letters: FYWP.
@Anya: Its a five letter entity, TUNCH.
Why is this thread becoming about Greenwald?
Thanks Kay for posting about a substantive issue, I was getting tired of all tbe emo posts about Obama stealing our freedoms.
@schrodinger’s cat: Well, he is stealing my freedumb by diluting the weight of my straight white male vote by having his administration fight to allow women and minorities to vote as well. The bastard.
Hey, great idea! As a matter of fact, perhaps all the political power should belong to people who work, sort of a, um, dictatorship of the…of the…wait a minute, it’s on the tip of my tongue…
Oh, now you’re just arguing against yourself.
Which, of course, is RACISM! In fact, the only thing more racist that those Black Panther dudes from Philly weren’t prosecuted–because Holder personally said that he would never prosecute any black people. Or something. I dunno, the official statement comes a the end of the Michelle Obama whitey tape, but wingnuts swear they heard it somewhere.
A target rich environment?
They brought in a campaign aide who was on the ground in FL in the 00 election. He wasn’t on Gore’s team. He worked for a FL House race.
Anyway, they brought him in to talk to the lawyers who volunteered for poll duty in OH in ’12. It was really riveting. Great, great storyteller. He describes sitting at a bar in FL, thinking Gore won, when a local FL poll comes up to him and says “you better call Nashville. Something hinky is going on in Palm Beach”
@Violet: He is not the only one, remember Tancredo?
I think lockout is DougJ, rehearsing some new material before posting question on Washpost.
For some reason, “it’s been written about” reminds me of “it was in the news this mroing.” Maybe it’s the similar level of intellectual activity involved.
You know what I miss? Anne Laurie lavishing hosannas on Glenn Greenwald. It seems like forever since that has happened. All this pedantic talk about voting rights and assorted whatnot? Pfah, the wretched bleating of sheeple too stupid to not know of the munificence of the great and powerful GG.
@lockout: Lol! And you forgot the requirements of being male and being able to trace one’s ancestry to the Pilgrims.
This thread can’t possibly be about Greenwald. It’s far too short and there aren’t fifteen updates.
They’re going to shit can the pre-clearance requirement and let Clarence do the honors to provide racial cover to the rest of the felonious five.
The DOP can replace the GOP.
And in other news, via LGF, Glenn Greenwald’s source has come forward. He’s a 29-year-old outsource-worker tech guy who fled to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution.
NSA leaker identified as Edward Snowden, 29, former technical assistant for the CIA and employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Currently on the lam in Hong Kong.
Open secrets lists him as a Ron Paul contributor.
How very interesting that he would seek refuge in China.
@Cacti: Granted, Hong Kong’s laws aren’t the same as China’s. However, via the comments at LGF, Snowden doesn’t appear to be the brightest bulb in the marquee for this move, since the US has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. OH SNAP
John M. Burt
@lockout: @lockout: “If we were to encourage work by politically empowering people who work, it seems that a whole lot of problems would be solved.”
How about if we were to encourage education by politically empowering people who are educated?
Hey, where are you going . . . ?
Another profile in courage, fleeing to escape prosecution, just like Gandhi or Martin Luther King would have done.
I’ll never forget reading MLK’s “Letter from my comfy digs in the Ecuadorian Embassy”.
@Ash Can: Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US. Oops.
EDIT: Aaaaaand…you beat me to it. No cookie 4 u! :P
Ted & Hellen
Oh dear, sweet Kay.
You spent yesterday explaining to us how it does not matter who is in office, because it’s all about PROCESS, not who carries it out.
Now today you tell us how important voting is…but one can only vote for a person, not a process.
How odd. How very inconsistent.
How typical of an aparatchik.
John; The difference between work and education is distinct. Work is real (a force through a distance) and modern education is largely religion.
Non-religious education would be encouraged in practice by allowing those actually trained in the useful arts and sciences to more rapidly acquire property.
I look forward to the whimpers about the dehumanizing aspects of his solitary confinement and suicide watch.
Cry, fucking hippies and libertarians, cry….
And speaking of that haven of human rights that our intrepid whistleblower has fled to…
Censorship in Hong Kong:
“In 2011, Hong Kong’s ranking on the Press Freedom Index published annually by Reporters Without Borders dropped twenty places to 54th place. In a report published alongside the index, it was noted that “arrests, assaults and harassment worsened working conditions for journalists [in Hong Kong] to an extent not seen previously, a sign of a worrying change in government policy.”
Why do you believe Latinos and AA’s don’t work? Why would a law protecting voting rights somehow dilute the votes of “workers”?
Has it been written?
@Todd: I think this whole froofraw has raised some legitimate issues that in all seriousness should be addressed, beginning with FISA and the Patriot Act themselves. But if your efforts to bring wrongdoing to light end up with your story developing holes big enough to fly a plane through and your source looking like a laughingstock, UR DOIN IT RONG.
I don’t recall mentioning race Kay. I know many Hispanics who work.
Greenwald’s leaker’s story may be collapsing. He’s a high school dropout with grandiose salary claims.
@Cacti: The interview conducted by Greenwald makes the guy a very sympathetic character… but that’s the thing: Greenwald spends so much time drawing him as a character that I feel like there’s very little there there. And the notion of fleeing to Hong Kong as a free speech haven. Really? I’m not up on the politics of Hong Kong, to say the least. Is that plausible?
The idea of Snowden being extradited and thrown in lockup really sends tingles through a lot of peoples’ nether regions here.
@Cacti: That partly addresses my previous question.
Are you really unaware that the law we’re discussing specifically protects the voting rights of non-white American citizens? You can’t discuss it without discussing race since it’s central to the law.
@Corner Stone: I can’t imagine that happening. The guy was savvy to out himself like this. It would look horrible for Obama or the FBI or whoever to round him up now.
@lockout< But the VRA does mention race, and you'd prefer a different scheme based on "work". Are Latinos in Texas "empowered" when Texas Republicans draw maps that preclude representation?
Bummed out that your new hero sought sanctuary in the one part of China that does extradite US fugitives?
@FlipYrWhig: I’m not sure what’s next for this individual either. Whether he is what he says he is or anything else.
But people here are positively buoyant about imagining him being extradited and etc.
The sleeplessness involved with suicide watch is the part I’m going to enjoy. His sad faced lawyer will make posts at Kos, Radack will talk about how how she’s always been at the forefront of this fight, and Greenwald will write 50 articles about the injustice of it all in between hot oil rubdowns, using his tears to add flavor to his beachside caipirinhas.
@Cacti: He’s living in a hotel in HK and ordering room service every day.
Not exactly sanctuary seeking behavior. The article indicates he’d like to receive asylum in Iceland. Not sure why he didn’t make his way there.
It doesn’t matter who you “know”. It’s a law. It isn’t based on the people you run into.
A federal court did an elaborate, factual analysis and determined that Texas Republicans deliberately discriminated on the basis of race and ethnicity.
You decided the standard should be “work”.
@Todd: You’re an interesting individual. Any newsletter?
I agree. He seems saavy. Still, I don’t think these countries will give him asylum. He will come back to the US one way or another.
@Todd: Given how goofy Snowden appears and how hinky his story sounds, I honestly have to wonder if he’s even the actual leaker.
Once the VRA is overturned, there will be a lucrative business in drafting up literacy tests for states that are interested in re-instating them.
Therefore overturning the VRA can’t be all bad, since there’s profit to be made.
Open secrets seems to suggest that he’s a Paultard. So flaky behavior doesn’t seem that big of a stretch.
Low income people vote at lesser rates than higher income people. Education is the factor, but the two are of course linked.
The solution to low turnout among lower income people is to disallow those who don’t have a job or property from voting?
I’m sort of looking forward to it. They’ve been threatening since Reagan.
It’s like Roe for me. I tire of threats. Just overturn, they’ll go absolutely bonkers with state law, and then have to defend it outside of courts.
@Corner Stone: It may depend on where he was fleeing from. There are a few direct flights from East Coast airports like JFK and Logan to Reykjavik, but otherwise he’d probably have to transit through places like Heathrow, Glasgow, Schiphol, Berlin, Oslo or Düsseldorf, all airports in NATO countries. If he were fleeing from the West Coast, and he was trying to get beyond the reach of the U.S. as quickly as possible, HK would seem inviting. Except the PRC may pick him up on the pretext of extraditing him so that in the meantime it can sweat him for details about the NSA program.
When you work, you make money.
When you attend a make-believe school, you spend money.
When you attend a school that teaches the useful arts and sciences, you eventually make more money.
Therefore, my plan would encourage work, valid educational pursuits, and create happy, engaged voters.
It would also punish disingenuous educational institutions, and potentially allow us to disembowel those forces which export jobs to overseas sweat-shops.
I do love how conservative think they’ve just hit a “GOTCHA!” jackpot when they’re like “ah HA! But I’m NOT talking about race! You didn’t expect that, did you? It’s not that we don’t believe people should be denied their inalienable rights (is there really such a thing?) based on an arbitrary category. We totally do! We just think it should be [insert category here].” Religion’s another big one. “What’s that? I want to deport all Muslims? Ah, but I’m not prejudiced, because that’s a religion, not a race!”
Even taking you at your word – okay. So you believe in fucking over your fellow citizens based on something other than race. What do you want a cookie?
Why do you hate American workers Chris?
When did you stop beating your wife, lockout?
@lockout: Are you this funny when you’re not high?
There are better ways of driving up turnout among low income voters than taking away someone elses right to vote.
Easier, too. He/she doesn’t even need a law. He/she could start right now.
“Happiness” doesn’t have anything to with high turnout. Rage can drive turnout, as we saw in 2010.
@lockout: I don’t recall mentioning race Kay.
I wonder why wingnuts can never get that thing right about putting a comma before someone’s name when they address them. It’s a total tell.
@Tokyokie: I don’t know about any of these things, OK, but is it possible there’s a Chinese connection here? Story hits right before a summit with China that’s supposed to focus on cyber-whatnot, guy decamps from the NSA to Hong Kong… Maddow does a story Friday about Chinese hackers sneaking peeks at 2008 campaign websites… I dunno, I wonder if there’s some kind of connection.
@lockout: Oh, that one is easy. Chris is a wine and latte sipping liberal elitist who would drive a Prius but for his(?) disdain for all forms of private transportation let alone ownership. Duh.
Is this a parallel universe manifestation with a low-rent out-sourced Manning? Or would it be more a Manning-O’Keefe-Assange composite?
@FlipYrWhig: or maybe he’s with Anonymous? It feels like there’s something going on other than guy losing faith in Obama and his government and feeling like disburdening his conscience.
@scav: If it were O’Keefe-like, the revelations would have to do with spying on conservatives or churches or something.
Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS)
lockout is quite possibly the lamest troll around these parts in a while. Up your game, anon.
@FlipYrWhig: But the self-promotion component is as, if not more important, in the being–plus the greed. They just have the bigger and better gravy-train.
ETA may have missed your point. He did manage not to over egg the omlette.
@Hungry Joe: Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?
Is this lockout guy a Doug parody or is he a new troll. He doesn’t appear to have the writing style as the other trolls.
I usually don’t reply to trolls but lockout(btw interesting word to use as your nick) when you say people on the dole, does this count people who own corporations who receive corporate dole or are you like Mittman and consider corporations people too and if that is the case should corporations receive voting rights?
Actually, it’s a Volvo.
@FlipYrWhig: Well now it looks like the last place Snowden worked for the NSA was at a facility in Japan, which means HK would be the easiest place to get to via a direct flight. Getting to places like Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Yangyon, which are further beyond the reach of extradition, would require transiting through somplace like Bangkok, KL, Jakarta, Seoul or Singapore, all of which would be more likely to extradite.
@mai naem: either way, boy-dull seems to be in favor of giving corporations increased control over who is allowed to vote. especially in dismissal at will states, I would assume there would be pressure and black lists, etc.
@mai naem: This verbal tic:
marks him as Brick Oven Bill/BoB, an oft-banned troll that, sooner or later, will not be able to resist the grotesquely-racist comments. And get banned again.
The defense of the “rights” of amorphous entities like states, corporations, churches, wev at the expense of the rights of individual living, breathing human beings is a recurring trend on the right.
For people who claim to loathe “Chicago style politics,” they do seem to indulge in an inordinate amount of it themselves.
@Chris: Ah, kicking it old school.
“It’s been written about” must be the judicial version of “It is known, khaleesi”.
Something about reading…
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?
@Beatrice: doh! Much better placed, too.
@Bobby Thomson: No worries, I was rather amazed to be the first to think of it.
@Beatrice: Help the bombardier.
@Hungry Joe: I’m the bombardier!