Voter Viability Loss (A starter/primer)

With all the news that has come out of AttorneyGate, especially with respect to voting rights ( and attempts to subvert them), and the Texas Redistricting decision by SCOTUS in 2006, I think it is important, now, more than ever to concern ourselves with voter dissatisfaction, which is different from and can be more dangerous than voter intimidation. Half of the battle is voting, the other half is having it count. But if you don't even come to the polls, well you see my point...

So I wanted to try and attack this issue from the voter level. This being my first diary entry and the topic I'm choosing being such a big one, this will be a starter primer. A look into my thinking process as it were. I hope the community here will help me.

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Is the War for the Court Lost?

Tom Goldstein writes at the indispensible SCOTUSblog that the war for control of the Supreme Court is over, and the right has prevailed.

The fact that Justices' Ginsburg and Stevens dissented from the bench in three cases - twice in late-May and early-June after all the votes had been cast - strongly suggests an exceptionally high level of frustration on the left. (Neither does such a thing lightly.) It seems entirely possible that the remaining cases involving, for example, challenges to public funding of programs with religious components (Hein), search and seizure (Brendlin), and the environment (Defenders of Wildlife) all will be decided five-to-four, with Justice Kennedy siding with the conservatives.

If that happens -- and I think it is likely that it (or something close to it) will -- the President will have gotten with his appointments precisely the Court he sought and that liberals feared. We can already count on conservative rulings on race, abortion, campaign finance, and the death penalty, and may be able to add to that religion, the Fourth Amendment, and the environment. It would be a memorable Term indeed.

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John Edwards gets it and gets this woman's vote.

April 18, 2007

Like most people who haven't had their head buried under a rock for the last six years, I've been outraged about a lot of things recently. Sometimes there are so many things to be outraged about, that there isn't time to respond to them all. Sometimes, the things that I ought to speak out on get buried under a whole pile of other things that I ought to speak out on, until I feel entombed by my own unsaid words.

I just looked back at the first paragraph I wrote here, and realized there are a lot of words there about burial and tombs. Honestly, I hadn't thought my metaphors through well enough for that to have been conscious, but it's an interesting choice of words, because today's Supreme Court decision limiting a woman's right to make a private decision about her health with her doctor, even when her health may be threatened by her pregnancy, will undoubtedly put some women in the grave.

John Edwards had a great response to this decision:

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SCOTUS: Bush Tribunals not allowed

The SCOTUS came out and said today that the Bushies are not allowed to perform the illegally created tribunals we have been hearing about for the last 3 plus years.  While this is the right decision, of equal interest to me was the makeup of the vote...  5-3 with Roberts recused.  Of course, Roberts would have voted with the dissenters, since he handled the case earlier and that was his vote (hence the recusal).  He would have joined Scalia, Alito and Thomas (The four Stooges), just as he has pretty much sided with them so far in his tenure.  

Basically, it is coming more and more obvious that the fears of most of us about Alito and Roberts were true.  The stakes in 2006 and 2008 are becoming even higher, because if we can't get a Progressive nominating the Justices OR a Congress to put the kibosh on the Alito's at the very least, then many of the progressive changes over the last 100 years could be destroyed by the Judicial Activism of the right wing judges who feel the need to legislate from the bench instead of following the feelings and intentions of the Constition.  This could mean a return of Prayer in School, the reversal of R v W, the errosion of the implicit right of privacy, the further persecution of gays, etc.  

Also the health and willingness of Kennedy and Stevens becomes more important... Stevens is getting long in the tooth and if he leaves R v W is as good as gone.  Kennedy is a moderate and sides with both groups, but if he leaves we are in even further trouble.  Given that 3 of the 4 wingnuts are under 60 while the Progressives are all over 66, the chances of one of ours leaving first is more than one of theirs.  

So when eagerly bashing other dems after Primaries or when they are not up for election instead of going after the gop, worrying about second tier issues designed to divide and infuriate the public and basically sucumbing to the distraction strategy SO mastered by the GOP, remember what is potentially at stake and why we must fight hard in November to win Congress and Win the Governorships and Sec of State elections so we can avoid a complete destruction of the Constitution by the Wing Nuts.

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Texas Redistricting Shows Importance of Voting Rights Act

(cross posted at The Agonist, Burnt Orange Report, DailyKos, Just Another Blog)

Hours ago, the Unites States Supreme Court released there ruling in the Texas Redistricting case. It was a strong statement in support of hundreds of thousands of voters in the most diverse parts of the state.

In a time were less Texans are insured, education is failing, and the culture of corruption is sweeping our nation, it is troubling to have the court rule FOR an incumbent protection plan. With no test in place and no restrictions, state legislatures can legally choose to ignore the plight of children and seniors, teachers and doctors, veterans and first responders, and waste time by constantly changing the boundaries of a political district.

The High Court made it clear that political gerrymandering is legal and acceptable as long as voters have their rights protected.  The court was troubled by the simple fact that in Congressional District 23 over 100,000 Latino voters were thrown into a new district to protect the incumbent Republican and weaken the voting power of the minority.

Currently the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is in jeopardy and the House of Representatives has refused to protect the civil rights of every American.

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