Thursday, August 30, 2012

A One-Two Punch for Texas

Boy the federal courts are having its way with Texas these past couple of days, with one right cross delivered by a three-judge panel of the US District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday, where they rejected redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, and then just a couple of hours ago, a haymaker landed by a federal appeals court in Washington that blocked Texas’ recently passed voter ID law.
In the redistricting case, the DC court ruled that the Republican-drawn district maps discriminated against Hispanic and African-American voters, something that Democrats have been saying since drafts of the maps were first unveiled in 2011.
In the Voter ID case, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled that the recently passed law would seriously curtail the ability of minorities to vote in elections. Among the arguments that backed up the ruling, the court wrote that those without documents (like birth certificates) to obtain a photo ID would have to purchase them, discouraging poor voters, indeed federal prosecutors argued that this law created an illegal poll tax that was eliminated by the Voting Rights Act.
Ouch and ouch. Texas Republican legislators were caught with their hands in the cookie jar of blatant racial discrimination, that is, if you make it hard for only minorities to vote, that makes you an unmistakable and blatant racist.
How embarrassing for Texas Republicans.
How embarrassing for them as they sit in the final evening of their Mittsterfest in Tampa, celebrating the nomination of a man whose own religious sect until just recently rejected the notion of having an African-American assume high places in the LDS hierarchy.
Next thing you know they are going to want to take another look at “separate but equal” in our public school system.

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