Monday, June 17, 2013

SCOTUS Votes No on Voter Suppression

I don’t know what is bigger news, the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States voted in a 7-2 decision – aka not even close to a 5-4 split – that voters who register in Arizona don’t have to provide proof of citizenship (‘cause that’s big news) or whether I can’t read a word of that news in any Texas newspaper that I have logged on this morning.
This is pretty decent national news of local importance because not only does it strike a blow against Republicans trying to suppress the votes of naturalized US citizens – who tend to vote Democratic – but it also puts the kibosh on local plans to pass likewise bills in Texas.
Big news, there is no doubt, but I had to read about it on MSNBC, not the Houston Chronicle, and not the Austin American-Statesman.
The story behind that omission I will only speculate on.
But again, I bury the lead in a story only of local interest.
Texas’ plans to suppress the vote through a similar bill that amends the federal Motor Voter Law has just been thrown onto the trash heap of history. According to the Brennan Center for Justice website, Texas was one of eight states waiting in the wings to see whether Arizona’s voter-approved Prop 200 would pass federal court muster. Arizona’s law added a stipulation that voter registrants also need to show actual proof of citizenship when registering. This requirement is over and above the federal requirement that registrants need only check a box indicating that they were citizens. At this time the states of Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia have similar bills filed in their legislatures.
But not anymore I guess.
Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the worst Supreme Court justices in the history of The Court were the lone dissenters.
Stupid, but ballsy.


Anonymous said...

Though let's be honest here -- what this case does is forbid the state from asking if the individual registering is eligible to vote. Seems like a rather absurd notion.

Hal said...

That's the point, Anon, it is an absurd question. It's intent was not to get at the truth, but to discourage those who have to dredge up their citizenship papers in order to vote. Not to worry though, Anon. Senator Cruz has introduced a bill in the Senate to require this hoop jumping in federal law. Again, an absurd notion.