Judges Recant, but Voter Suppression Goes into Overdrive

DSCN4835New Orleans  Explain to me how in a rational world hunting licenses in Texas can be an acceptable form of voter identification, but a student ID from the University of Texas cannot be?  Stumped aren’t you?   How exactly does North Carolina cutting back on early voting by one week ensure the sanctity of the ballot there?  These are simple examples of the lengths that Republican-dominated states are willing to go now that the dogs have been let out by the Supreme Court on voter suppression.

            Even the judges are asking for forgiveness and mouthing mea culpas.   Judge Posner of the federal appeals court who wrote the majority opinion in an Indiana case a couple of years ago upholding their IDs is now writing his “I’m sorry” statements since he was unhappy at how his verdict has been twisted to green light voter suppression.   Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said much the same thing the other day to the Wall Street Journal.  

            Columnists Cokie and Steven Roberts cited an overlooked report by the Ohio Republican Secretary of State from 2012 that found that of 5.63 million ballots cast in the state, he thought there were 163 so-called “possible” cases of voter fraud.   Possible means not proven and in fact not even processed, just votes with a question mark, but even if these were stone cold cases of fraud, which as I’ve said, they decidedly were not, it would be an incidence of 1 out of every 41704 ballots or voters were.   Let all of our problems be so minor.  

            The Justice Department, regardless of the Supreme Court’s enabling of all of this mischief by relaxing the Voter Rights pre-clearance protections, is suing in North Carolina and is clear about voter IDs and their racial impact since African-American residents are 22% of North Carolina’s population but 34% of those without government-issued IDs.  Not surprisingly blacks also accounted for 41% of voters using same day registration and 29% of early voting, which the Republicans are also trying to restrict of course.

This is a classic case of supposed solutions, looking for problems to fix, since all of this is about voter suppression not voter fraud.   All of this is nothing but a rationale from the right.   A great ACORN leader in Arkansas named Bill Whipple, now gone many years, used to repeat to me regularly the rhetorical question of whether or not I knew the correct definition for the word “rationale,” which he would then quickly provide, saying that, “a rationale was nothing more than a lie in the skin of a reason.”

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