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  1. #61
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    This decision makes the upcoming DOMA/Prop 8 decision all the more interesting - giving Roberts wrote the opinion, and is arguing for equality in treatment absent findings for handling things otherwise.

    I've expected them to strike down Prop 8, but uphold DOMA. But I'm wondering since Roberts wrote this opinion, if there's a possibility he might now find DOMA's ban on federal benefits for legally married same sex couples unconstitutional.

    Tomorrow's gonna be exciting.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    They didn't update it because nothing has really changed when it comes to denying citizens the right to vote. The right wants to point at President Obama to prove that they have when everyone knows the opposite is true. All those people forced to stand in line for hours proves that.
    Isn't it more complicated than that? The majority opinion cites fairly recent data suggesting substantially improved parity in voter demographics compared to 40 or 50 years ago. Between Whites and Blacks, the numbers who voted in recent elections is essentially equal. At least that was my read of it. What it doesn't take into account is exactly WHY there was parity at least in recent presidential elections, whether that parity also translated to non-presidential elections, and whether that parity will translate to future elections.

    Or perhaps I misunderstand the whole thing.

  3. #63

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Speaking of Shelby County, AL, blacks in that county wants to start a NAACP organization there. Besides being one of the wealthiest counties in Alabama, it is also growing by leaps and bounds where people continue to move there and out of Jefferson County
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  4. #64

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick View Post
    Speaking of Shelby County, AL, blacks in that county wants to start a NAACP organization there. Besides being one of the wealthiest counties in Alabama, it is also growing by leaps and bounds where people continue to move there and out of Jefferson County
    Why are they moving to Shelby County and out of Jefferson County Patrick? I know nothing about Alabama.


    Dry the problem isn't national elections per se. It's the gerrymandering that gets done every ten years that has resulted in Republicans legally diluting the power of its non white citizens to fair representation. That is what's behind getting rid of the VRA. They're saying that people of color are free to vote as much as they want. They just don't want it to mean anything.
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  5. #65
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post

    Dry the problem isn't national elections per se. It's the gerrymandering that gets done every ten years that has resulted in Republicans legally diluting the power of its non white citizens to fair representation. That is what's behind getting rid of the VRA. They're saying that people of color are free to vote as much as they want. They just don't want it to mean anything.
    Yes, that was the gist of the minority opinion. I only meant to point out that the majority had data to back up their decision, though I'd argue that those data don't necessarily mean what they say they mean.

  6. #66

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Yes, that was the gist of the minority opinion. I only meant to point out that the majority had data to back up their decision, though I'd argue that those data don't necessarily mean what they say they mean.
    Agreed.
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  7. #67
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Why are they moving to Shelby County and out of Jefferson County Patrick? I know nothing about Alabama.


    Dry the problem isn't national elections per se. It's the gerrymandering that gets done every ten years that has resulted in Republicans legally diluting the power of its non white citizens to fair representation. That is what's behind getting rid of the VRA. They're saying that people of color are free to vote as much as they want. They just don't want it to mean anything.
    Gerrymandering is a two-way street, Ti - Just as R's have, D's have drawn some of the most outrageous boundaries to protect their own in response to Census information.
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  8. #68

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Explainer: The Supreme Court, Voting Rights and New York

    Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx are all covered by the Voting Rights Act - and Queens is affected, too. Here's what today's Supreme Court decision means for the city.

    What is the Voting Rights Act?

    A federal law that was designed 48 years ago to protect minority voters.

    Was that necessary?

    Yes. For decades, African Americans in the South faced obstacles to voting: poll taxes, literacy tests and other bureaucratic maneuvers to keep them from registering, plus harassment, intimidation and physical violence if they tried to vote. In 1964, demonstrations were held throughout the South to protest these measures. In Mississippi, voting rights activists were killed. In Selma, Ala., peaceful marchers were attacked by state troopers.

    In response (and with skillful politicking from President Lyndon Johnson), Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which Johnson signed on Aug. 5 1965. The law forbid literacy tests and required the appointment of federal examiners to oversee elections. Section 4 laid out a formula describing which sections of the country fell under the law. The majority of the states covered were in the South - but not all of them.

    Section 5 required those covered jurisdictions - basically, any states and counties which had tried to block minorities from voting - to submit to "preclearance." Preclearance meant that any changes covered jurisdictions made to their local elections - say, moving a polling place or printing materials in languages other than English or redrawing electoral districts - had to be first OK'd by DC's District Court or the U.S. Attorney General. It was a gigantic achievement for the civil rights movement.

    The coverage formula and preclearance were initially set to expire after five years, but they've been regularly renewed (and even expanded). In fact, in 2006, the Act was reauthorized for another 25 years.


    What was at issue in the Supreme Court case?

    Shelby County, Ala., challenged Section 5. The County said that Congress' reauthorization of preclearance under the 1965 coverage formula violated the Tenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment, you'll remember, said that any powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people.

    What did the Supreme Court decide?

    The Court struck down Section 4, the 1965 formula that decided which states should be covered. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: "In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics. Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were."

    In other words, the Court said that the formula was outdated. If Congress wants to try another formula out based on contemporary data, though, they're welcome to.

    Will that happen?

    It's not likely, in our political climate.

    So they didn't strike down the whole thing?

    No. But Section 5 - preclearance - doesn't matter unless there's a formula that determines which states are subject to it.

    I thought this was only a Southern thing. New York City is one of the most diverse places in the country - why are we affected?

    Because New York State had passed a law in 1921 requiring an English literacy test to vote. This was mostly an anti-immigrant move, following on the heels of other anti-immigrant election bills that first required voters to register every year and then moved election day to Saturday - the Jewish Sabbath.

    The people most hurt by the English literacy test? Puerto Ricans, most of whom were educated in Spanish-speaking schools on their home island at the time.

    In 1968, Hispanic voter registration was so low that Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx became covered jurisdictions under the Voting Rights Act. Voter suppression of various minorities was working so well that fewer than half of voting-age people voted. Until today, we were still covered.

    But the Voting Rights Act doesn't affect us now, right?

    On the contrary. As recently as last year, federal observers monitored polling places in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The Queens County Board of Elections was just directed in January to provide written language assistance at the polls in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi in order to comply with the Language Assistance Provision of the Voting Rights Act. And supporters of the Voting Rights Act have pointed out that there are still regular charges of gerrymandering, or redrawing electoral districts in order to disenfranchise certain minority groups.



    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-ne...-and-new-york/
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  9. #69
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Gerrymandering is a two-way street, Ti - Just as R's have, D's have drawn some of the most outrageous boundaries to protect their own in response to Census information.
    Indeed. Gerrymandering is a not-so-proud, two-party tradition.

  10. #70

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Why are they moving to Shelby County and out of Jefferson County Patrick? I know nothing about Alabama.


    Dry the problem isn't national elections per se. It's the gerrymandering that gets done every ten years that has resulted in Republicans legally diluting the power of its non white citizens to fair representation. That is what's behind getting rid of the VRA. They're saying that people of color are free to vote as much as they want. They just don't want it to mean anything.
    Besides Jefferson County council members disagreeing on issues for years like the bankruptcy issues with the sewer crisis, extreme southern Jefferson County has grown and it has expanded into Shelby County. For a while, businesses were leaving downtown Birmingham, center of Jefferson County, to those areas. Birmingham just got awarded the All-American city designation as it has some nice lofts in downtown and they managed to get the local baseball team to move back to downtown after the baseball team played in southern Jefferson County for years. However, other cities in Jefferson County, have lot of vacant buildings and the downtown area from Birmingham is not exempt.
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  11. #71

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    I know that gerrymandering has been done for years by both parties but it seems to me that with the TP takeover of the Republican Party things have gotten more extreme. That is why I brought it up especially since part of the reason the Tea Party is so bold is that they have districts that for the next few years are totally safe.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  12. #72

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick View Post
    Besides Jefferson County council members disagreeing on issues for years like the bankruptcy issues with the sewer crisis, extreme southern Jefferson County has grown and it has expanded into Shelby County. For a while, businesses were leaving downtown Birmingham, center of Jefferson County, to those areas. Birmingham just got awarded the All-American city designation as it has some nice lofts in downtown and they managed to get the local baseball team to move back to downtown after the baseball team played in southern Jefferson County for years. However, other cities in Jefferson County, have lot of vacant buildings and the downtown area from Birmingham is not exempt.
    I read something about Birmingham having huge areas that are food deserts.
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  13. #73
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    I know that gerrymandering has been done for years by both parties but it seems to me that with the TP takeover of the Republican Party things have gotten more extreme. That is why I brought it up especially since part of the reason the Tea Party is so bold is that they have districts that for the next few years are totally safe.
    The other issue is the motivation behind it. With Democrats, it has been about staying in power, which they failed to do. With Republicans, the motivation, at least from my view, is far more diabolical. In the end, however, all of these political games are wrong, regardless of the party affiliation of those who do such things.

  14. #74

    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    NC senator: Voter ID bill moving ahead with ruling

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A key leader in the North Carolina General Assembly says voter identification legislation will pick up steam again because the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down part of the Voting Rights Act.

    Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca said Tuesday a bill will come out next week now that justices have ruled a key provision of the federal law cannot be enforced unless Congress changes rules on which areas of the country still need to be monitored.

    A voter ID bill was approved by the House in April but has sat in Apodaca's committee ever since. He said Senate leaders were waiting for Tuesday's ruling before moving ahead. The ruling means any statewide election law does not need advance approval from federal attorneys or judges before being implemented.

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/...#storylink=cpy
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  15. #75
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    NC senator: Voter ID bill moving ahead with ruling

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A key leader in the North Carolina General Assembly says voter identification legislation will pick up steam again because the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down part of the Voting Rights Act.

    Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca said Tuesday a bill will come out next week now that justices have ruled a key provision of the federal law cannot be enforced unless Congress changes rules on which areas of the country still need to be monitored.

    A voter ID bill was approved by the House in April but has sat in Apodaca's committee ever since. He said Senate leaders were waiting for Tuesday's ruling before moving ahead. The ruling means any statewide election law does not need advance approval from federal attorneys or judges before being implemented.

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/...#storylink=cpy
    First of all, it could require pre-approval again, if Congress actually does some work and updates the formula. They have hardly tweaked the formula in 50 years, and that's the SCOTUS's chief complaint. I realize that is akin to a Herculean task from this House and Senate, however....

    And second, just because it does not require pre-approval does not mean they can take any action that would be in violation of the Constitution. No doubt, any ID bill will be immediately challenged, and be put on hold until it is reviewed by a judge. That's what happened here in Pennsylvania, and we weren't even subject to Section 4.

    The misinformation distributed from both sides over this decision is going to be near comical for the next couple of weeks. I may break my vow to never watch FoxNews or MSNBC just for shits and giggles.
    Last edited by Moose; 06-25-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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