Roberts To Black Folks (and/or Democrats): Don’t Bother Trying To Vote

Hyperbole, yes.  But not so far out of contemplation as all that:

Here’s the Grey Lady’s instant analysis:

The Supreme Court struck down a central portion of the Voting Rights Act Tuesday, effectively ending the practice in which some states with a history of racial discrimination must receive clearance from the federal government before changing voting laws.

The vote was five to four, with the five conservative-leaning judges in the majority and the four liberal-leaning justices in the minority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the decision.

William_Hogarth_004

The majority held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, originally passed in 1965 and since updated by Congress, was unconstitutional. The section includes a formula that determines which states must receive pre-approval.

The court did not strike down Section 5, which allows the federal government to require pre-approval. But without Section 4, which determines which states would need to receive clearance, Section 5 is largely without significance — unless Congress chooses to pass a new bill for determining which states would be covered.

Given the current partisan nature of Congress, reaching agreement on a new formula may be difficult.

Thomas, missing no opportunity to make sure no one can climb up his ladder behind him, concurred, adding that he would have struck down Section 5 as well.  More from SCOTUSblog.

Kay showed us the way all last year.  Now we need to incorporate those lessons all across the country.  It’s going to take constant effort to ensure that everyone who wants to actually gets to vote out every last damn Republican in Congress.  (A blogger can dream…)

Image:  William Hogarth, The Court, c.. 1758

202 replies
  1. 1
    Kay says:

    I am so sorry, Tom. I didn’t see yours. I like yours better!

  2. 2
    Kay says:

    Don’t pull it. I’ll pull mine.

  3. 3
    burnspbesq says:

    Instant analysis is far too panicky IMV. Section 5 is become zombie. It can spring back to life in 2015 if Dems can get control of the House and write a new coverage formula.

    Elections have consequences. Let’s get busy.

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    Latest SCOTUS opinions are posted here.

    The votes in today’s decisions (which is different from the merits of the opinion) were:

    Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl – 5-4 mixed (Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer) vs (Scalia, Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg) with several separate opinions on each side.
    Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management Dist. – 5-4 bad guys.
    Shelby County v. Holder – 5-4 bad guys, Roberts for the majority, Thomas concurring with additional explanations of how he is an evil shit.

  5. 5
    burnspbesq says:

    And in the meantime, we litigate.

  6. 6
    Tom Q says:

    When people talk about the injustice of Bush v. Gore, they normally go on to say it brought us the tangible horrors of the Bush administration — the Iraq war, above all. But it might be time to note this is the most pernicious and lasting legacy of the decision: allowing two young/far-right justices to be appointed and form a tenuous but all-powerful majority for decisions like this.

    In light of what’s going on today in state after state of the old Confederacy, it requires a level of willful blindness or (more likely) full support for five justices to pretend there’s no need for this law.

    The only answer is to change Congrss, and, in circular fashion, this law will make that more difficult.

  7. 7
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Kay: Oh…OK. Ignore the email I just sent, then, I guess.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Burns, I know you care about this, so I’m not attacking you, but the concern is not state-level action (although that’s bad enough, state constitutions vary) but local elections. Precinct level. Where media won’t go. If you believe in voting rights it doesn’t matter if it’s school board or President. Every vote.

  9. 9
    jamick6000 says:

    at what point does this shit become a coup? disgusting

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Hah! It’s good that it’s amateur hour, because we’re amateurs!

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    Will you do a longer blogpost on this subject later? Would be great.

    And I think this might help a lot with motivating people to get us a better Congress.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    I am ready to turn out for a good old-fashioned protest march.

    A huge one.

  13. 13
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Kay: Hah. ‘zactly so, +∞

  14. 14
    elmo says:

    Shorter Roberts: “The law, in its infinite majesty, forbids both Massachusetts and Mississippi from enacting discriminatory voting practices.”

  15. 15
    jamick6000 says:

    The right wing fights like the Russians at Stalingrad. We fight like the Brits in 1776, marching around in neat rows with our bright red coats. That has to change. Obama and the Senate need to be ramming through every judge that they can by whatever means they can.

  16. 16
    Mike R. says:

    “may be difficult”!!!???? Well that pretty much sums up the truly sorry state of journalism in this country.

  17. 17
    mike with a mic says:

    Good lord.

    Let’s remember that in the last election when people were up in arms about this not all places that required pre-clearance were trying to lock up voting, and some places that didn’t were trying to lock up voting.

    Which isn’t to say that we don’t need a VRA, we do. However we need a national one and not just one where we beat the south over the head constantly and pretend that places like PA, NY, or WI don’t try to pull the same shit constantly.

  18. 18
    dedc79 says:

    The Supreme Court took over 150 years to even try to take on institutional racism in this country. Strangely, it’s taken them far less time to pat themselves on the back and insist everything’s been fixed.

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @jamick6000: This is the thrashing of a people used to privilege because of the way they were born. We will have to fight it. And it require the Democrats to do the one thing they are not very good at: Working together toward a long term goal. But it’s either that, or things keep getting worse.

  20. 20
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: We have room for both. I want to read Kay’s take. I annoucned my view below.

    I agree that the decision is, for all intents, purposes, and practical effect, the death of the VRA. Eliminating the current framework for preclearance will result in the passage of lots of state/county legislation that will reduce access to the vote – for, oddly enough, those who tend to vote D. Those places where preclearance has been required have a long, consistent history of voter suppression. Now those jurisdictions can gleefully suppress the vote, get their desired result, and then say “SORRY,” when a later legal action shows the new regulations to be illegally discriminatory.

    The decision is the functional death of the VRA. @burnspbesq: How will DOJ get past the “likely to prevail” requirement in these injunctive actions? If there’s not a new set of preclearance requirements, that seems to be a bit of a Catch 22.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I agree but I think we need to get more creative than just a protest march. Vigils? Million voter flash mobs? Massive voter registration drives wearing SCOTUS robes and masks?

  22. 22
    Sri says:

    @mike with a mic:

    Which isn’t to say that we don’t need a VRA, we do. However we need a national one

    No shit. How do you think that’s going to play in this Congress?

  23. 23
    Elie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I like your thinking — No one likes prescriptions that require actual work, but work is what we need todo

  24. 24
    Elizabelle says:

    Might this be “straw? Meet camel’s back.”

    I don’t see how you square this with the pictures we all saw of people waiting in line for hours in Florida, which was jacking around with voting hours/days.

  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @mike with a mic: I agree with you, but one of the things most people don’t realize is that parts of New York were covered under section 4.

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    or Texas.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, the icing on the cake of Bush v. Gore has been applied.

    Fuck this democracy shit. Time to restrict the franchise to the top 1%. Let’s just get it over with.

  28. 28
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MomSense: The only thing we should be doing is getting people to register to vote and tell them what it’s going to take for them to vote. Everything else is a waste of time, money, and energy.

  29. 29
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    MSNBC has been interesting the last half hour or so.

    Sharpton believes that this will make a difference in voter turnout next year.

    Also, too, steam has been pouring from his ears.

  30. 30
    Seth Owen says:

    The silver lining here is that a number of jurisdictions are going to quickly prove why we need the VRA. Let’s make it national in scope. The ex-CSA is a current problem, but Voting is a Right needing protection against future problems too. Look at the anti-Hispanic measures in some places, for example.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    It is just going to be too strange if the great Nelson Mandela passes, and this execrable decision gets shunted off the front page.

    While we celebrate the great progress blacks have made in voting rights.

    Elsewhere.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    What worries me is what I see as the reaction from states like Texas and Virginia in anticipation of this decision.

    I just can’t get past that waiting to put law in because it might not pass review is a clear indication that…they’re going to put law or rules in that wouldn’t have passed review.

    The NYTimes had school board candidates in Texas admitting they were waiting. They have a 5 to 2 (white minority on the board) composition they hope to change.

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    @burnspbesq: You seem to have forgotten about the Senate filly. Nothing gets passed.

    And if you think it will be hard to take the House with the VRA, it’ll be impossible (yup, I said it) with it gone. The new laws passed in the electorially key states (Florida, Tx) will be DRACONIAN.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Clarence Thomas is a Slave Catching Coon

  35. 35
    lol chikinburd says:

    Always kind of figured that the history of 21st-century America would be the resolution of the question “what would white Americans be willing to discard in order to preserve their white privilege in a changing society”. We can now add “even the pretense of democracy” to a list that demonstrably already includes things like “energy independence” and “quality of life”.

    In fact, I’d wager we could ultimately add “national sovereignty” to that list. If an apartheid regime proved impossible to sustain by its own resources, and a foreign power were to approach the U.S.’s white minority with a deal to prop it up in exchange for appropriate quid pro quo, does anyone think said white minority would turn it down?

    The rest of our lives are going to be terrible. The good part is over.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    Massive voter registration drives wearing SCOTUS robes and masks?

    Do that. Registration and education. With or without the mask. The way to beat them is to beat them :)

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    From SCOTUSblog, succinct opinion re: today’s VRA decision and why, with current teaparty Congress, it’s so impactful:

    Amy Howe: Today’s holding in Shelby County v. Holder, in Plain English: Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.

  38. 38
    IowaOldLady says:

    I’m not surprised but I’m still horrified. We used to live in Detroit, where we waited hours in line to vote. Then we moved to a well-off suburb where, to our surprise, a voter could breeze in and out. When we moved to Iowa, I switched to early voting, which is ever easier. Don’t tell me that a long wait makes no difference. I’m a dedicated voter and I’ve still skipped elections when I was overwhelmed with other parts of my life and I didn’t have hours to spare.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    How will DOJ get past the “likely to prevail” requirement in these injunctive actions

    Easily. Now would be a good time to re-read section 2.

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @MomSense:

    I agree but I think we need to get more creative than just a protest march. Vigils? Million voter flash mobs? Massive voter registration drives wearing SCOTUS robes and masks?

    Yesh! I like your suggestions. Particularly the robes and masks.

    AND: having just passed high school graduation season, it may be real easy to put your hands on a SCOTUS-looking robe. Even within your own (extended) family.

  41. 41
    mike with a mic says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    While it’s true that some parts of some places were, it doesn’t change the fact that “some places that require clearance didn’t try to fuck over voters, many places that did not require clearance actively tried to fuck over voters”.

    The law needed to be updated to reflect the changing times regardless. With the understanding that some places will try to fuck voters over down the line. It’s not even just about minorities here anymore. You can say this is a loss now because of the Republicans, but it could drive better legislation forward. Furthermore a fight in congress on this issue would be a good thing to gain support.

    I don’t see this as all that much of a “doom and gloom” issue. If anything it’s chance to try and fix something that was broken and not even doing it’s job to start with.

  42. 42
    Punchy says:

    So the Roberts Court wants the law and the guiding Constitution to reflect the modern times. A living document, in effect. I cant wait to see how angry and furious Scalia is about this! Im sure his dissent was epic! Originalism!

    Wait, what?

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    We will look a damn sight more dignified in our fake SCOTUS robes than those two-bit Tea Party “patriots.”

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah:

    Clarence Thomas would have been an eager and willing kapo at Auschwitz.

  45. 45
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: It’s clear that folks have been waiting to enact suppressive laws that will have to be fought, now that it’s gotten harder to do that. It’s the very local stuff that can be deadly to voter access. Not to mention reduce early voting hours because we don’t want to make it easy for urban voters to actually vote. Not that anyone in Ohio would actually say that outright to a journalist.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    @ariberman:
    Chief Just. Roberts has been trying his entire life to gut the Voting Rights Act. He finally succeeded http://www.motherjones.com/pol… …

  47. 47
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I actually do a lot of voter registration so I totally agree with you.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    Early voting is wonderful, which is why conservatives are always trying to limit it. People love it and it’s the best organizing tool ever. A vote in the bank is a great thing. It narrows the universe for GOTV and allows really targeted election day turn out work. It takes pressure off poll-workers, too.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    @Kay:

    In the words of the famous political philosopher Joshua Lyman, “80 percent of winning is showing up.”

    Our side needs to get better at showing up.

  50. 50
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @mike with a mic: It’s called Jim Crow. Not the same thing at all. Read a fucking book.

  51. 51

    Many countries have a holiday on the election day, why not here?

  52. 52
    Senyordave says:

    “Thomas, missing no opportunity to make sure no one can climb up his ladder behind him, concurred, adding that he would have struck down Section 5 as well.”

    Thomas also voted to uphold the Dred Scott decision, but was disappointed to find that the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the US.

  53. 53
    beergoggles says:

    If u couldn’t tell this was coming after reading their affirmative action opinion, you need better glasses.
    And those mudderfackers volunteering to strike down section 5 as well..

  54. 54
    dedc79 says:

    @mike with a mic: Well, the Court had narrower options if it wanted to use them. It could have said that the provision was unconstitutional “as applied” to particular jurisdictions. Instead they went with finding the whole provision unconstitutional in all instances.

    Roberts spent much of his nomination hearing complaining about judicial activism, but apparently had no problem overturning a law that had been renewed just seven years ago with bipartisan support.

  55. 55
    mike with a mic says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    So voter suppression is OK as long as it doesn’t happen in the South, great glad to know you feel that way.

  56. 56
    Poopyman says:

    @rikyrah: I detect a hint of anger in your post.

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I don’t think any reputable law school should allow any of these five men to speak at its official functions. This is institutionalized racism, and they deserve to be spat upon in public.

  58. 58
    jamick6000 says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    it require the Democrats to do the one thing they are not very good at: Working together toward a long term goal.

    I agree but that’s only a part of it. We have to stop playing by an antiquated set of rules that the right doesn’t feel bound by.

    The goal for a big chunk of the Democratic party seems to be showing how reasonable and civil it is, wanting to be seen in the beltway as The Only Adult In The Room. Meanwhile, the right is waging a scorched-earth campaign against everything decent in this country.

  59. 59
    D58826 says:

    Typical Roberts decision, leave the law intact but make one change that prevents anyone from having access to the law’s remedies.

    Part of the rational for overturning section 4 was the law was only supposed to last 5 years. One would think a justice on the supreme court would have the basic honesty to acknowledge that the law has been reauthorized a number of times, the last time 2006. And in that case it was passed by a republican congress and signed by a republican president

  60. 60
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @mike with a mic: No, it’s wrong everywhere. But the South is and has been qualitatively different, and I don’t care if saying that plainly hurts the precious fee fees of a bunch of dumbass racists and their enablers.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mike with a mic:

    You are aware, are you not, that Arizona and Alaska were both covered by Sections four and five?

    That parts of New York were as well?

    No?

    Then you’ve renewed your fucktard status here.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    From GOVCHRIS1988

    The Republicans have just declared war. No bones about it. They have all out declared war on every Minority in America. They have basically endorsed the idea that white supremacy is their goal and their birthright and that they will fight to the death to maintain that. Four white guys and one Uncle Tom coon who has been a DISGRACE to the very seat he took over from Thurgood Marshall 23 years ago voted to relive Paula Deen’s dream America. Some of us fell asleep at the wheel. In 2000, my father kept saying that THAT election and my Grandfather’s assertion that the 1980 election would lead to a reversal of all our ancestors fought for is being proved right every day. This is war now. They have declared it. We cannot ignore it. We cannot pretend it is not in existence. June 25, 2013 is the new Plessy v. Ferguson and we need to fight to the death if need be to drown out the folks who long for the days of the Antebellum South and Jim Crow. We are at war and I’m tired of giving the benefit of the doubt about it.

  63. 63
    indycat32 says:

    So, if preclearance can still be required, but the formula for deciding which jurisdictions it’s applied to can no longer be used, how about the DOJ says, we don’t need no stinkin’ formula, we’ll apply preclearance to everybody.

  64. 64
    mike with a mic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He brought up Jim Crow which is a thing distinctly associated with the South, I didn’t.

    I think it should cover all of the US, but the requires changing the law, now their is a reason to do such a thing. And while congress may be full of idiots now that’s not a permanent condition.

    Forgive me for not thinking the world is ending and we all need to start flinging ourselves out of windows.

  65. 65
    mike with a mic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He brought up Jim Crow which is a thing distinctly associated with the South, I didn’t.

    I think it should cover all of the US, but that requires changing the law, now there is a reason to do such a thing. And while congress may be full of idiots now that’s not a permanent condition.

    Forgive me for not thinking the world is ending and we all need to start flinging ourselves out of windows.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    This is sort of high falut’in punditry, and I can’t prove it, but my feeling is that conservatives lost a kind of conceptual battle, on “right” versus “privilege”.

    Not in a legal sense, but in how people think about voting. I saw a real change. Palpable anger at what was perceived as a real attempt to take something away. It was even a little much for me, some of it was conspiracy theory stuff, and this was coming from white, older, rural Democrats. I found myself saying, “look, they’re not ALL in on it. YOU KNOW the Bd of elections members, and YOU KNOW half of them are Democrats”:)

  67. 67
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    God doesn’t love me this much. This will be snatched away.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....bert-costa

    Enter John Bolton. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is being encouraged by several leading conservative power brokers to consider a presidential bid.

    Bolton, who briefly considered running for president in 2012, hasn’t made up his mind. But sources tell me that he is moving closer to giving the idea serious consideration — serious enough to travel to Iowa and New Hampshire.

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I prefer the other option.

  69. 69
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Who’s better at rigging the game?

    Republicans.

    Democrats are – hopefully – going to spend a lot of time thinking about how and why today’s verdict happened. Elections do have consequences. So does strategic planning WRT litigation and the courts. We’ve been really bad at that.

    I agree but that’s only a part of it. We have to stop playing by an antiquated set of rules that the right doesn’t feel bound by.

    The goal for a big chunk of the Democratic party seems to be showing how reasonable and civil it is, wanting to be seen in the beltway as The Only Adult In The Room. Meanwhile, the right is waging a scorched-earth campaign against everything decent in this country.

    @jamick6000: Yeah, this.

    @rikyrah: 1980 was the one that we could not afford to lose. We did. The rest has all been holding actions since then.

  70. 70
    nemesis says:

    Citizens United.
    VRA smack down.
    Gerrymandered House districts.
    Senate filibuster.
    Do you welcome your new political overlords?
    Millions will not march. Votes wont be counted. Outrage? Meh.
    I keep reading “elections have consequences”. How quaint.

  71. 71
    Senyordave says:

    Whenever I hear about Thomas, I think that he must have been related to Clayton Bigsby. For those who don’t know of Bigsby, here is some video of him:

    http://www.comedycentral.com/v.....ton-bigsby

  72. 72
    burnspbesq says:

    Bigger picture, is there a trend here?

    The wingnut wing of the Court couldn’t come up with five votes to kill off affirmative action in college admissions once and for all, so they settled for tweaking the showing that needs to be made.

    The wingnuts couldn’t come up with five votes to do away with Section 5, so they settled for rendering it temporarily ineffective.

    What does this suggest about possible outcomes in Windsor and Perry?

  73. 73
    Chris says:

    Well, the Republican efforts to entrench themselves in the face of declining popularity by suppressing votes just got its biggest boost in decades.

    At best, we’re back to the days of Tammany Hall. At worst…

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    My suggestion would be to move election day to a Saturday or Sunday (oh dear…I can hear talibangicals screaming their Mammon addled heads off now), and have the polls open for the same 24 hour period across the entire country, without regard to local time.

    Or, just do what we do in Oregon…make all voting absentee. Get your ballot in before 8PM local on election day.

    Of course, this doesn’t address the real problem that the VRA was all about, which is how some jurisdictions went, and will go, out of their way to suppress voting by some groups on the basis of racism, economic discrimination, or that some groups will vote “wrong”.

  75. 75
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    @mike with a mic:

    Eh, let’s not get in a fight over this. We actually all agree on the same thing: VRA should apply everywhere.

  76. 76
    PeakVT says:

    @indycat32: I think that would be a case of the executive branch acting without legislative authority. With the current section 4 invalidated, there’s no basis for any decision-making at all.

  77. 77
    nemesis says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: because a day off to vote would lead to more citizens voting.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mike with a mic:

    Sorry, you’ve failed to show any reason for why your fucktard status should not be renewed.

  79. 79
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    Not only is this the lasting impact of Bush v. Gore, it is the impact of Bush 1 and St. Ronnie.

  80. 80
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    But the South is and has been qualitatively different, and I don’t care if saying that plainly hurts the precious fee fees of a bunch of dumbass racists and their enablers.

    The South is the head of that particular chicken. If it weren’t for that concentration, racists elsewhere wouldn’t feel as free to show their asses.

  81. 81
    Sri says:

    @burnspbesq: You’re once again in the mood to try to patronize someone with your slow-brained banalities, but you picked the wrong day, the wrong issue, and the wrong hardworking expert on that issue.

    Stop embarrassing yourself and let the person who knows what she’s doing talk.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    It DID apply everywhere. It’s just that SOME places need to be more carefully scrutinized than others. Based on historical patterns. Which means the old Confederacy, for the most part, that used the color of law to restrict voting and defy the clear intent of the VRA. Which is why they were singled out (along with others) for special scrutiny.

  83. 83
    Cassidy says:

    @mike with a mic:

    Forgive me for not thinking the world is ending and we all need to start flinging ourselves out of windows.

    I don’t think calls for mobilization and protest are the same as flinging oneself out a window. If you do think that, please ask for a second opinion before you decide to protest. No one wants to clean you up off the concrete.

    So, here’s the deal. A stupid congress is not a permanent condition, that’s correct, but we have to be able to vote them out. If people can’t vote, then yes, it becomes a fairly permanent condition. So while it would be nice to think we could get legislation passed that updates the VRA to count for all states and take into account modern attempts to keep the wrong people from voting, there is nothing close to proof to believe that would happen. You’re opinionating on hope.

  84. 84
    Sloegin says:

    Seems if the court has an issue with which states are chosen as having the VRA applied, a simple fix would be to apply the VRA to all states.

    Of course, getting that through Congress is a whole ‘nuther matter.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    @nemesis:

    I keep reading “elections have consequences”. How quaint

    Elections now have pre-determined outcomes.

  86. 86
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    Only halfway through the comments, so far, but for those of you proposing mass protests, that doesn’t mean shit to our betters in Congress. You think Paul Ryan, Virginia Foxx or Louie Gohmert give a flying fuck about what you think, mask or no? They are psychopaths, pure and simple.

    I feel like I witnessed history today, and it was a kick in the gut.

  87. 87
    burnspbesq says:

    @indycat32:

    I like the way you think, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. However, that won’t work. Preclearance is tied to “the prohibitions of section 4(a),” and section 4(a) is tied to the coverage formula.

  88. 88

    On topic because “race” but do “you people” think this is offensive? Many Kos kids do.
    http://www.dailykos.com/blog/gocart%20mozart

    Any thoughts or comments?

  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    Off-topic (sorry), but this will be of interest to Snowden watchers. The Beeb reports he got off the plane from Hong Kong, but is still in pre-immigration in Moscow; so technically he’s not yet on Russian soil. Now I’m thinking of that movie where Tom Hanks is stuck in an airport for years.

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I think Durbin and Brown will be on it, based on the fact that they were on it in 2012, and that was state-level. The “field hearings” were a stroke of genius, politically. I will never forget the AA ministers filing into the jury box to ponder the testimony of Ohio’s state-level Republicans. Just beautiful. They were the jury and Durbin and Brown were where the judge should go.
    I expect Republicans to somehow ban this “field hearing” thing :)

  91. 91
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Did some reading on the VRA. Congress voted to reauthorize it in 2006. The vote in the Senate was 98-0. How is today’s decision not the sort of judicial activism that conservatives pretend to detest?

  92. 92
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Democrats are – hopefully – going to spend a lot of time thinking about how and why today’s verdict happened. Elections do have consequences. So does strategic planning WRT litigation and the courts. We’ve been really bad at that.

    The paid progressive activists are going to whimper about Snowden, and will go all in on the right of naked aggressive panhandlers to draw feces art on downtown San Francisco tourist attractions.

    This will have to come from evil pragmatists.

  93. 93
    burnspbesq says:

    @nemesis:

    If you’re not willing to do the work, at least have the decency to stay the fuck out of the way.

  94. 94
    PeakVT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Are you seriously expecting consistency from the Repukes?

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    I expect Republicans to somehow ban this “field hearing” thing :)

    I think that’s a reasonable expectation. The GOP thrives in the dark. You overturn the rock, they scramble to find their way back out of the sunlight.

  96. 96
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @PeakVT:

    Ha! Never. It’s just another example of how being a Republican suggests a mental disorder.

  97. 97
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    From the SCOTUSBlog liveblog:

    And in fact, it’s a real possibility that the DOJ will react to the demise of the coverage formula by bringing “bail in” suits against jurisdictions with a history of violations.

  98. 98
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    In other words, we’re pretty much fucked in the ass and the GOP has received one of the biggest gifts ever.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy:

    Elections now have pre-determined outcomes.

    We’re going to unskew those polls if it’s the last thing we do!

  100. 100
    pat says:

    @jamick6000:

    The goal for a big chunk of the Democratic party seems to be showing how reasonable and civil it is, wanting to be seen in the beltway as The Only Adult In The Room. Meanwhile, the right is waging a scorched-earth campaign against everything decent in this country.

    Exactly. They know they will never get “those people” to vote for them, so they make it more and more likely that “those people” can’t vote at all.

    And just wait until the repub-controlled state legs start talking about proportionallity in the electoral college. When enough states give electoral college votes based on their gerry-mandered voting districts, the coup will be complete.

  101. 101
    Daniel says:

    Holder to speak on this issue at 12:30.

    Man, 2010 elections were a disaster…

  102. 102
    Jeremy says:

    Well the republicans just declared war against every minority in this country because VRA pre clearance didn’t protect black voters only. It protected Asian voter and Hispanic voters.

    This shows that elections matter, so for all those people back in 2000 who said there was no difference between Bush and Gore they look mighty stupid right now.

  103. 103
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Yeah, that will happen with Holder in charge. But would Alberto Gonzales do such a thing? Probably not.

  104. 104
    aretino says:

    I just started reading the case, and I am simply dumbfounded that the majority cites the 10th Amendment as constitutional authority to overturn a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. That would make sense if no clear constitutional authority gave the federal government the authority to prevent racial discrimination in voting. The 15th Amendment, however, is as explicit a grant of Congressional power as anything that exists in the Constitution. Congress is entitled to maximal deference in this area. Even after nearly a decade of shocking decisions, the reasoning in this case strikes me as exceptionally obtuse and even perverse.

  105. 105
    sherparick says:

    I guess this helps prove Glenn Greenwald’s argument that there difference between electing Republican Presidents and Senators and that Obama is the worse of the worse (NOT!!!). If Gore had been elected in 2000, then Roberts and Alito would not be on the court, which should be called Roger B. Taney memorial court.

  106. 106
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @lol chikinburd: If an apartheid regime proved impossible to sustain by its own resources, and a foreign power were to approach the U.S.’s white minority with a deal to prop it up in exchange for appropriate quid pro quo, does anyone think said white minority would turn it down?

    Didn’t they already take that bet? I won’t argue that there weren’t some benefits to engaging China in the way that we did, but there was certainly some white supremacy lurking in the unholy union of business and government interests to hide the sausage of falling real wages by importing cheap Chinese goods.

  107. 107
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @jamick6000:

    I agree but that’s only a part of it. We have to stop playing by an antiquated set of rules that the right doesn’t feel bound by.

    My dad used to tell me that if you get caught up in a bar fight your first move is to pick up a bar stool.

  108. 108
    mike with a mic says:

    @Cassidy:

    I remember all the screaming under W that we’d never take things back, we did and then screwed it all up.

    Pre-clearance as it already stood wasn’t really working. There were far too many areas not subject to it in the proper fashion that were happily marching along screwing people over. What happened, people got pissed and voted like crazy. That can happen again.

    Either way this was something that needed to be fixed for a long time, but wasn’t because of the assumption that only some dipshits down south had this issue and they were already covered. If this leads to a proper solution rather than slapping a bandaid over a sucking chest wound and having a group laugh about the south it will be for the best.

    I also think this is something that elected Democrats might be willing to actually fight for and make a public issue out of, also a good thing.

  109. 109
    max says:

    @mike with a mic: Forgive me for not thinking the world is ending and we all need to start flinging ourselves out of windows.

    You’re right. The world is not ending. Instead, silently, invisibly, over a period of a coupla years, the South will simply reinstate Jim Crow as they have been doing inch by inch for 25 odd years now. The world is not ending, but things are a big hairy mess and getting worse.

    Tom: Thomas, missing no opportunity to make sure no one can climb up his ladder behind him, concurred, adding that he would have struck down Section 5 as well.

    There are either three or four votes for striking down section 5 in its entirety, but not yet five votes. Should they get one vote, that’ll do it.

    max
    [‘Now would be an excellent time for someone to drop dead.’]

  110. 110
    Cacti says:

    @Jeremy:

    This shows that elections matter, so for all those people back in 2000 who said there was no difference between Bush and Gore they look mighty stupid right now.

    Many thanks to Ralph Nader for helping to make this day possible.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    We’re square burns. I get what you’ve been saying. We have to stick to the opinion and not use it (politically) past the text.
    We just disagree. I think they left themselves open to an attack when they posed with civil rights leaders in 2006, and spouted all that mewling bullshit about their commitment to this crown jewel of civil rights.
    They took it to a court. I didn’t.

  112. 112
    Jeremy says:

    @pat: Well the real activists have been on the ground and they fought and stopped many of the voter suppression tactics in 2012 and we saw the results.

    I get tired of hearing how the Democrats are always to blame (though they are not perfect) when many so called liberals on MSNBC and blogs run down the Democratic party and say there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two, and people should not vote (ie. Ed Shultz).

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sloegin:

    The issue is not that the VRA does not apply everywhere, it’s that the VRA requires certain areas with historical disregard for voting rights to submit changes to their voting laws for review, to insure that they’re not trying to revert to their historical patterns. If you’re say out where I am, Oregon, where such restrictions once existed, but have been banished to the realm of winds and ghosts decades ago, and you haven’t been trying to bring them back, you aren’t subject to that scrutiny because you’ve demonstrated your good faith in upholding the VRA.

    The way to get off the special scrutiny list is to stop trying to revert back to their old ways every single time they change their voting laws in an attempt to do so.

  114. 114
    Cacti says:

    @sherparick:

    then Roberts and Alito would not be on the court, which should be called Roger B. Taney memorial court.

    I think Melville W. Fuller is a closer historical analog for Roberts as being both pro-white supremacy and a handmaiden for big business.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @aretino:

    Judicial activism sucks! Unless it’s about protecting white supremacy, then it’s cool!

  116. 116
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: The South is the head of that particular chicken. If it weren’t for that concentration, racists elsewhere wouldn’t feel as free to show their asses.

    Good point. Not to mention that we can trace the spread of slave-state racism up the Mississippi River and its tributaries to some of the most virulently racist enclaves in the North, such as Southern Indiana … almost as if the river were some gargantuan 19th century highway.

    But that’s–

    Nahhh.

  117. 117
    Sri says:

    @mike with a mic:

    If this leads to a proper solution

    How much profit did you make off those underpants?

  118. 118
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cacti:

    Many thanks to Ralph Nader for helping to make this day possible.

    Oh sweet Buddha beneath the Bo tree. Gore kicked off his campaign by turning his back on Clinton. Then he proceeded to run a piss poor effort in which he didn’t even carry his home state. Blaming Nader for Gore’s loss is like blaming the hors d’oeuvres on the Titanic for the sinking.

  119. 119
    jamick6000 says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: hahaha I like how he thinks!

  120. 120
    Hawes says:

    The proper response is simply to make pre-clearance a national mandate. Suppression of minority voting rights is not a Southern problem anymore. It’s a Republican problem.

    It’ll never pass the House, blah blah blah. But you can’t keep pre-clearance as it exists. Make it national. That way when the fuckers take over a state house in Ohio or Colorado, they can’t screw over minority voters.

  121. 121
    Jeremy says:

    @mike with a mic: I agree. I think the presidents and other Dems will run on this issues because it galvanizes the base of the party and it will awaken many occasional voters. This could drive up turnout in the next couple of elections that can lead to legislative change and more judges appointed by democrats.

  122. 122
    Cacti says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Oh sweet Buddha beneath the Bo tree. Gore kicked off his campaign by turning his back on Clinton. Then he proceeded to run a piss poor effort in which he didn’t even carry his home state. Blaming Nader for Gore’s loss is like blaming the hors d’oeuvres on the Titanic for the sinking.

    Yes, I’m familiar with the apologist drivel for St. Ralph.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    Justice Ginsburg is…not shy:

    “[T]he Court’s opinion can hardly be described as an exemplar of restrained and moderate decision making,” wrote the leader of the court’s liberal wing. “Quite the opposite. Hubris is a fit word for today’s demolition of the VRA.”

    Demolition! She’s great. Let’s just all follow her lead :)

  124. 124
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Of course he wouldn’t. I’m only hoping it gives us a bit of breathing room to do something about this.

  125. 125
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @gocart mozart: What an overweening idiot you are.

    Whitey Bulger is like Biggie Smalls. I guess that’s a slur on fat people now, huh?

    Kicking people in the gut indiscriminately is only funny to 15 year olds, and that’s because their brains are wired to make them uniquely lacking in empathy towards others.

    Most of them grow out of it.

  126. 126
    cckids says:

    @Jeremy:

    This shows that elections matter, so for all those people back in 2000 who said there was no difference between Bush and Gore they look mighty stupid right now.

    They’ve looked stupid since Bush ignored every warning & let 9/11 happen. They are too busy with the “Obama is no different from Bush” crap now to pay attention.

  127. 127
    ET says:

    I really do hope it doesn’t end up being as bad as supporters of the Act fear but human nature and the GOP just aren’t that good.

    I will say that I think they have just exchanged one set of petitions/complainants (anti Act-ers) for another (those protesting the soon to be proffered voting restriction legislation).

  128. 128
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cacti:

    Look, I don’t like Ralph Nader. I haven’t liked him since his bullshit killed off the Corvair. As for drivel, I defer to your mastery of it.

  129. 129

    […] and Christianist loons are imposing their religious beliefs as laws on the rest of us, remember this bullshit. […]

  130. 130
    Cacti says:

    @ET:

    I really do hope it doesn’t end up being as bad as supporters of the Act fear but human nature and the GOP just aren’t that good.

    It’s going to get much worse before it gets better. I expect a raft of anti-voting legislation leading up to the 2014 elections.

  131. 131

    Next step, stopping women from voting, and bringing back aristocracy. Government of the 1% for the 1%.

  132. 132
    srv says:

    @Senyordave: We just need to adopt not saying 5:4 anymore, but 4 & 3/5ths : 4

  133. 133
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Kay: Ginsburg did everything but call people names over the affirmative action decisions yesterday. She’s on fire.

  134. 134
    Hawes says:

    @sherparick: I wouldn’t say Roger Taney. Melville Fuller maybe. The anonymous corporate lawyer who oversaw the Gilded Age court and Plessy v Ferguson.

  135. 135
    Jeremy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I agree on your take on the Gore campaign but Nader is a shill for the republican party. It’s been documented that he received money from the republicans to divert votes from the Democratic nominees. He only attacks democrats and has nothing to say about republicans which shows that he is disingenuous.

    If Nader didn’t run Gore most likely would have won Florida with enough votes to overcome the shenanigans despite his mediocre campaign. We can’t excuse the role Nader played.

  136. 136
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: The paid activists will go on the assignments their paymasters want, no matter what emoprog shit they’re posting on facebook.

    The unpaid activists are whole-hog in immigration reform right now. You think they’re aren’t paying attention to today’s news. I think at least some Latino communities are going to be EXTREMELY mobilized in about 12 months. I worry more about hopeless places like SW Texas.

    There’s also NO telling what the clown car cavalcade will do in the rust belt states that take orders from ALEC OH, MI, PA and now starring WI, 49th in growth now I think, or what the inveterate racists in the Black Belt of the Sunbelt will do, but I wouldn’t count on the African American community laying down and taking it. What they don’t have are majorities in MS,AL,GA,SC. NC is going through it right now and I can only hope that the party flippers realize that however fucked the NC Dems were the NC GOP is a horrorshow. FL has passed the point where the ratfuckery is effective. North Fl P’cola to Jax used to be the whole population, now it’s a minority. Dem folks is going down, okay?

  137. 137
    Cacti says:

    I know voting is important and all, but can’t we get back to the really important stuff like Edward Snowden and Drones?

  138. 138
    Felonius Monk says:

    Roberts To Black Folks (and/or Democrats): Don’t Bother Trying To Vote

    Black Folks (and/or Democrats) to Roberts: Fuck you, John, and the ass-wipe that appointed you.

  139. 139
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @aretino: Start with conclusion, walk back to rationalization.

  140. 140
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Jeremy:

    Never said that Nader wasn’t a shill. If anyone wants to call him a two-faced, hypocritical, self-promoting asshole I will heartily agree. It did not need to come down to Florida. Sure, Nader played a role in Gore’s defeat. So did Gore.

  141. 141
    burnspbesq says:

    @Sri:

    If you want to sit on the sidelines, all smug and superior, and take random stupid potshots at people who are fighting this fight, you can do that. Getting your head out of your ass and getting in the game is also an option.

  142. 142
    jamick6000 says:

    I just have to laugh, seeing people blame Nader or saying that the solution is to register more people to vote and get out and vote more. Yes, voting is great and people should do it and I do it.But it’s not just a turnout problem (turnout was great in 2012 and we still don’t have the House).

    Who you gonna vote for? The pathetic group in the senate that let Roberts, Scalia, and Alito sail through? The losers with a 59 seat minority, who take years to vote on a judge? The president who was barely making an effort to nominate judges for open seats, who’s barely used his executive powers to strengthen labor?

    These guys could not be bothered to fight for the people who fight for them. They’re afraid of what Chuck Todd might say about them on Meet the Press.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Hawes says:

    In some ways this won’t change much immediately. Those jurisdictions that just got out of pre-clearance are already bastions of the GOP with minorities herded off into legislative enclaves, gerrymandered districts that allows Cynthia McKinney’s old district to brush up against Newt Gingrich’s and Paul Broun’s without creating a singularity.

    Citizen’s United was supposed to insure a Romney victory. How’d that work out?

    Just keep registering people to vote. The Court can’t change the way America looks.

  145. 145
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    NC is going through it right now and I can only hope that the party flippers realize that however fucked the NC Dems were the NC GOP is a horrorshow.

    I’m hearing dittoheads call the NC legeslature a horror show. Will they vote Dem? Never. Will they stay home? Some of them say they will.

  146. 146
    Steeplejack says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Don’t get me started. That’s one of my hobbyhorses. Election Day should be moved to the appropriate Monday (“first Monday after the first Sunday of the month,” or just first Monday, I don’t care), it should be a holiday (three-day weekend!), and voting should be mandatory, as in Australia—but the fine for not voting should be minor, $20–25 (also as in Australia, I believe).

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    It must be hard as hell. It’s hard to lose, always, but she’s watching them tear down what she (and others) built over decades.

  148. 148
    Violet says:

    Suggested messaging in minority districts and areas: “Republicans don’t want you to vote. Are you going to let them get away with that?”

  149. 149
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Will they stay home? We can only hope.

  150. 150
    Hawes says:

    @jamick6000: Democrats didn’t win back the House in 2012 because they didn’t vote in 2010. More Americans voted for Democratic House candidates than GOP candidates. It’s about controlling the state level institutions. Republicans understand this better than Democrats do.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Violet: I’d say it’s safe to assume that Black Twitter is going crazy right now.

    The coverage on Spanish-language media today will be … interesting, to say the least.

  152. 152

    @Steeplejack: Agreed on both counts. Also, constitutional scholars, why don’t we have uniform voting rules and standards across the board, why is such an important matter left to the states?

    ETA: Why wasn’t this changed after the Civil War at least?

  153. 153
    Hawes says:

    @PeakVT: Looking at that map, does anyone really think the VRA was helping elect Democrats?

    Hey, GOP. How’s that rebranding thing going for you?

  154. 154
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti:

    You call that important? Anna Paquin is HOT. HOCKEY! That’s what’s important. Sheesh.

  155. 155
    Jeremy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: True ! I have gone on rants before about the pathetic Gore campaign and the lack of clear strategy. I think the take away from that election and everything that came after it is that elections matter.

  156. 156
    JPL says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): The state of GA has changed the requirements for renewing drivers licenses and voter id cards..
    For my driver’s license, I need a birth certificate, proof of residency, and a marriage license since my name doesn’t match my birth certificate….

    You need a multitude of these..
    For voter id cards you need
    An original birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate
    Certificate of birth registration
    Voter registration application
    Copy of records filed in a court by the applicant or on behalf of the applicant by the applicant’s counsel
    Naturalization documentation
    Copy of Marriage License Application
    A copy of the applicant’s State or Federal Tax Return filed for the previous calendar year
    Any other document issued by local, state, or federal government so long as the document provides a reasonably reliable confirmation of the identity of the applicant
    Paycheck or paycheck stub bearing the imprinted name of the applicant’s employer
    An original of the annual social security statement received by the applicant for the current or preceding year
    An original of a Medicare or Medicaid statement received by the applicant
    Certified school record or transcript for the current or preceding year
    Hospital birth certificate
    An authenticated copy of a doctor’s record of post-natal care
    A federal affidavit of birth, form DS-10

    But there is no cost Wahoo…

  157. 157
    NickT says:

    I believe that this was the day the GOP signed its own death warrant. They’ll confirm the verdict of history when they reject immigration reform in the House, as they clearly plan to do.

    We need to organize ourselves, get voters to the polls, take back the House and break the GOP so that a civilized, open, humane democracy prevails in this country. The “good” news is that the GOP have just made it really easy to explain to minority voters why they should care.

    We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.

  158. 158

    @Hawes: Next up, GOP Congress will kill the Immigration Reform.

  159. 159
    Jeremy says:

    @Hawes: Well the dems were in control of a lot of the states but they lost big time in the 2010 election. What made 2010 worse was that it was a census year.

  160. 160
    Violet says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Yes, I’m sure it is. I was thinking down the road as we get ready for 2014 elections. People have short memories, it’s summer and lots of people aren’t paying attention to news. The idea that Republicans don’t want minorities to be able to vote needs to be repeated again and again in the plainest possible language. Democrats want you to vote. Republicans don’t. Over and over again.

  161. 161
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hawes: They also had a built-in demographic advantage in that particular election which would have been very hard to push against.

    That’s why so many Dems chose not to run in 2010. They knew it was going to be a wave election and not in their favor.

    Maybe it’s time to call into question this district packing crap. Creating a majority-minority district is one thing, when white supremacy is rampant. Creating 80-90% packed districts is straight up bullshit.

    It’s also fucking destroying the Democratic Party. You can’t put up a candidate in every race if your farm team ain’t worth shit and the caucus you do have is full of grifters and backstabbers. *grumble grumble*

  162. 162
    PeakVT says:

    @jamick6000: If you want Dems to win, you have to vote in elections. If you want better Dems, you have to vote in primaries. We have too few Democratic-leaning people voting in either case.

  163. 163
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Violet: I remember MTV GOTV efforts in the 1990s and somehow this feels different, with all these attacks on college student voting, the ridiculously long lines, the voter ID crap which hits very poor, very young people right where it hurts. It seems like young people in every demographic have been hit here. It’s not a theoretical nag.

    I think young people are going to surprise us. But we’re going to have to help them by pushing back on these voterID poll taxes by any other name and by putting our money where our mouth is getting these kids registered and to the polls. A lot of elderly folks will need our help as well.

    REAL ID is a fucking nightmare, btw. Any of you who live in MN, could you please call your state lege and get them to roll some of it back? Asking for a friend and that is NOT a joke. She still does not have a duplicate birth certificate.

  164. 164
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PeakVT: Dems need to put up and support more populist candidates.

    The people who care about po’ folks never have any money, so they’re fucked from the start in the primary. Then the limousine liberal wins the primary and runs as a conservadem and then loses because the po’ folks know what time it is and the GOP won’t vote for a PinkoCommieLibunaticQueer.

  165. 165
    Cassidy says:

    @gocart mozart: As you say, context will kill you. Whitey Bulger got the nickname because of his hair being white at an early age. The evolution of cracker as a slur anda s a food item are completely seperate, whereas n***** is a poor comparison with no similiar evolution.

    Do I think it was racist? No. it wasn’t even that provacative. It seems written to get a reaction without any research to back it up.

  166. 166
    Sloegin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est
    I definitely get your point, however it seems there’s inherent problem with the VRA and “historical patterns”; how long should a state be able to screw around before getting put on the list — states like Pennsylvania and Ohio and Wisconsin come to mind.

  167. 167
    rikyrah says:

    jds09 >

    It’s mind boggling. In 2014 a legitimate question for a candidate will be “what is your position on the Voting Rights Act of 1965?”.

  168. 168
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @JPL: Thanks for the reminder. I started gathering a lot of that last year, just in case, but I haven’t finished my checklist yet.

    Better beat the rush.

  169. 169
    handsmile says:

    @Kay: , @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Yes, let’s all follow the lead of Justice Ginsburg, and pray (or its equivalent) for her health. (At 80, she’s the oldest justice on the Court and rumors occasionally surface that poor health may compel her to step down.)

    The Supreme Court absolutely must be an issue in 2014 U.S. Senate campaigns, and the knife’s-edge of its current composition alone should be sufficient to motivate Democratic voters. The importance of maintaining a Democratic majority in the Senate cannot be overstated. It will certainly be my battle cry.

  170. 170
    Violet says:

    @rikyrah: And isn’t it going to be fun to watch the Republican primary debates, where one after the other they all say “The Voting Rights Act was wrong and bad and the Supreme Court did the right thing by overturning it.” That’s some excellent minority outreach/re-branding right there.

  171. 171
    PeakVT says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Art. I, Sec. 4, Cls. 1 sez:

    Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

    There’s more like that elsewhere. In general the original text implies that elections were to be run locally. It looks to me that there’s an opening for centralization, but why that has never happened I can’t say.

  172. 172
    sdhays says:

    @jamick6000: Exactly. The reasoning here is so tortured that it amounts to a judicial coup. Can you imagine Snowden arguing that the Espionage Act of 1917 is too old so it’s obviously un-Constitutional? These guys clearly went beyond their authority here. A functioning Congress would impeach them over this.

  173. 173
    Lee says:

    This is probably a stupid question but since section 5 is still valid why not make the entire country subject to it since section 4 is now invalid?

  174. 174
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You call that important? Anna Paquin is HOT. HOCKEY! That’s what’s important. Sheesh.

    I wonder what Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald think about the hockey game.

    And drones. You always have to remember the drones.

  175. 175

    @Another Halocene Human:

    @gocart mozart: What an overweening idiot you are.
    Whitey Bulger is like Biggie Smalls. I guess that’s a slur on fat people now, huh?
    Kicking people in the gut indiscriminately is only funny to 15 year olds, and that’s because their brains are wired to make them uniquely lacking in empathy towards others.

    I apologize to Whitey Bulger and all crackers salted and unsalted. Feel better now. At least I didn’t advocate the eating of Irish children or there would be hell to pay from you.

    @Cassidy:

    it wasn’t even that provocative. It seems written to get a reaction without any research to back it up.

    Thanks for the comment. Normally I don’t research my snark.

  176. 176
    Steeplejack says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    And early voting aplenty!

  177. 177
    Redshirt says:

    Gosh, I sure hope once this decision is a couple of days past we can get back to bashing Obama and the rest of his sell-out Administration, because clearly that’s what we Liberals need more of – bashing Dems.

    Right, Firebaggers? Heighten the contradictions!

  178. 178
    Sri says:

    @burnspbesq: The bona fide sidelines are currently occupied by you and mike with a mic. Think before you speak. Think about how to get from point A to point B. You have to want the end result, yes, but then you have to take well-planned, meaningful steps to get there. Spouting empty platitudes, with no game plan, is not “doing the work.”

    Be humble and honest today. Take lessons from Kay, who really knows something about this. You are not the center of nor the expert in every situation you encounter. It’s okay that you’re not. You’ll survive and learn something.

  179. 179
    PeakVT says:

    @Lee: Without new legislation, what would be the legal basis? New legislation on the matter is both the solution and, given the current House makeup, the problem.

  180. 180

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Kicking people in the gut indiscriminately is only funny to 15 year olds, and that’s because their brains are wired to make them uniquely lacking in empathy towards others.

    You owe an apology to every 15 year old for calling them all sociopaths.

  181. 181
    Cacti says:

    @Redshirt:

    Gosh, I sure hope once this decision is a couple of days past we can get back to bashing Obama and the rest of his sell-out Administration, because clearly that’s what we Liberals need more of – bashing Dems.

    On one hand, Eric Holder has been extremely vigilant in protecting voting rights.

    But on the other hand, his DOJ has continued to enforce the Controlled Substances Act as if it were the law of the land. And brogressives all know which one matters the most.

  182. 182
    Cassidy says:

    @gocart mozart: 1) Didn’t realize it was you, so no insult was meant.

    Being snark, I’m not sure I get your point. Calling OJ Simpson “Blackie Simspson” isn’t the same as calling James Bulger “Whitey Bulger”. It only makes sense if you had compared “The Juice” to “Whitey”, but then there is not racial component to either nickname that I’m aware of. I guess it just seemed you were pulling together a few things and assigning a racial compnent where there is none, to get a reaction. Same goes with comparing the slur “cracker” to the obvious foodstuff cracker…again it makes no sense. If the food crackers were derived from the slur cracker then sure, but it’s not. Again, I don’t think it was racist, but I think you’re the only one who knew what point you’re trying to make. Jokes never work if you’re the only one to get the punchline.

  183. 183
    Steeplejack says:

    @gocart mozart:

    That post is stupid from end to end, even if intended as snark. The other words you brought up—cracker, fag—had legitimate definitions long before they were used as slang terms of derision. Nigger has no definition other than as a (derogatory) term for a black person.

    If the post is intended as satire or humor, it is incredibly muddled. What is the intended point?

    @gocart mozart:

    And Jonathan Swift you ain’t.

  184. 184

    @Cassidy:
    Meant to be read in a clueless dumb racist or Emilly Latella voice. Nevermind. It was about words and context. Sorry you didn’t get/like it.

    I wasn’t comparing myself to Jon Swift only that you didn’t get the sarcasm.

  185. 185
    Cassidy says:

    @gocart mozart: Gotcha. That makes more sense.

  186. 186
    Elie says:

    @Hawes:

    We have to act from the positive, not the negative. Sky is falling attitudes do not help. While anyone can be temporarily very disappointed (and I very much am), I know we have been “down” before and have figured ways to still rise to the challenge..

    It IS just horrible.. I can’t let the feelings I have about these people sit in my stomach… The feeling that I have defies any kind of description but goes down deep into my experience as a black woman in the United States… the nature of and sheer glib reality of evil — I just have to cry a little bit —

  187. 187
    dww44 says:

    @JPL: I bumped up against these over the top requirements when renewing my drivers’ license in the summer of 2012 when they were just going into effect. I called the state level DMV with questions in June ahead of my renewal date in September. The person on the other end of the phone said that I had a couple of weeks to renew under the old lesser requirements, which is what I did. I had had a drivers license for almost 50 years and those were the hoops I would have had to jump thru.

    They were sold to us by our GOP governor as insuring that no one would be able to steal our identity. As if this were being done to benefit the average citizen. Seriously. I am so angry at what the GOP has done to voters and minorities at the state and local levels I could blow a gasket or two. The only solution is to vote them out and saner more fair minded politicians in. That takes real work and effort, especially when there is NO grass roots Democratic party in the state.

  188. 188
    catclub says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: “your first move is to pick up a bar stool.”

    Your second move is to remember that drunks will most likely swing with a big right hand.

  189. 189
    NickT says:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat.....tt/276455/

    Let’s be clear about what has just happened. Five unelected, life-tenured men this morning declared that overt racial discrimination in the nation’s voting practices is over and no longer needs all of the special federal protections it once did. They did so, without a trace of irony, by striking down as unconstitutionally outdated a key provision of a federal law that this past election cycle alone protected the franchise for tens of millions of minority citizens. And they did so on behalf of an unrepentant county in the Deep South whose officials complained about the curse of federal oversight even as they continued to this very day to enact and implement racially discriminatory voting laws.

  190. 190
    Redshirt says:

    @catclub: Rule 1 in any fight: Avoid the fight. Rule 2 if Rule 1 fails: Go for the groin.

  191. 191
    Neo says:

    Gee. Does this mean that persons living in a state not covered by (now unconstitutional) Section 4 (i.e. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, including portions of California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota) didn’t have equal access to the polls yesterday ?

    I get the sense from the “outrage” that folks outside the covered states had/have no protections under the VRA yesterday or today, which is hogwash (except when Holder doesn’t enforce the law, as was the case in Philadelphia).

    Now the VRA coverage is the same for all states.

  192. 192
    johnny aquitard says:

    @D58826:

    Typical Roberts decision, leave the law intact but make one change that prevents anyone from having access to the law’s remedies.

    IOW, he doesn’t do anything regarding the machinery itself he just destroys the control panel?

    If that’s typical of his decisions, he is like a saboteur, no?

    Makes me wonder what sort of machinery he would prefer to have installed. I think if he had convincing arguments for the intent and purpose of such constructions, he would have the tools he needed to go directly after the law itself and not have to resort to monkey-wrenching the control panel.

  193. 193
  194. 194
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Neo: Here follow this simple reicpe:

    1 1/3 cups flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 eggs, separated
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 3/4 cups milk
    Directions:

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.

    Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the dry ingredient mixture, and placing the whites in a small mixing bowl.

    Beat whites until moderately stiff; set aside.

    Add milk and melted butter to dry ingredient mixture and blend.

    Fold stiff egg whites into mixture.

    Ladle mixture into hot waffle iron and bake.

  195. 195
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Neo: Typical firebagger/crab logic: blow up the life boat because it seats only 12.

  196. 196
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Neo:

    Now the VRA coverage is the same for all states.

    The VRA should have been extended to every state, not removed from those that have shown again and again they WILL discriminate and disenfranchise voters.

    Does this mean that persons living in a state not covered by (now unconstitutional) Section 4 didn’t have equal access to the polls yesterday?

    Fucking confederate.
    You think it’s unfair and unequal to treat the former CSA states as high-risk? There’s a hundred-and-fifty years-and-counting worth of reasons since the Emancipation Proclamation to treat them unlike other states.

    No reason to put a guard dog where thievery is rare. You put one right where the thieves keep trying to sneak in again and again.

    The court chained up that guard dog, and you are telling us how *wonderful* it is that every state is treated like its voting laws are like a bank vault and have always been like a bank vault, well-lit, monitored, secure and tamper-resistant, when in fact we know that’s not the case for those VRA states.

    When every state covered by the VCA is equal to the other states in the frequency and scope of efforts to suppress minority voting, then they get to be treated the same. They’ve got one helluva legacy to live down, and they’ve done just about everything they could short of Bull Connor-style tactics in the last few elections to reaffirm the distrust they’ve earned.

  197. 197
    David Koch says:

    No difference between Bush and Gore.

    thanks “liberals”

  198. 198
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Typical firebagger/crab logic: blow up the life boat because it seats only 12.

    Funny how the folks who are for the states’ rights separate-but-equal bullshit latch on like leeches to the rhetoric of civil rights where words like ‘unequal’ can serve them to enact more opportunities for their separate-but-equal bullshit.

  199. 199
    Darkrose says:

    @rikyrah: In my fantasy life, next time Clarence goes to sit down, the voice of Thurgood Marshall thunders down from heaven: “Get your sorry black ass the FUCK out of my chair!”

  200. 200
    Tone in DC says:

    @Darkrose:

    I like it.

  201. 201
    pattonbt says:

    This right here is why I am a one issue voter and vote D at the Federal level exclusively – SCOTUS. This result is shit. History will look back at this court as atrocious, but fat lot of good that does us now.

  202. 202
    karen says:

    So, is overturning the 13th Amendment the next agenda of the Supremely Evil fuckers who dare to call themselves “justices?” After all, the GOP platform in Texas said that’s one of the goals, along with the ending of the Civil Rights Act.

    Well it would be a permanent way for the GOP to kill two birds with one stone: bringing slavery back would not only get rid of Obama and stop the voting rights of black people, it would also solve the problem of working people without having to pay them.

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