SCOTUS just upheld voter ID law in North Dakota that could disenfranchise thousands of Native voters & cost Heidi Heitkamp her Senate seat. "The risk of disenfranchisement is large" RBG writes in dissent https://t.co/jZVB955OGa
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) October 9, 2018
… North Dakota’s 2017 voter law ID was challenged by Native residents who alleged that the law disproportionately blocked Native Americans from voting. In April, a federal district court judge blocked large portions of the law as discriminatory against Native voters. “The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote. “Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a ‘current residential street address’ will never be qualified to vote.” According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.”As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under North Dakota’s new law—a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters. Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring.
But in September, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling Tuesday. In her dissent, Ginsburg argued that the Supreme Court’s order was at odds with one of the top court’s most frequently invoked doctrines on election law: not to change the rules right before an election. By allowing a different set of ID rules in the general election from in the primary, Ginsburg warned, the court was risking widespread confusion and disenfranchisement…
Ginsburg noted that according to the factual record of the case, about 20 percent of voters likely to try to cast a ballot in the midterms will lack the required identification. Another “approximately18,000 North Dakota residents also lack supplemental documentation sufficient to permit them to vote without a qualifying ID,” she noted.
But very few among that 20% will be elderly white people who’ve lived at the same address for decades, so the chances of losing Repub votes is much smaller!
Per the Washington Post:
RUTLAND, N.D. — … One day after the [Kavanaugh] vote, she was back among North Dakotans, wearing a dark sweatshirt against the chill as she led a group of about 100 supporters during the parade for Uffda Day, a Scandinavian heritage festival held each year in this town of fewer than 200 residents.
“I knew this was going to be a difficult vote,” she said in an interview. “I just hope I have the chance to explain why.”…
Since Heitkamp announced her decision, television screens across the state have been blitzed with a commercial from the senator’s campaign explaining why she voted as she did. In her ad, Heitkamp sought to make sure North Dakotans understood that her vote was not partisan, reminding them of her support last year for President Trump’s first court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch.
On Sunday, standing before a huge tractor emblazoned with her name, Heitkamp delivered a similar pitch to a local television camera while a parade organizer tried to get the event started….
A key moment, Heitkamp said, was watching the nominee’s testy exchange with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) about the nominee’s drinking habits. Asked whether he had experienced any blackouts in his youth, Kavanaugh turned the question back on Klobuchar, moments after she had described her father’s drinking problems.
“When he was put in a tough spot and asked a tough question, his response was to attack and double down,” Heitkamp said….
Heitkamp said she thought the Kavanaugh decision was among the toughest of her political career. It also has changed the government, she said.
“We have a highly partisan executive branch; we have a highly partisan legislative branch,” she said. “We now have injected that partisanship into the judicial branch.”
These are Norwegian-Americans, remember. If my experience of the breed is any indicator (I’ve been living with one for forty years), partisan is a slur to rank with puppy-kicker; they’re the folk who put the fangs in those ‘Midwestern Nice’ tales. Even the rockribbed members of the opposition party prefer Nice Polite Repubs. Senator Heitkamp knows her audience.
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) October 8, 2018
In mid-October 2012 Heitkamp polled 10 down. Romney got 58. Trump got 62%, and now it’s a midterm w the opposing party in the WH.
She’s in no worse shape compared to when she won, arguably in better shape than this point in 2012. https://t.co/B3sKVoocoe
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) October 8, 2018