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Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Law, Politics | 2 comments

Courts Nix Wisconsin and Texas Voter ID laws

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Every now and then — even in the current, lamentable Supreme Court — decency and common sense raise their hands and speak. This time a decision on voting laws from the Court sidelines three of our most shameful justices.

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election.

Three of the court’s more conservative members dissented, saying they would have allowed officials to require identification. …NYT

That decision was matched in Texas by a federal court that acknowledges the voter ID requirement would disenfranchise specific races of legitimate voters.

There’s nothing wrong with requiring an ID to vote. But ID’s must be simple to obtain and free — not a poll tax. In fact, they should virtually walk in your door, not require your appearance in an office miles away. Before legislatures pass such requirements, they should have in place a system in which the state walks the miles, waits in the lines, and hands over the fee to pay the costs of the photo ID, rather than the individual voter …

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The Washington Post’s editorial board has come up with a sweet term to cover the kind of color-barrier voting that’s been in place in Virginia. They call it “the incumbent protection racket known as congressional redistricting.” It was really bad in the city of Richmond.

None was odder — or more legally malodorous — than the 3rd District, which stretches along the James River from Norfolk to Richmond.

Now a panel of federal judges, concluding that no amount of nose-holding will give a constitutional gloss to the 3rd’s tortured cartographical lines, has ordered state lawmakers to redraw the boundaries by next spring — or the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia will do it for them.

The ruling is unsurprising, given the degree to which the partisan imperative of safeguarding seats for current officeholders has trumped every other consideration in the redistricting process. …WaPo

In other words, enough is enough, no matter how superior, in moral and political (and racial) terms, you believe your party to be.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

graphic via shutterstock.com