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The Future Of The Voting Rights Act

With Anthony Brooks in for Tom Asbhrook

We’ll hear voices from the South on race, justice and elections after the Supreme Court Voting Rights’ Act intervention.

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, about the Shelby County v. Holder, a voting rights case in Alabama. Charles White, the national field director for the NAACP is second from right and Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is at right. The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, about the Shelby County v. Holder. The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Voting Rights Act was the monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, a powerful federal response to racist policies like poll taxes and literacy tests that kept blacks home on Election Day. But that was 1965.

Today southern blacks vote at even higher rates than whites. So this week the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the law, freeing mostly southern states to change their election laws without federal approval.

This hour, On Point: A southern perspective on race, change and the Voting Rights Act.

Guests

Vernon Burton, professor of history at Clemson University, whose research focuses on the American South, race relations and community.

Kareem Crayton, professor of law at University of North Carolina School of Law, whose work integrates law, politics and race. He led a group of academics who submitted an amicus brief (PDF) in Shelby County v. Holder.

Ronald Keith Gaddie, professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, whose work focuses on elections and Southern politics. He’s author of “The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South.” (@KeithGaddie)

Interview Highlights

What’s left of the Voting Rights Act? Kareem Crayton explained:

“As a technical matter, everything else in the act remains valid. So Section 5 — which is actually a substantive rule that basically requires certain designated states to get federal permission before enacting a new change in their law — remains on the books. The key to this of course is that by invalidating Section 4, the Court has basically said there is no place in the country currently that has to comply with the ruling in Section 5.”

Crayton gave a succinct history of the Voting Rights Act:

The origin of this statute in 1965 was a direct response, in part, to the bridge in Selma of non-violent African American marchers protesting the denial of voting rights in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. But of course that had been a fight that had been waged basically [since] the early 1900s, and so Congress decided to act, initially getting at the places that were most persistent in denying the right to vote, and that definitely included the places in the deep South. But since that time in the 1970s, that scope was expanded to include similar circumstances for language minorities — Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans — and so that took it to other parts of the country as well.

Is a law written in 1965 still relevant? That’s the central argument, said Crayton:

“The question is just whether things have improved to the extent that this is no longer needed. Congress in 2006 decided that more time was needed; the Court seems to say, ‘Well, we’re not so sure.’”
– Kareem Crayton

“Shelby County is a county in Alabama, and they made the argument that — you know, 1965 was certainly a bad time, and nobody questions that the rule should have applied then, but current circumstances are so different that maybe this is not as warranted as before. The same argument was made a few years back in a case out of Texas, northwest Austin. The Court seemed to look at the matter and raised some doubts about whether it could be a applied in the same manner based on current evidence. The best argument that I think they offered was, “Well, look, we’ve got a president who’s non-white and he was elected notwithstanding the fact that we’ve got a lot of different people, some of whom don’t necessarily embrace racial equality. But that’s gotta be a sign that things are better now than before.” And so the Court looks at that evidence and says apparently it just doesn’t make sense to have a statute that explicitly talks about the world as it existed in 1965 and continue to maintain the same kind of oversight, given all of these changes that have occurred. And nobody questions whether the number of African Americans who are registered and voting — and certainly other non-white groups too — have increased in these jurisdictions. The question is just whether things have improved to the extent that this is no longer needed. Congress in 2006 decided that more time was needed; the Court seems to say, “Well, we’re not so sure.”

[Chief Justice Roberts] sees that there is not really a logical relationship between the formula that’s in the statute — which, again, is identifying places based on their conditions in 1965. What he looks around and sees … these significant improvements in political participation. And so because he sees the logical relationship, he and four of the justices said this can’t stand any longer.”

Crayton explained what was at the core of the dissent:

“I think there are two points. First is that there is a concern about whether the world that Chief Justice Roberts sees is a world that indicates there have been jurisdictions that have actually gotten the lesson of Section 5, so that without Section 5 they would continue to do the kind of good work, continue these improvements. Or, whether the world is such that actually the results are primarily due to the continued oversight of Section 5 and that without it there might be essentially backsliding — which is exactly what Congress thought about when it devised the statutory provision in 1965 and decided to renew it, by the way, in 2006.

“The other point that the dissent makes — I think it’s an important one — [is that] ultimately, this is a judgement that a legislature makes … It doesn’t seem to be the role of the Court, in Justice Ginsburg’s view, to sort of second-guess that decision, absent some overwhelming problem.”
– Kareem Crayton

“The other point that the dissent makes — I think it’s an important one — ultimately, this is a judgement that a legislature makes. They look at data and they make considered judgements. And you know what? They may be right, they may be wrong, but they need to be respected. And insofar as it was a bipartisan majority making the decision, it was overwhelmingly approved by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed by a Republican president. It doesn’t seem to be the role of the Court, in Justice Ginsburg’s view, to sort of second-guess that decision, absent some overwhelming problem.

“And the other important point to see in this that [Justice Ginsburg] brings up is Shelby County is not necessarily the best party to bring up this claim. By most any measure, Shelby County has violated Section 5 and has been objected to by the federal government such that they couldn’t enact plans that the federal government found to be threatening to minority voting rights. So Shelby County, and Alabama more generally, are actually poster states and jurisdictions, if you will for showing why there’s a need for Section 5.”

Vernon Burton the “racial polarization” trend in voting:

“Voting rights are a national problem, but it has been shown particularly by scholars that racial polarization — that is where most whites vote for whites, most African Americans or minorities will vote for an African American candidate — is strong throughout the country, but it’s even stronger in the South and particularly those states that are covered, which then means it makes it more difficult for African Americans to have a meaningful vote to elect candidates of their choice.”

Keith Gaddie on the act’s coverage formula:

“An avoidable tragedy would be the best way to put it. Congress was told in 2005 and 2006 by several legal scholars and historians and political scientists that there were potential defects in the coverage formula. And the coverage formula, when you look at it, is technically a race-neutral formula. It’s based on registration and participation figures and the historic use of a test or device to qualify to vote. Now, tests and devices are permanently banned in the United States, thanks to one of the subsequent renewals of the Voting Rights Act. But one thing that’s happened over time is that we’ve had changes in areas where we have low participation. And one of the arguments … made to Congress was they needed to have an updated coverage formula that would keep in areas that had low participation or hold out the prospect of bringing in jurisdictions as participation fell. There are parts of the South that are in desperate need in keeping Section 5 coverage, of keeping pre-clearance in.”

Gaddie on enduring voter discrimination across the country:

“If you looked at Mississippi and you looked at it with a higher degree of granularity, what’d you’d see is higher African American participation but many counties in that state still have low participation problems and still have racial discrimination problems in their elections. So parts of Mississippi still need close scrutiny. The whole goal of the act was a response to an argument that was made by Ross Barnett, the old governor of Mississippi that legislatures can change laws faster than courts can overturn them. So we have Section 2 of the act which can react, which is where most gains have been made in minority representation and participation, but it takes a lot longer to litigate these things than to stop them before they’re implemented.

“We’ve also got problems in other parts of the country, other parts of the South that aren’t covered currently, Indian parts of the West. If you ask me the two states where the greatest concern is for getting rid of Section 5, I would say Texas and Arizona, which were fully covered by Section 5 and where we have probably some of the most obnoxious and divisive efforts to disenfranchise Hispanics in the U.S.”

Gaddie on the shift of the burden of proof:

“DOJ is going to have to prove these jurisdictions have discriminated rather than the jurisdiction proving that they don’t.”
– Keith Gaddie

“It used to be that a state or a jurisdiction would propose to change law, and then they’d have to get approval either from the federal courts or the Department of Justice to make the change. Now what they can do is they can change the law, implement the law and you’re going to have to sue. And what happens is the burden of proof shifts away from the state or the jurisdiction and shifts toward the plaintiff. So DOJ is going to have to prove these jurisdictions have discriminated rather than the jurisdiction proving that they don’t.”

Crayton on what happens without Section 5, new barriers to vote and litigation:

“It turns out history does have a cyclical nature about it. And it’s important to bear in mind — which is one of the things that Congress did in 2006 — that continued vigilance, that is continued use of Section 5, was important because we found that in instances where the federal government removes this sort of intervention too early, there’s nothing more than retrenchment that happens. Supreme Court at the end of the 19th century decided that it was no longer important for the U.S. Constitution to demand federal involvement, and what happened was Jim Crow. It’s not the suggestion that we’re going to get exactly to the same world … but the decision that Texas, South Carolina and now North Carolina are now all making, basically doing these sorts of efforts in erecting new barriers in the right to vote without restraint, indicates that they never really got the lesson of Section 5 — that is to adopt laws that at least take into account the concerns of minority citizens. And Keith is exactly right: These things are going to end up in court in a very time consuming and frankly expensive process, the very kind of expense that these states are claiming that they are trying to avoid. And more important that that: It’s going to bear a significant burden on the very people who we all agree have suffered exclusion, outright political exclusion, for about a century. So that’s sort of the irony in this decision.”

Burton on partisan politics and race in the South:

“You really cannot separate out partisan politics and race in the South.”
– Vernon Burton

“Of course the South has changed and changed for the better in racial relations, but it’s also changed in another way. The cultural wars have had a terrible effect, I believe. In particular, the way the political system developed in the South with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, then the Voting Rights Act, that you really cannot separate out partisan politics and race in the South. And that’s different in the rest of the nation. So it gets very confused and very complex. I think Section 5, while not perfect, at least it was prophylactic and got some of the most egregious problems that worked against the kind of structural [inequality] and problems of wealth and inequalities and things like that that would make it harder for people — minorities, particularly in the South, particularly African Americans in the South, growing Hispanic population — to have a meaningful vote to elect the candidate of their choice.”

Gaddie on Hispanics and Asians:

“They are not effectively mobilized, not effectively included in the process.”
– Keith Gaddie

“A lot of the secondary barriers to voting have largely been eliminated among African Americans. You look at socioeconomic status of a black voter vs. a white voter — a black voter’s more likely to turn out. The real barrier is with Asian and Hispanic voters who are having trouble getting to the franchise, even if they are citizens. They are not effectively mobilized, not effectively included in the process. Do you get there with Section 5? Not necessarily. Most of the gains come from Section 2 and then Section 5 being available to institutionalize those gains that were achieved either through the incorporation of Section 2 or through litigation in those Section 5 states.”

Gaddie on Congressional action:

“We’ve lost coverage in areas where we need it. We’ve gained the opportunity to implement coverage where we can get it. I don’t think Congress is going to pass it. I think that the states’ rights crowd, in the U.S. House in particular, is so strong you will never move legislation through this Congress.”

Crayton on what the right to vote really means:

“I think none of us would actually want to live in a world in Iran or in a number of other totalitarian states, where everybody gets a chance to cast a ballot, but the ballot isn’t counted fairly.”
– Kareem Crayton

“I know a lot of people seem to take the view that if you can cast a ballot, then that is sufficient in order to realize the promise of Fifteenth Amendment. But I think none of us would actually want to live in a world in Iran or in a number of other totalitarian states, where everybody gets a chance to cast a ballot, but the ballot isn’t counted fairly or the structures are in place so that ballot is not effectively given full value. That’s really the question that we are concerned about at this stage with respect to current conditions. And in those respects, there are still significant differences in Section 5 jurisdictions vs. not. And it’s important to see that the right we’re talking about isn’t the right to just elect people who are the same race as you. We’re talking about even candidates who are white who are preferred by African Americans in these jurisdictions who consistently get voted out.”

Burton on the evolution of racism in the South and the “us and them” attitude arising from the cultural wars:

“Old habits are hard to change, particularly when they’re linked, in fact, with this extraordinary, integral link between race and party in the South.”
– Vernon Burton

“Race is not just a southern problem. I guess it’s a world problem, certainly an American problem. But in the South, because of the history, particularly in election law, Congress was able to do something with the Voting Rights Act about that specific area. Certainly the South is so much better in terms of those sort of race issues. But old habits are hard to change, particularly when they’re linked, in fact, with this extraordinary, integral link between race and party in the South. I do think there has been an intensification, as I said, as part of the cultural wars — not the kind of old sense of racism that we had … What I see now … people don’t think of class very much in the South. There’s whites and blacks. This is not true at all; the historical record is there. But people will say, among whites, “We pay taxes, and they have welfare.” It’s this kind of stereotypical thing. I don’t think there’s a basis for it. One of the things that’s happened that has sort of made these issues worse and why you have racial polarization in voting increasing instead of decreasing, even from 2008 to 2012 with President Obama’s election, has been that with the civil rights movement there really wasn’t a justification — at least an intellectual or a theological justification — for segregation as there had been the big arguments on pro-slavery. But with the sort of talk radio and so much of the television broadcasters who have come on strong in the cultural wars — I think it’s given people a sense there is an intellectual basis that sort of justifies their old habits and attitudes about race. This is not to say that people aren’t treating each other better … but I think it does affect, particularly in the political arena, how people have the opportunity to vote, to have an equal vote cast. It has nothing to do about who is elected, but that your vote is counted. There are all sorts of ways to make a vote count less; it has nothing to do with you predicting an outcome at all.”

Gaddie on the urban South, the suburban South and the rural South:

“There are three souths. Two of them are growing, and one of them isn’t. Two of them are progressing, and one isn’t.”
– Keith Gaddie

“There are three souths. Two of them are growing, and one of them isn’t. Two of them are progressing, and one isn’t.

“There is a dynamic, diverse urban South that you find in Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Richmond and Charleston and places like that. Austin, Texas: good example of the new moderate urban South, the sophisticated South.

“There is a suburban South that tends to be a bit more concerned with money and consumerism and it’s a bit more segregated, but the values of the middle-class black or middle-class white or middle-class Hispanic suburb are not that different in terms of the day-to-day pursuit of life. But they’re not as well integrated.

“Then you got this last South, this rural South that’s out in the old cotton belt. And it’s down in the Delta, and it’s down in the South Valley of Texas. And down there race and class mix a little more starkly, and the power base is mainly in rural white landowners. And that South isn’t changing as easily or as effectively. And that’s the south that went most radically Republican over the last 20 years. And down in that South, you don’t know if change is ever going to come … Sometimes progress only comes one funeral at a time. And for some of these areas it may take the passing of the last generation raised in Jim Crow before you see the challenge go away.”

From The Reading List

SCOTUS Blog: Special Feature: The Court And TheVoting Rights Act

SCOTUS Blog: Shelby County Decision In Plain English – “[Tuesday's] decision in Shelby County v. Holder, a new challenge to the preclearance requirements, boils down to a new message to Congress: we warned you, you didn’t listen, and now it’s your problem to fix.”

NPR: Supreme Court: Congress Has To Fix Broken Voting Rights Act – “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the linchpin of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, freeing nine mostly Southern states from federal oversight. By a 5-to-4 vote, the court invalidated the formula — adopted most recently in 2006 — used to determine which states had to get federal approval for changes in their voting laws. The decision provoked dismay and outrage in the civil rights community.”

The New York Times: Between The Lines Of The Voting Rights Act Opinion – “The decision in Shelby County v. Holder revolves around Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which establishes a ‘coverage formula’ to determine which states and local governments fall under Section 5, and therefore need to get approval before changing their voting laws. The justices ruled that Section 4 is unconstitutional, and that the formula used for decades — revised and extended several times by Congress — can no longer be used to establish those “preclearance” requirements.” [INTERACTIVE]

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  • Michiganjf

    Why do we still need a Voting Rights Act, with all these Republican run Red States trying to disenfranchise minorities and the poor by:

    -passing cumbersome Voter ID laws

    -passing Felony Disfranchisement Laws

    -restricting the time and locations of voting

    -attacking voter registration efforts

    -purging voters

    -organizing “poll watchers”

    -using “disinformation campaigns”

    -getting employers to threaten or intimidate employees

    … I mean, a Voting Rights Act doesn’t make sense anymore, when we’re SOOOO past racism and inequality in America!!

    • LinRP

       Excellent. Or like not vaccinating your kid because no one gets polio anymore.

      • J__o__h__n

        Don’t bring those nuts into it. 

        • Don_B1

          Wait until the next hour, at least!

    • HonestDebate1

      You must have a low opinion of minorities.

      • 1Brett1

        You must have your head in the sand with respect to the potential for various machinations by political organizations and state legislatures.

      • Don_B1

        It is NOT the minorities that anyone should have a low opinion of.

        It is the Republican legislators, who in less than Neanderthal thinking, immediately announced plans to implement the redistricting laws that had been rejected by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act preview section, now that the SCOTUS removed its applicability.

        It will take a herculean effort, but I am confident that minorities will rise up as they did in the 2012 Election and remain in long lines to vote. But that is why suppression measures are being pushed by Republicans now to make that effort at least harder if not impossible.

    • William

       The court has said voter id requirements are valid.

       People that murder someone should be allowed to vote?

      Don’t allow ACORN to register people to vote?

      Don’t review voter lists to ensure dead people are off the list?

      Don’t allow free speech?

      Allow public employees to riot and threaten elected political officials (WI)?

      Ginsburg also said in Egypt not to use the US Constitution as a model.

      • JohnnyLeft

        Gee, I guess William really cleared THAT up!

        No Voting Rights Act needed then!

        • William

           It’s a progressive idea and times and people have changed.

          • John_in_Amherst

             Time for regressives to boldly stride into the past?

      • John_in_Amherst

        Nearly half our prison population is jailed for drug offenses, mostly pot.  So a twenty-something busted for smoking pot (and most likely black, even though rates of use are the same across races) should be denied a lifetime of voting after they serve their time?

        You no doubt defend the right to bear arms, ostensibly to protect against the rise of fascism, but get bent outa shape by a day long obstreperous demonstration at the WI state house?

        You would disenfranchise huge blocks of people who lack ID or have jobs that make it very difficult and costly to take time to register because states don’t allocate resources to police their voter rolls for dead people?  And BTW, there are incredibly FEW instances of proven voter fraud, and some of the most conspicuous recent examples were by groups allied w/ the GOP.

        You would have a nascent government (Egypt), struggling to institute democracy, adopt the Constitution because 1.) a third world nation riven with religious conflicts  and leaning toward Sharia law is just like the US?  (OK, actually there Are parallels…) or 2.) the grid-lock on display in the US congress, guided by constitutional rules, is a model for how government ought to work?

        • William

           About 230k for drug crime which means dealing and if it’s pot, major dealing.
           ID’s to vote are free for the asking and the court said it is legal.
           I don’t own a gun and care little about that issue.
           Egypt could do a lot worse and most likely will.

          • John_in_Amherst

            The stat for pot is for federal prisoners alone, and disregards state incarceration numbers.  Under the laws of fifteen states, you can get a life sentence for a nonviolent
            marijuana offense.   There are states where people are still sentenced for a joint, and what of the racial disparity in the incarceration figures?
              
            Voter ID’s require that a prospective voter take off time and travel to a location where ID’s are processed.  Many poor and elderly prospective voters, many of whom would favore Democratic candidates, either can’t afford the time off work and/or the travel, and many of the states that have made it hardest are GOP-leaning.  Coincidence?

            Egypt could also do better.  You truly think our government is currently a model of efficiency, productivity or civility?
             

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You’re still banging your head against the brick wall of ACORN?

        I’m starting not to trust your media consumption habits.

        • William

           Don’t you like ACORN?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep JAQing off, William. Your ignorance is a lost cause.

  • Ray in VT

    Somehow I don’t see the House taking any action to create a new formula to replace that struck down in Section 4 any time soon.

    • 1Brett1

      I don’t either, at least not for the next few election cycles.

  • 1Brett1

    This will be as corrosive to voting as Citizens’ United has been to political campaigns; between the two, elections will be more corrupted than ever. 

  • 1Brett1

    If Republican state legislators are unsuccessful at passing various voter suppression laws, I wonder how long it will be before Republicans in the US Congress start drafting federal bills to suppress votes among minorities?

    • William

       So what if they do? Has not the die been cast by elected officials in CA refusing to uphold the will of the people of CA? If elected officials in MA or NY decide that too many minorities are being elected so they just change the districts around who can challenge them? The voters?

      • 1Brett1

        Let’s continue to erode the efficacy of voter rights laws because state and local legislatures are corrupt anyway? …Yeah, that’s one heck of a sentiment.

        • William

           Then what is the point of voter rights laws? The court should have heard the case and slammed the Gov. of Ca and Obama for not defending the law.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Someone wanna tell William about how referenda basically suck, and results in badly written laws?

        • Don_B1

          Most of California’s financial problems derive from referenda which changed its Constitution by majority vote, starting with the notorious Proposition 13 and includes the requirement of a legislative supermajority to raise revenue.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Not to mention the “cottage” industry that the referendum process has it’s spawned during election years. It eats up a lot of the news hole to no net understanding, puts more political ads of dubious provenance in an already saturated mediascape, and provides a living to too damn many consulting and marketing firms who don’t have to live with the fruits of their labor.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 – very good points. At least California has recently changed the budget process, ironically also through the initiative process, so that only a simple majority is required for budget approval in the legislature.

            California Gov. Jerry Brown recently used the initiative process to work around the 2/3 super majority requirement to increase taxes, convincing voters to temporarily raise both income taxes and sales taxes.

            The CA 2/3 super-majority vote requirement for tax increases also came about via the Initiative process, as part of the well-known Proposititon 13 in 1978. Prop. 13 is seen by some as a major reason for CA budget struggles, but it is extremely popular with homeowners, as it limits their property taxes.

            However, there have been numerous unintended outcomes from Prop. 13, especially with how municipalities finance their activities. For example, since Prop. 13 limits property taxes, municipalities have imposed various fees to try to make up the shortfall. It’s also distorted land use decisions, and made the state much more of a factor in local government finances.

            See:
            http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/op/op_998jcop.pdf

        • William

           A few elite whites telling minorities their vote(s) don’t count is the way to go?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep JAQing it, William.

      • Steve__T

        Just hours after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that guts parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas is moving forward with a controversial voter ID law that state Attorney General Greg Abbott hopes to implement right away.

        http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/that-was-quick-texas-moves-forward-with-voter-id-law-after-supreme-court-ruling-20130625

      • Don_B1

        I assume that you are referring to Proposition 8 and the CA government not appealing the case to the Supreme Court.

        One aspect of the Federal Constitution that conservatives don’t mention is that it stands for equal rights for all which means that a simple majority of voters cannot take a right away from a minority of citizens. The officials of CA were respecting that because they believe that a slim majority of voters cannot decide that homosexuals cannot get married.

        And I strongly doubt that Prop 8 could pass today.

        • William

            Elite white public officials ignored the will of the people, many of them minorities, and that is a bad trend.

          • Ray in VT

            So discrimination is valid and legal just so long as it gets 50% +1 of a popular vote?

      • hennorama

        If a law is unconstitutional it doesn’t matter who voted for or against it.

        California’s Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional twice, first by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker in August 2010. Judge Walker wrote, in part, that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote;
        they depend on the outcome of no elections.” Further, Judge Walker indicated that Proposition 8 “both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

        Then in February 2012, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Walker’s decision, and indicated that Proposition 8′s primary impact was to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”

        “By using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so, the people of California violated the Equal Protection Clause” of the federal Constitution, U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote.”

        • John Cedar

          If the equal protection clause, applied to gay marriage, in such a black and white way as you say, then it seems this would have been settle by the SCOTUS many years ago. And it seems the court would not have been split so closely on the ruling.
          High handed indeed.

  • HonestDebate1

    Slightly off-topic:

    There’s a book out about the epidemic of racial hatred entitled “White Girl Bleed A Lot”. I noticed the lefty site “Forward Progressives” is running adds for it. That’s interesting.

    • 1Brett1

      This article has FBI statistics and everything!!!…and they haven’t even been manipulated, propagandized and neoconized. The question becomes: will you continue your cognitive dissonance and believe distorted FBI statistics when they suit your ideology, then dismiss FBI statistics when they don’t fit your ideology? (And what’s up with your obsession over crime committed by African-Americans anyway?)

      http://www.salon.com/2012/08/13/why_conservatives_obsess_over_flash_mobs_and_race_riots/

      • Ray in VT

        But they’re so scary, Brett.  I mean, look how many white conservatives get intimidated when Obama speaks.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s a serious problem Ray, mainly because it’s tacitly excused.

          • Ray in VT

            But the 2,000+ crimes commited per year motivated by anti-black violence nets nary a peep from you?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s bad. Any violent crime is bad. Any racially motivated violent crime is bad.

            But if you want to talk about racism then painting the South, Republicans, the Tea Party and anyone who opposes Obama as racist misses the mark. Black on White violence is a far greater problem today than White on Black violence. 

            So with all due respect, your comment should look in the mirror. I  blogged on this extensively a few days ago and no one condemned the epidemic of black mobs preying on whites. I was called a racist for posting. I just think the debate should be honest, that’s all.

          • 1Brett1

            There is no “epidemic” of black mobs. 

            According to you any crime committed by a black person in which a white person is a victim is “racially motivated.” …So much for any “honest debate”

          • Ray in VT

            I agree.  Any violent crime is bad, but why go on about an “epidemic” of black on white violence, which I would be glad to consider should you point to some statistics showing that such crime is either racially motivated or on the rise, while not addressing the issue that some 2,000 racially motivated crimes against African-Americans.

            I forgot that racism is dead and that southerners judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin (at least maybe more so since the Federal government stepped in and attempted to stop the states-rights southern conservatives from systematically abusing racial minorities).  Silly me.  I guess that we should really give the benefit of the doubt to all of those people down there who say that they still oppose inter-racial marriage or think that Obama some sort of secret Muslim Kenyan.  They’re probably not racist at all.

            Maybe people think that you might be a bit racially tweaked for harping on “black mobs preying on whites”, while not addressing the hate crimes and discrimination that minorities face, and for stating that the NAACP is racist and not understanding why it isn’t viewed in the same light as the KKK.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re being contentious. Kenyan? Muslim? It’s impossible to have an honest debate on race these days.

            The black preying on whites thing is in the context of outrage over what a celebrity chef said 10 years ago juxtaposed against 15 or 20 examples of recent black flash mobs. I was just trying to put things in perspective. And please stop with the implication that I don’t think racism exists. I hate it all but you see only part of it. Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites than vice versa.  It all sucks.

          • Don_B1

            Your constant dishonesty doesn’t help.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not being contentious, I’m just pointing out the fact that large numbers of people from a particular region have incredibly ridiculous views regarding the President and that polls have also indicated that many people there of a certain political persuasion still oppose things like inter-racial marriage.

            I think that the Paula Deen thing has been blown way out of proportion as well, however, to suggest that there is some sort of black mob epidemic as a response is not a valid counterpoint.  Do you have a good source for your 39x’s number, and I don’t mean alamogirl.com or something.  I did see a citation on the website of a group that is various described as being white supremacist or white separatist  How about how 12% of the population gets vicitimized by 71.9% of racially motivated crimes?

          • 1Brett1

            Ray, to put your 2,000 crimes (in each of the years ’08, ’09, and ’10) motivated by anti-black bias, according to the FBI there were 575 crimes motivated by anti-white bias by all other ethnic groups combined in 2010, nationwide, and 545 in ’09, and 716 in ’08. 

            According to these statistics racially motivated crime by whites against blacks is much more prevalent…the stats that HD1 mentions have been distorted, and some have been out-and-out fabricated (from some silly book by a neocon about ALL black on white crime being racially motivated; it’s called “White Girl Bleed a Lot” and is a propaganda book for people like Gregg to read).

          • Ray in VT

            I noticed that it was self-published.  Must be even Regnery, which I thought would publish any right wing diatribe, wouldn’t even touch it.

          • 1Brett1

            Hehe…how do you know it is being excused if it is done so “tacitly”?

            Seriously, though, HornyforMasterdebation1, who is excusing it? What do you mean by “excusing”? Is “excusing” the fact that many people won’t buy into your neocon, ginned-up, fear-mongering view of crime by blacks perpetuated by bigots so they can continue their subtle (and not so subtle) racism? 

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith – This will be the third time I have challenged you to explain the claims you have made about “Black on white violence” and “white on black violence.”

      Thus far, you have been bravely silent in response to challenges.

      All you have done is post a link to a four-year-old article that made the claims that you parroted, said four-year-old article essentially consisting of other links to online articles and websites.

      Now you’ve added the term “epidemic” without showing ANYTHING BUT ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE.

      I’ll simply (re-)repeat my initial request and subsequent challenge:

      Please provide some evidence, and cite your sources and their methodologies.

      I am (again) challenging you to explain each claim that you have made, in terms that anyone can understand. You seem to accept these claims as fact. Anyone who is “honest” relies on reputable sources, with data they can show to be true, after all.

      I’m (again) calling “BS” and look forward to your defense of your claims.

  • northeaster17

    It’s funny how the people who promote the most distrust of government say trust us on this one. Those days are gone. Not.

    • 1Brett1

      Excellent point!

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s funny how the people who say they want a color blind society encourage the government to judge people by the color of their skin.

      • 1Brett1

        It’s funny how the only people who say they are color blind (conservatives and YOU, for example) turn out to be bigots and racists.

        • jefe68

          It is amazing. He’s the Energizer Bunny of inanity.

      • J__o__h__n

        I’m shocked you weren’t cited in the Court’s opinion.  Centuries of racism are ended by proclaiming “that’s sick” whenever racial disparities are mentioned. 

        • HonestDebate1

          I have never posted “that’s sick” when racial disparities are mentioned. You must be thinking of someone else.

          However I will post “that’s sick” every single time I see shallow, unthinking liberals painting good Americans with the broad brush of racism and doing so with zero evidence to support it. 

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            There is plenty of contemporary evidence of racism. Apparently you are too biased (as was SCOTUS) or too blind to see it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Of course there is racism, I don’t get your point. Is it racism to assume blacks are disproportionally identification impaired felons or otherwise inherently incapable of obtaining an ID?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Quit while you’re behind.

          • northeaster17

            It’s not about painting good Americans. Just those who are still at work today trying to make voting more difficult for fellow citizens.

          • Steve__T

             It’s not about you.

      • 1Brett1

        Heinous!

      • northeaster17

        It’s not about the color of anyones skin. It’s about the documented actions of govermnent officials and their cronies violating constutional rights. You need to get past the color thing

      • John_in_Amherst

         OK, lets leave color out and judge them by their actions.  What group has systematically sought to deny others the vote for 150 years?  Were those actions random, or based on some intrinsic criteria?  Has 50 years’ of a law being in effect totally erased that history?  Does that fact that this group used to be labeled “Southern Democrats” until LBJ signed the civil rights act, and now those folks identify themselves primarily as GOP voters tell us anything?

        • hennorama

          John_in_Amherst – great rhetorical questions.

          Please allow a small quibble – the groundwork for the “Southern Democrats” switching party affiliation was laid earlier, when Strom Thurmond and his cronies formed the shorted-lived segregationist States’ Rights Democratic Party (a.k.a. “Dixiecrats”) in 1948. This was a response opposing President Truman’s signing of Executive Orders 9980 and 9981, which ordered the desegregation of the Federal work force and the US military, respectively.

          The Dixiecrat platform said, in part

          “We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one’s associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to earn one’s living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.”

          {The above is quite shocking to read today.)

          And

          “We call upon all Democrats and upon all other loyal Americans who are opposed to totalitarianism at home and abroad to unite with us in ignominiously defeating Harry S. Truman, Thomas E. Dewey and every other candidate for public office who would establish a Police Nation in the United States of America.”

          (One hears echoes of these words today.)

          Sources:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_Committee_on_Civil_Rights
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat#1948_presidential_election
          http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/dixiecrats.html
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strom_Thurmond

          • John_in_Amherst

             Thanks for the correction.  I loved the glaringly inconsistent quote about “standing for segregation” while favoring “a minimum interference with individual rights”.  Apparently Strom et.al. didn’t even regard blacks as individuals…  That said, LBJ knew he was signing the death sentence for the Democratic Party in the South when he signed the Civil Rights Act.  He thought it would be for a generation.  Looks like he had that part wrong.

      • jefe68

        Wow, the way you turn this around is astonishing.
        The level of your complete lack of historical context is noted.  Then there is how you really do not get how racially charged this kind of comment is.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Trust Eric Holder?  No thanks.

    • John_in_Amherst

      hypocrisy is the stock in trade for the Grand Obstructionist Party

  • donniethebrasco

    This will increase gerrymandering in MA, CA, NY, et. al.

  • donniethebrasco

    Illegal immigrants will become disenfranchised and lose the right to vote.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Long overdue.

    Too bad the folks upset about this ruling don’t appear upset about voter fraud and simple measures that would allow us to properly measure fraud.

    Since the Senate immigration bill will invest $billions in the eVerify system, it only makes sense to use this system to also validate voter rolls.

    • MrNutso

      Voter fraud does not exist.  The loss of voting rights through voter suppression is far greater than the few and far between instances of criminal voter fraud.  Pennsylvania is a prime case.  The voter suppression law was enacted to combat fraud.  When challenged in court, the State admitted that voter fraud did not exist.

      “The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         It is easy to say voter fraud doesn’t exist when you don’t measure it.  I say measure it and then we will find out the severity of the problem.

        Fraud certainly exists (ie, the poll worker woman in Ohio who ADMITTED to voting for Obama SEVEN times).  We just don’t know the magnitude of the fraud.

        • responseTwo

          ” We just don’t know the magnitude of the fraud.” 
          Well, that’s real scientific conservative logic. We found a person committing fraud so let’s just make voting miserable for tens of millions of voters.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Tens of millions of certain types of voters, you mean.

        • John_in_Amherst

           Right. Last time incidents of voter fraud were investigated, they were found to have helped elect Bush II.

          • J__o__h__n

            I thought it was a 5 to 4 vote.

          • John_in_Amherst

             that too. 

        • northeaster17

          Here is a convition sited. http://www.bradblog.com/?p=10083

    • J__o__h__n

      If the founders wanted voters to be eVerified, they should have stated that explicitly in the Constitution. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Voter fraud doesn’t exist.

      It’s the all horseshit, no pony scandal.

    • hennorama

      Here’s some reporting on the topic of voter fraud, from a NY Times article from 2007, contemporaneous to the Bush II Justice Dept.’s investigation of the matter.

      The DOJ found that only 86 people, out of the 300 million votes cast between 2002 and 2007, had been convicted for voter fraud, with many of the cases involving immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. In addition, not a single person was prosecuted by the DOJ between 2002 and 2007 for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop.

      There was also a highly publicized investigation in Wisconsin, which resulted in the prosecution of only .0007 percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud.

      “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud

      By ERIC LIPTON and IAN URBINA
      Published: April 12, 2007

      “WASHINGTON, April 11 [,2007] — Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

      “Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

      “Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

      “In Miami, an assistant United States attorney said many cases there involved what were apparently mistakes by immigrants, not fraud.

      “In Wisconsin, where prosecutors have lost almost twice as many cases as they won, charges were brought against voters who filled out more than one registration form and felons seemingly unaware that they were barred from voting.

      “One ex-convict was so unfamiliar with the rules that he provided his prison-issued identification card, stamped “Offender,” when he registered just before voting.

      “A handful of convictions involved people who voted twice. More than 30 were linked to small vote-buying schemes in which candidates generally in sheriff’s or judge’s races paid voters for their support.

      “A federal panel, the Election Assistance Commission, reported last year that the pervasiveness of fraud was debatable. That conclusion played down findings of the consultants who said there was little evidence of it across the country, according to a review of the original report by The New York Times that was reported on Wednesday.

      “Mistakes and lapses in enforcing voting and registration rules routinely occur in elections, allowing thousands of ineligible voters to go to the polls. But the federal cases provide little evidence of widespread, organized fraud, prosecutors and election law experts said.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/washington/12fraud.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • OnPointComments

        Do you believe that voter fraud doesn’t exist, or if it does exist it is minuscule, and that the proof of the nonexistence of voter fraud is that there have been few federal cases?  Would you extend this logic to the nonprosecution of any top Wall Street executives for the crash of 2008, i.e., there have been no federal prosecutions therefore there is no culpability?

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response. I enjoyed your rhetorical legerdemain.

          Certainly some voter fraud exists, but the evidence indicates that its incidence is quite small.

          A far larger issue for our republic is that too few citizens exercise their right to vote. Any law or regulation that in any way discourages voting is a detriment to the nation.

          As I see it, the minor issue of voter fraud is something we tolerate as part of the process, somewhat similar to “Blackstone’s formulation”, that “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”

          TY again for your response.

          http://thinkexist.com/quotes/william_blackstone/

  • 1Brett1

    You thought the usual neocon suspects who frequent this forum were bigoted and crass during the discussion on children in poverty and gay marriage? Wait till they all weigh in on this topic!

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Actually, there are a great many liberal posters on this website that are bigoted and crass.  Oh I forgot that only those who take a different position than them are bigoted and crass.  Liberals are “open minded” (at least they have convinced themselves that they are).

      • jefe68

        Yeah, I’ll come clean. I’m bigoted against intolerant, ignorant fools.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Whenever liberals get crass to you, directly, do you maybe think it’s you that’s the cause?

        Cos I don’t value “polite” above all else. Too much of our media fetishizes about “comity” and “cooperation”, and yearns for “nicey-nice” above actual policy gains.

        The Voting Rights Act, for example, was not something done by the left and the right getting together and being friendly.

      • jefe68

        Ah yes, the right wing turn around.

  • J__o__h__n

    When the conservatives went after affirmative action, they said that it had to be narrowly tailored to places where specific discrimination occured in the past.  For voter rights, they think that all areas should have the same standard without heightened scrutiny for where there was a history of voter discrimination.  Another conservative activist ruling. 

  • Yar

    “What’s more, Ecuador offers the United States economic aid of $23 million annually, similar to what we received with the trade benefits, with the intention of providing education about human rights,” Alvarado added.
    This is in response to Edward Snowden, but isn’t the issue is the same as with voting rights. If the US will violate one person’s rights are we also guilty of violating the rights of an entire classes of people?  Do we need oversight by the world court to have free and fair elections? 
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-security-ecuador-idUSBRE95Q0L820130627

  • creaker

    We now have a living laboratory to see if the law was still needed or not. Sadly though, if it turns out to have been needed, many people will be disenfranchised in the process.

    • Don_B1

      Texas is already making an effort to be first on the list with vows to implement the voter suppressive redistricting laws that were rejected by the DoJ under the now moot sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

  • OnPointComments

    Along with suspending the Voting Rights Act, we should do away with the racist, discriminatory DOJ Voting Rights Section, which believes the Voting Rights Act doesn’t apply to white voters who have been discriminated against by racial or ethnic minorities.  Read or listen to the testimony of Christopher Coates, former Voting Section chief and ACLU lawyer (hardly a conservative), before the Civil Rights Commission on September 24, 2010, talking about the DOJ Civil Rights Division.  Coates spoke in his testimony of “the hostile atmosphere that existed within the CRD for a long time against race-neutral enforcement of the Voting Rights Act…for the Department of Justice to enforce the Voting Rights Act only to protect members of certain minority groups breaches the fundamental guarantee of equal protection.”

    • northeaster17

      Yes America has a long and documented history of voter discrimination of whites. Funny it’s just so hard to find.

      • OnPointComments

        So, you’re saying that it is impossible for there to be voter intimidation against whites by blacks?  And if an instance of black on white voter intimidation is discovered, it shouldn’t be prosecuted?  Sounds like you agree with Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Julie Fernandez, who stated that the DOJ would only enforce cases to ensure equal access for voters of color or minority language, not for white voters.

        • northeaster17

          Nothing is impossible but where is the intimidation? You seem to have more problems with talking points rather than what has actually happened at the polls in this country. White victimhood seems to be a growth industry. 

          • jefe68

            It sure does and it’s showing up today a lot. Those poor white folk…

          • Ray in VT

            Well, you know that no one is persecuted so much in modern America as the white christian man, right?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Ray, you forgot the qualifier “hetero” in that.

          • Ray in VT

            How could I forget that one?  The straights are the ones who get hassled the most.  A straight man can’t walk down the street without mobs of homos forming to accost him.

  • Yar

    Didn’t Justice Scalia say the constitution is dead? If section 4 of the voting rights act was constitutional when enacted then shouldn’t it still be constitutional?

    • Yar

      Quote from the Gods must be Crazy:  It seems to fit here in reference to Justice Scalia:
      The hairy one said, “We don’t want the thing. You have to throw it away yourself.” He was very disappointed. He thought it was unfair of the gods to make him throw the thing off the Earth. In fact, he began to doubt if they really were gods.

    • creaker

      With the recent rulings on gay marriage, I was reading a little on history of the court on subject  of interracial marriage (anti-miscegenation laws). They were originally deemed constitutional and did not violate the 14th amendment. In 1967 they deemed them unconstitutional because they violated the 14th amendment.

      While the constitution is fixed, interpretations change.

      • Don_B1

        It is true that understandings change (and sometimes interpretations follow). Sometimes the interpretation is ‘bent” to fit the current culture but when there is a widespread growth in understanding because people are exposed to the real facts of discrimination that had been culturally suppressed. An example is the treatment of homosexuals, for which the recent biological science has shown do not choose their orientation. But it is the recent development of homosexuals being willing to acknowledge their orientation, to the extent that some 70% of young people know someone who is homosexual and lower but high percentages of older people do also, that has changed the culture. From that knowledge, people are less willing to support discrimination.

  • toc1234

    basically liberals cling to racism as a core raison d’etre.   they have no interest in admitting progress in this area as it would dilute their self-worth.  for this reason they choose to ignore certain inconvenient facts of the case…

     black and white voter registration and turnout are nearly even in the “covered” states and districts. By 2009, the racial voting gap was lower in preclearance states than in the rest of the country. As Chief Justice Roberts noted, Census data show that black voter turnout is now higher than white turnout in five of the covered states….

    … the state with the largest gap between white and black voter turnout is Massachusetts. In Mississippi black turnout exceeds white turnout.

    The High Court previously described all of this progress in a 2009 case, but in the habit of this restrained Roberts Court stopped short of overturning Section 4 and invited Congress to revise its formula. Congress ignored that warning, and this time the Court followed through on its constitutional logic and ordered Congress to rewrite its preclearance formula to reflect current reality.

    and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act continues to bar discriminatory voting practices, and that the Justice Department can sue to stop them

    • jefe68

      You left out the part about the reason more African Americans turned out to vote in Mississippi compared to Massachusetts is that there are more African Americans living in Mississippi, if I”m not mistaken they comprise about half the population of the state. Not so in Massachusetts where the white population is over ten times that of African Americans.

      Methinks you cherry pick to much.

      • toc1234

        methinks that pct/ratios/etc confuses you…

        ‘. In 2004, according to the Census Bureau’s survey, the turnout rate among white voting-aged citizens was 60.2 percent in Mississippi, while the turnout rate among African-Americans was higher, 66.8 percent. In Massachusetts, conversely, the Census Bureau reported the white turnout rate at 72.0 percent but the black turnout rate at just 46.5 percent.’

        • jefe68

          Which gives testament to the Voting Rights Act in the state of Mississippi.

      • OnPointComments

        In a George Will column published today, he points out that Mississippi has more black elected officials — not more per capita; more — than any other state.

    • Don_B1

      And the Republican members of Congress from those areas under Section 5 (listed in Section 4) review were the strongest opponents of changing it because they could not get removed by the process.

      But your reasons is more widely backwards; it is conservatives that cling to “playing the race card” every time one of their “under the radar” attempts attempts at discrimination gets called out.

  • J__o__h__n

    I don’t see the election of a Black president as being relevant as few of the Southern states voted for him.

  • adks12020

    It more than a little hypocritical that the conservative justices are, at this point, practicing judicial activism when they have a history of chastising more liberal justices for supposedly doing so.

    The Congress reapproved this as recently as 2006 by supermajorities in both house and senate yet the conservative justices think they can just throw that out. Disgusting.

  • Twinkie McGovern

    This decision is consistent with what this court’s majority sees as its mandate: to help Republicans win elections, even if that requires a high degree of judicial activism.

    In that sense, it is totally consistent with Citizen’s United.

  • J__o__h__n

    Now that there are six Roman Catholics and three Jews on the Court, the United States is no longer burdened by religious bigotry and thus the First Amendment protection of religious freedom is no longer needed. 

  • EricDTodd

    Chief Justice Roberts claims that African Americans are serving in political office in record numbers, but is the proportion of African American politicians to the African American population comparable to the proportion of white politicians to the white population in the US?

    • OnPointComments

      Have you considered the possibility that some African Americans might vote for a white politician, and some white voters might vote for an African American politician?

      • EricDTodd

        I was not assuming that all African American voters vote for African American candidates or that all white voters vote for white candidates. If opportunity is completely fair shouldn’t the proportion of African American representatives in government be somewhere around the proportion of African Americans in the US population?

  • toc1234

    why does Anthony keep insinuating that the Act has been gutted?  all it did was removed special oversight on several states.  the Voting Rights Act continues to bar discriminatory voting practices, and the Justice Department can sue to stop them.  Vernon sounds like a professional “expert witness” who relies on the perception that the US is a racist country in order to make a living.   

    • OnPointComments

      He says that the act has been gutted because if the VRA has to be changed with a new formula based on current facts, the liberals won’t get to pick and choose to which states the act applies, and which states get a free pass.

  • toc1234

    that was considerate of Anthony to allow Gaddie to actually speak.  good job Tony!

  • Randy Schacher

    Chief Justice Roberts completely ignored all of the attempts by the GOP to disenfranchise voters during the last election. This statute covers not just African-American voters, but all voters whose votes are trying to be ignored. The actions of the majority are just another partisan maneuver to allow states to disenfranchise voters before the next mid-term elections.

    • William

      Yes, the IRS did work very hard to suppress the vote during the last election and not much will be done about it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You mean the IRS worked very hard to suppress the workings of organizations that have sworn up and down that they’re supposed to have had tax-exempt status because they’re strictly not in the role of influencing elections and politicking?

        There’s a meme going around the right-wing media that the IRS kiboshed right-wing groups simply for the 2012 election. No wonder you’re innocently bringing up that bullshit like it’s fact.

        • OnPointComments

          Are you saying that the IRS was wrong when it admitted its targeting of conservative organizations, and that President Obama was wrong when he condemned the IRS practices as outrageous?  Do you believe that both the IRS and President Obama were duped by the right-wing media into believing that the IRS targeted conservative organizations?

          • northeaster17

            The IRS targeted both liberal and conservative groups. Issa was lying and Tea Party victimhood took the day. But we know better now.

          • OnPointComments

            On C-Span 3, moments ago, the new IRS director Daniel Werfel stated that 100% of conservative organizations received abusive scrutiny from the IRS.  In the ordinary course of business, the IRS will question some organizations’ requests for tax exemption; when the IRS decided that some organizations would receive routine scrutiny, but other organizations will always be subjected to abusive scrutiny, it engaged in targeting.  This is settled fact.  The IRS admitted its error, the President condemned the practice, and you should too.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep cherry-picking and strawmanning, bub.

            Your idea of “settled fact” is cute.

          • jimino

            This whole thing is about identifying political entities who are NOT eligible for the IRS designation at issue.  Comparing the number of “tea party candidates” to “progressive party candidates” that proportion seems more than fair.

          • northeaster17

            The errors should be condemned, but the Tea Party wailing as singular victims is also ridiculous. As is Issa’s framing of the issue.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nice try.

            Actually, given the facts since the big media crapstorm, not much of a try at all.

          • jefe68

            That story is dead in the water.
            It’s a non-conspiracy. But I’m sure you right wingers will keep up with the rhetoric as if this was a major story.

      • Steve__T

         The IRS? link? proof?

      • hennorama

        What a load of nonsense.  Get real.

      • John_in_Amherst

        The IRS (actually one local IRS office in Cincinati)  “targeted” conservative groups.  They also targeted any group with “progressive” and other liberal catch words in thier titles.  Further, conservative “non-profits” out spent liberal groups by 34 to 1, which might lead an impartial observer to conclude that “targeting” them might have beenm a resonable allocation of scarce resources.

    • OnPointComments

      “This statute covers not just African-American voters, but all voters whose votes are trying to be ignored.”  According to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Julie Fernandez, you are wrong; she has stated that the DOJ would only enforce cases to ensure equal access for voters of color or minority language, not for white voters.

      • Randy Schacher

        Good point. However, my point is that perhaps the issue is no longer one of minority but of political affiliation. And within that political affiliation, the minorities are the targets. Therefore, the minorities of a particular political affiliation still need this protection from disenfranchisement under the law.

        • Ray in VT

          The former head of the Florida GOP said that that state’s GOP led election “reforms” were designed to keep people likely to vote for the Democrats away from the ballot box.

  • M S

    Right to vote? I’m more worried about having my private emails read or my internet search scrutinized or my right to make a phone call without being listened in on. These are my concerns these days. There are no poll taxes anymore, I have a driver’s license, and I also have a birth certificate.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Somehow I don’t think your concerns “these days” extended to 2006 when the GOP enacted the law about that.

      And even if your concerns did, you’re threading the needle to a faretheewell. If I had a dime for every True Principled Conservative who says they were screaming bloody murder about surveillance during the Bush reign, I’d be rich.

      • M S

        Well, I’ll tell you this, Bush didn’t suck up all of my emails, Skype chats, web searches, pages visited, as well as my phone call data. He just tapped the phones of terrorist suspects without a warrant, which they were going back and getting warrants anyway. And I was pretty disturbed, not screaming however, with that, but what is taking place under Obama takes the cake. Sorry buddy, but liberals cannot obfuscate the issue by blaming everything on Bush anymore, it’s getting very old. The Patriot Act was never, never intended to go this far, but I love to see you defending Obama…you show your true colors.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I’m a left-winger. Never pretended otherwise.

          “Never intended to go this far..” Yeah, nobody believes right-wingers who say that.

          Plus you said “All Bush did was tap into the phones of terrorists…”.

          That’s crap framing and this isn’t some shithole right-wing advocacy media site. You’ve lost your argument and you’ve lost the game of false equivalencey, and the attempt at pretending to be non-partisan.

          • M S

            I’m just calling it as it see it. Yes, this is what the framers of the Patriot Act intended, right, go ask any Congressperson, they would have never even dreamed up PRISM…it takes Obama to do that. And how is that ‘crap’ framing exactly if it is the truth? You just can’t fathom how your Messiah now turns out to be more like Lucifer.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Calling it as I see it…”

            Pffft.

            And you have this strange idea that I’m an O-bot, and that Obama is a liberal.

            I’ve said too often before: The left wanted this conversation when the conservatives rammed this through. The left got called anti-American for it. Not a few of us needle-threaders, but those who wanted something more accountable than the Patriot act.

            If you want entry into the conversation, have all those flag-carrying conservatives mea culpa before all the folks who were called traitors a decade ago. Otherwise you’re just yakking on yourself.

          • M S

            Blah, blah, blah…you’re a lot of talk…you certainly are an ‘O-bot’…I bet you voted for him, right?

            Anyway, I’ve been in this conversation a long time and I’m not going anywhere…

    • zzowee

       Save it for tomorrows show :-)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Mike, caller at :33, is an idiot of privilege. He needs, really badly, to wake up in a Rod Serling workd where all the levers of power are in hands of black cops and black local judges.

    “If people don’t turn out to vote…”

    Do I have to link ot all the “Don’t forget to vote on Wednesday!” fliers Republicans put up in black neighborhoods?

  • Renee Engine-Bangger

    This was the SCOTUS’ shameful “Paula Deen” decision.

     

    • Davesix6

      So I’m sure you’ve never ever ever used a racial slur at anytime in your life Renee?

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

         Actually I haven’t. Don’t assume that everyone shares your and Deen’s (and SCOTUS’) racism.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        So I’m sure that your takeaway from the Deen fiasco is “Deen used the n- word” and that’s the one thing that got her into trouble?

      • nj_v2

        ^ Whattsamatter, Davesix6? Your small, warped, bigoted mind can’t imagine someone not capable of racism.

    • OnPointComments

      Put your mind at ease.  Jesse Jackson has said that Paula Deen can be redeemed.  I bet Rev. Jackson determines that Deen’s redemption is dependent on a large cash payment from Paula Deen to Jesse Jackson.

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

         Let me guess….you are a white male, 50s, suburban.

        • nj_v2

          Hey, wait a minute, Lady! I’m a white male, 50s, suburban. Well, smallish town, anyway.

          (Aside: Has your name been featured on a Leno weddings segment? Sorry…)

  • DrewInGeorgia

    I live in about as rural a Southern area as can be found.
    I’m here to tell you that absolutely nothing has changed.
    Some will put on a pretty face and bite their tongue but
    the underlying bigotry is always there. It makes me sick.
    This ruling is a travesty.

    • HonestDebate1

      Do white guys gather in mobs and hunt for blacks to beat up? How often do you see lynchings? Is there any strange fruit in the trees? 

      Things have changed.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “Things have changed.”

        The point of my comment (which you evidently missed) is that the undercurrent still runs just as deep and strong as it ever has. I know because I am a southern white male who keeps my thoughts to myself for the most part. This makes most people feel comfortable being themselves around me which results in a display of their true colors.

        The abhorrent behavior you describe has not ceased because ‘folks round these parts’ have become better human beings, it has been suppressed because it is Criminal and is not acceptable for the most part in Society at large.

        The hatred and the viewing of ‘those people’ as subhuman remains. Like I said though, it doesn’t get much more rural than where I am and I know this is not the case elsewhere.

        • HonestDebate1

          “I’m here to tell you that absolutely nothing has changed.”

  • Michiganjf

    Austin isn’t really an example of a “new” south…

    Austin has had a progressive, “bohemian” component for over a hundred years, long in stark contrast to most of the rest of Texas.

    A historic study of many of Austin’s personalities and neighborhoods will confirm this.

  • Steve__T

    Caller Cutttler at  :50 hit the nail on the head.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Redistricting ties the hand of the voters. It doesn’t matter how many voters of a ‘certain persuasion’ there are when their votes are ultimately watered down to pack no punch.

    • Steve__T

       When your polling place is many miles away, and only a few, in a district, only open during hours that most are working, the lines become very long, and less vote.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I agree, my comment was geared more towards pointing out that in an Electoral System district gerrymandering severely skews the actual votes cast. You’re right on the money about polling places and hours of availability. I’m so mad about this decision…

  • tbphkm33

    The United States should do as other third world countries do, have everyone who votes stick their thumb in ink to insure they only vote once.  Which means everyone in the country on election day can vote, but there are not enough non-citizens to sway the vote anyway.  Simple and easy.  Pulls the rug out from under all these id laws that are only intended to keep certain blocks from voting.  Plus increases voting participation as social pressure increases on the individual to have an inked thumb. 

    • Steve__T

       Illegals can get drivers licenses, so what is the point? The ink on the finger is a good idea as long as you cant wash it off, there are some invisible inks that would work, that use a black light to be seen. 

      • Tyranipocrit

         it is a fingerprint.  Your fingerprint is recorded, and matched by computer recognition.  if you voted once that day or you are not registered to vote you are turned away.

        • Steve__T

           That would just be to easy for Americans ya think? I mean you would have you validity with you at all times who would need a ID?
          Sorry, it just makes to much since.

        • hennorama

          Tyranipocrit – if this were implemented in the US, then all registered voters would be required to have their fingerprints taken, and stored in electronic database(s).

          If we can’t even get something as relatively simple as a national ID, there is NO WAY universal fingerprinting is gonna get through any time soon.

          • Tyranipocrit

            I know that.  I am not comfortable with it either.  But it is a solution to the so-called problem.  i would be more comfortable, if it were relegated on a local level–state or town.  With privacy measures implemented at each level.  My local residence would have my prints on file and only for the purpose of voting–preferably on referendums or in a pure direct democracy.  I am not sure exactly how it would work–its just an idea, a proposal. 

            But it doesn’t matter what ideas we come up with here or anywhere else because we don’t live in a democracy.  We are permitted to speak for the time being but censorship measures and surveillance are implemented.  Disqus for example, screens comments and relegates people to blacklists because the site-user doesn’t like the ideas expressed–controlling the conversation.  The same way national conversation is controlled, and national interests.  All for the 1% who control the mainstream mediums.

    • hennorama

      tbphkm33 – this idea is flawed, and here’s why – early voting, absentee voting, and voting by mail.

      Two states – Washington and Oregon – conduct all elections by mail and do not have in-person voting. Additionally, in seventeen other states, certain elections may be held entirely by mail.

      Thirty-two states, plus D.C., have early in-person voting periods prior to Election Day, during which time any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person without the need to provide an excuse or justification.

      All states allow absentee voting and will mail an absentee ballot to certain voters, which may be returned by mail or in person. An excuse is needed to vote absentee in 21 states, while 27 states and the District of Columbia permit any qualified voter to vote absentee without needing to offer an excuse (Minnesota will become the 28th state to offer no-excuse absentee voting, starting next year). Some states offer voters permanent absentee ballot status, whereby getting on the absentee list means the voter will automatically receive an absentee ballot for all future elections.

      See:
      http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/absentee-and-early-voting.aspx

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Caller Jay (sp?) is talking about blacks “harnessing the power” in the South without realizing that there is a long history of the black voting base in the south being penned into as few state legislative districts and House Representative districts as those state leges can get away with.

    That’s not a “natural” outcome. It is a great lesson in politics to blunt the power of a large number of voters. But it’s facetious pretend that that is a bug, not a racially-motivated feature. Anyone who says “Why don’t southern blacks just use their power…” has a bit of reading to do.

  • creaker

    Silence is not acceptance. And as these laws and rulings get peeled back, we’re going to see that people really have not changed and that underneath the situation may actually be much worse.

    Look at what was Yugoslavia – or Iraq – or other countries that had decades of laws and policies meant to integrate their societies. When those laws and policies were removed, we found that nothing had really changed.

  • Davesix6

    The Supreme Court got this one right.
    It is the height of bigotry to judge one on the bases of their predecessors actions.
    The South has changed completely since the 60′s as has the rest of the country.

    • Steve__T

       You’ve live in the South, been there lately, you know this how?

    • nj_v2

      [[ The South has changed completely since the 60's as has the rest of the country. ]]

      Did you hear that on Fox?

      • 1Brett1

        Fox puts the “ew” back in News!

    • Ray in VT

      Then is there a reason that those areas are not getting off of the list of preclearance areas, as some have done?

  • Jim

    I don’t think it is just a racial warfare… it is also a class warfare. I always feel privilege to vote in a liberal state. i could not take this right for granted if i were to live in a red state, especially when conservatives need to do voodoo voting act of redistricting. Reading from an article of this Sunday’s Boston Globe… i just cannot believe this ignorant party is attempting to eliminate even the blue dog Democrats like Heath Schuler. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I get what you’re saying re class instead of race, but at some point if we’re talking about rural voters, if there were stories of enclaves of white liberals being systematically penned in or disenfranchised (by GOP and/or Conserva-Dem state leges), wouldn’t there be more coverage of it in the liberal press outlets?

      I’m white and northeastern suburban (as I’ve mentioned here often). If I were to move to a red state, how many people just like me would have to do so before we brought down the ire of the vote-cagers or such?

  • adks12020

    The Massachusetts to Mississippi comments by the caller and Chief Justice are so misleading. Sure more African Americans vote in Mississippi…there are 3 times as many African Americans in Mississippi and African Americans are nearly half the population in Mississippi whereas there are 13 times more whites than African Americans in Massachusetts. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0019.pdf

  • glibber

    In my opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts, by this contentious decision, has done what he claimed he never wanted to do:  politicize the Supreme Court.  There is no doubt in my mind that this poorly argued decision, with a rationale that doesn’t reflect reality, was motivated by the conservative Republican leanings of a slim majority of the justices who, much like in Bush vs Gore, have delivered a backroom boost to the Republican party in the South and beyond, knowing very well the African-American and minority vote in this country is heavily skewing Democratic.  I deplore this decision, and the rose colored (read red-colored) glasses of those judges which have set this country back years, and grossly insulted the people who have sacrificed life and limb to gain a fair foothold at the voting booth.

  • nj_v2

    (edit: Disqus post misplacement fail)

  • OnPointComments

    George Will stated it well when he wrote “Progressives resent progress when it renders anachronistic once-valid reasons for enlarging the federal government’s supervisory and coercive powers.  The decision came eight months after a presidential election in which African- Americans voted at a higher rate than whites. It came when in a majority of the nine states covered by the preclearance requirements, blacks are registered at a higher rate than whites. It came when Mississippi has more black elected officials — not more per capita; more — than any other state.”
     
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-supreme-court-is-correct-on-voting-rights-act/2013/06/26/b15c8d84-de81-11e2-b797-cbd4cb13f9c6_story.html

  • Paige

    What was the book the last gentleman recommended? (The speaker who quoted the man saying progress will happen one funeral at a time.)

    • hennorama

      ‘The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart’

      See:
      http://www.thebigsort.com/home.php

      The maps on the website are quite illustrative of “The Big Sort”.

      • Paige

        Thanks so much.

        • hennorama

          You’re very welcome.

  • HonestDebate1

    I have a better idea, why don’t we just say there is no need for a contractor to demonstrate they are legally qualified to build? No documentation necessary. Then the elephant in the room won’t matter.

    • zzowee

      Elephant -> Elephant in the room -> GOP

    • Nicabod

      Well, that’s almost what they did in the Bangladesh garment factory. Seems that we’ve mostly forgotten about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, and the Bangla people for the most part never learned about it. But, I’m going off-topic.

      I dare say that many Republicans would contend that for a contractor to qualify is akin to a set of regulations that hampers business. It might be a stretch to say that many Republicans would approve of ignoring building codes.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  • 1Brett1

    WorldNetDaily, Colin Flaherty (racist, self-published author) and White Nationalism organizations (as well as perpetuated by HonedBaselessDebate1 on this forum, even throughout the early comments of today’s forum) and how they have all created a myth that crime by black flash mobs are an epidemic and have been either covered up or ignored altogether by “liberal” media:

     

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/13/why_conservatives_obsess_over_flash_mobs_and_race_riots/

    http://www.salon.com/2012/10/23/worldnetdaily_now_peddling_white_nationalism/

    • hennorama

      One must note, while the topic is “The Future Of The Voting Rights Act,” Gregg Smith wrote:

      “Slightly off-topic:

      “There’s a book out about the epidemic of racial hatred …”

      Is this a telling juxtaposition – the Voting Rights Act and “the epidemic of racial hatred …”?

      “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

      • 1Brett1

        Yeah, only the HonedRacist1 would juxtapose a discussion of the Voting Rights Act with black mob violence and an “epidemic” of black on white, racially-motivated crime/hatred. 

        • jefe68

          The sad thing is I really think that guy believes he’s not a racist.

          • HonestDebate1

            Look in the mirror.

          • jefe68

            Grow up.

    • Ray in VT

      One has to wonder why On Point would feature a photo of people from a group identified by some On Point listeners as a racist when discussing civil rights.

      • HonestDebate1

        The NAACP doesn’t care about blacks, they care about Democrats.

        • jefe68

          Let’s see, this guy does not think he’s talking about race. Then he posts the above racily charged comment. 
          Stupid is as stupid does, to quote another Southerner. 

          • 1Brett1

            Wasn’t there an interesting distinction (and accurate, I might add, being that I am a southerner, and I see and hear how certain white people talk all the time) made on the show among urban communities, suburban communities and rural communities in the South? 

            There have been significant changes for the better regarding racial attitudes in urban communities and in suburban communities. The rural communities, however, particularly those where white landowners comprise a significant percentage of the population, lag behind the times. I think that is a pretty good assessment, and I’d say Gregg is white, lives in a rural area and is a landowner (100 acres he says).  

          • jefe68

            I think he’s ignorant of how he’s using language and how loaded any discussion about race can be. Unfortunately he keeps adding to fule to the fire. Which is what he wants, or so it seems to me. 

            I don’t agree about people in the suburbs or in urban areas being more attuned to this.
            I’ve witnessed some pretty awful race bashing by white people in Boston, especially after Obama won the first time. 

            Racism is alive and well, as is  anti-semitism.

            My ex was Asian, and I witnessed some pretty subtle examples of how people treated her, and some very blatant forms of racism.
            People are conditioned in how they use language and it’s amazing how clueless they can be without knowing it.

          • 1Brett1

            I was speaking about the South, referencing one of the guests on the show saying there are three Souths. The urban communities and suburban communities (where race relations have improved considerably since, say, 1965), and then there is the rural communities in southern states. This seems to be where racism lingers more potently in than in the other two communities. But, as you say, racism lingers everywhere. 

            As far as knucklehead…I think it is a combination of things. He does live in a southern rural area. He is white and is around conservative white people who, while not overtly racist (such as might have been found 50 years ago), they are still insensitive to minorities whom they don’t see much of, and they don’t quite have a grasp of how their lives might be different than those in, say, urban communities or in places that have a lot of diversity, or in places where there are minorities who have racism in their faces every day. 

            I also think he does intentionally say provocative things, but I think he really does believe the things he says, however. He also gets a charge out of arguing with people he disagrees with, no matter how ridiculous his position. He is also a contrarian and purposely is cagy about his positions so he can deny any characterization of them later (which is characteristic of an arguer). I’d bet he likes drama in his life and likes to see the world as broken into those who are with or those who are against him. 

          • Ray in VT

            Some people seem to enjoy or feed off of feeling maligned by others.  Witness the persecution complex of modern conservative America.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it is quite intentional, and he probably thinks that he’s being funny, deep or thought provoking.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who doesn’t think they are talking about race? That’s dumb.

          • jefe68

            You keep saying it’s not about race Sisyphus.

        • 1Brett1

          That’s heinous!

        • Ray in VT

          They’re just going where someone will listen to their interests, seeing as how the GOP hasn’t cared about the African-American community ever since it took in the slime of American politics with the “Southern solution”.

    • hennorama

      Several
      points;

      It is deplorable that we got sidetracked onto the topic of interracial crime in this forum.  Nevertheless, one must not the following:

      Interracial crime is not in and of itself indicative of racism or bias. One
      would expect this to be obvious to all.  There
      is a huge difference between crime that happens to be interracial,
      and crime that is racially motivated.

      Interracial crime and racially motivated crime are being conflated in these
      discussions.  Phrase
      such as “crime committed by African-Americans”, “crime by
      blacks“, “crimes committed per year motivated by anti-black
      violence,” “racially motivated violent crime,” “Black on
      White violence,” “White on Black violence,” “the epidemic of
      black mobs preying on whites,” “racially motivated crimes
      against African-Americans,” “hate crimes and discrimination that
      minorities face,” “crimes motivated by anti-black bias,”
      “crimes motivated by anti-white bias,” “racially motivated
      crime by whites against blacks,” “black flash mobs” and
      “violent crime against whites” are all being discussed as if
      they are the same thing.

      They are not.

      One must be VERY careful to distinguish between the types of crimes being
      discussed, i.e., total number of crimes of all types, violent crime,
      property crime, hate crime, etc.

      When discussing the FBI “Hate Crime Statistics,” (as were quoted in the first salon.com article in 1Brett1′s post, one also must
      note two very important footnotes to the “Bias motivation” stats:

      “[1]
      The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or
      society as a whole.

      “[2]
      The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the
      suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been
      identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.

      See:

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011/tables/table-1

      The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics analyzes “Hate Crime
      Victimization” differently from the FBI UCR data tables.

      The BJS uses data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS),
      which is an annual data collection conducted by the U.S. Census
      Bureau. BJS analysis focuses mostly on violent hate crimes committed
      against persons, as opposed to property crimes.

      The BJS analysis notes that “Hate crime includes incidents confirmed by
      police as bias-motivated and incidents perceived by victims to be
      bias-motivated because the offender used hate language or left behind
      hate symbols. Violent hate crimes include rape or sexual assault,
      robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.”

      The most recent analysis indicates the following:

      “In
      2007-11, whites, blacks, and Hispanics had similar rates of violent
      hate crime victimization.

      “In
      2003-06, Hispanics (1.4 per 1,000) experienced a higher rate of
      violent hate crime victimization than white non Hispanics (0.8 per
      1,000) and black non-Hispanics (0.5 per 1,000). In 2007-11, the rate
      of violent hate crime victimization
      was similar for all three groups. During both time periods, males
      consistently had a higher

      rate
      of violent hate crime victimization than females, and persons under
      age 18 experienced higher rates of

      victimization
      than adults age 18 or older.”

      Source:

      http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hcv0311.pdf

      • HonestDebate1

        I posted link after link after link of videos and reports of flash mobs here:

        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/21/week-taliban-nsa-immigration#disqus_thread

        Time after time the perpetrators are black, time after time the reports don’t mention it but the videos speak for themselves, over and over, all around the country. None show gangs of whites preying on blacks. The sleazy Salon article goes to great pains to dismiss them and look for any exception they can find. The sleazy Salon article actually implicitly excuses the actions because the poor blacks live close to wealthier whites. Who could blame them after all? It’s really sick condescension towards blacks. The sleazy Salon article does not refute or attempt to refute the fact that if you are white you are far far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black than vise versa. The numbers are especially shocking when you consider Blacks comprise only 12 or 13% of the population. The single event at the Wisconsin State Fair should have been enough to start a national dialog but it was buried. We have not seen anything like it in recent decades with whites preying on blacks. If that were to happen these same commenters would be livid… but it doesn’t happen.

        Yet we have race-baiters and do-gooders who want to obsess on Paula Deen; or assume the entire South is racist; or the Tea Party. And while sleazy journalists feed the sheep with talking points, liberals give a collective shrug to real issues of unemployment, poverty and violence that the policies they support have wrought. And bloggers, with theirs fist in the air and their heads in the sand, worry that blacks are too stupid to get an ID… or something. It’s sick.

        • jefe68

          This entire comment is, well in a word… sick.

        • hennorama

          Gregg Smith – I read virtually all of your posts on this topic, read the linked articles, and viewed nearly all of the videos. Videos and individual reports are ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE and are not statistically valid. Virtually all of your “evidence” of this so-called “epidemic” involved teenagers doing stupid and often petty nonsense, and/or gang-on-gang violence. One involved three young women slapping and hitting another young woman, without any context. What if it was some sort of romantic dispute?

          None of these are exactly new phenomena.

          The new wrinkle in some of these incidents may have been the involvement of social media, which would be yet another example of nothing other than the misuse of social media.

          The simple tactic of using a large number of people to distract clerks or to overwhelm security is nothing new, nor is it limited to any group of offenders. This is the reason certain establishments try to restrict the number of persons entering at any one time. Some jewelry stores are an example of this, as are some convenience stores.

          You continue to write variations of “if you are white you are far far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated but a black than vise versa [sic].”

          Prove it.

          You state this as it it were fact, yet offer no proof.

          Prove it.

          You parroted the following, multiple times:

          “Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.”

          Prove it.

          You claim that you’re “all about ‘honest debate’ “

          Prove it.

        • 1Brett1

          That’s heinous!

      • John Cedar

        Blah blah blah
        All violent crime is hate crime.
        Regardless, no reliable data is recorded on the subject, even if there were a bonfide way to determine when a violent crime is a hate crime.

  • jefe68

    Leave it to Phyllis Schlafly to give a view point, which is full of bigotry, of the old guard of the GOP. 

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/27/schlafly-latinos-arent-republicans-because-of-illegitimate-babies-and-handouts/

    • Ray in VT

      Nice.

  • nj_v2

    Greggg has honed cluelessness into a fine art.

    • harverdphd

       And you have honed misery, hopelessness and hatred into lifestyle.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    I’m ignoring the racially motivated crime discussion on this thread because, as hennorama properly states, “It is deplorable that we got sidetracked onto the topic of interracial crime in this forum.”

    I listened this afternoon as my radio informed me that Photo ID requirements at polling places which were set to be dropped in Alabama prior to the next election are now being gleefully embraced. I felt like throwing my radio through the wall. Every time I think the current SCOTUS couldn’t possibly disgust me more I am proven wrong. And no, the DOMA decision does not negate The Voting Rights Act insult.

    • HonestDebate1

      But it is odd that she would write that in a very wordy reply to a new thread sidetracking the issue to interracial crime. If she thought it was deplorable she sure fooled me.

      Having said that, what is the downside with requiring ID to vote? I don’t get it.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I know you don’t get it. That’s because it doesn’t directly affect you. Don’t act like this is a conversation that hasn’t been held here time and time again. I’m done wasting my breath for today. I don’t mean to be short but I am sick of having the same arguments over, and over, and over again.

        • HonestDebate1

          No one has ever explained it to me. What is it about being black that makes it inherently more difficult to obtain an ID. IMHO there is no answer that does not reveal racism, that is why no one has ever ever answered it. I get responses like yours.

          Here’s the thing, there IS a correlation. Blacks ARE disproportionately victimized by this decision. But there is nothing about being black that makes it inherently so. And even if we assume there are enough racist white Southerners to oppress them, there is no evidence to suggest Blacks are too helpless to say, “KMA, I’m here to vote”. If one assumes otherwise they are making racist assumptions. Maybe you’re smart enough to see the distinction but many here are not.

          • hennorama

            Gregg
            Smith – poor, poor you, right?

            You
            wrote, in part:

            “It
            is being asked of one commenter to prove blacks are more likey [sic]
            to victimize whites than vice versa. THAT’S NUTS!! Sorry, it makes me
            mad. We have commenters saying the entire South is racist, or the Tea
            Party, or the restaurant industry. No one asks them to prove it, it’s
            assumed. I have given bookoos [sic] of examples, I have cited black
            scholars like Thomas Sowell, why is the default position that whites
            are more likely to commit violent crimes against blacks? I say prove
            that. These default assumptions built on false premises are not
            honest debate.”

            Of
            course, the “one commenter” being asked to prove their claims is
            YOU, and rather than doing so, you’re trying to squirm out from under
            the pressure by changing the subject.

            Nope.
            You can’t get away with that, sir.

            Either
            prove your claims or STFU (Stick To Foaling Ungulates).

            You
            are free to challenge any claim made by anyone in this forum.

            However,
            as one who repeatedly trumpets a desire for “honest debate,” you
            are NOT free to run away from your own claims, such as:

            ““if
            you are white you are far far more likely to be the victim of a
            violent crime perpetrated but a black than vise versa [sic].”

            Prove.
            It..

            “Blacks
            are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites
            then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.”

            Prove.
            It.

            And
            now the brand new “blacks are more likey [sic] to victimize whites
            than vice versa.”

            Prove.
            It.

            FYI,
            you may wish to read this before you try to prove your claims:

            “U.S.
            Department of Justice

            Office
            of Justice Programs

            Bureau
            of Justice Statistics

            Special
            Report

            MARCH
            2013 NCJ 241291

            Hate
            Crime Victimization, 2003-2011

            “The
            findings from this report came primarily from the Bureau of Justice
            Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which
            has been collecting data on crimes motivated by hate since 2003. The
            NCVS and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Hate Crime
            Statistics Program, which are the principal sources of annual
            information on hate crime in the United States, use the definition of
            hate crime provided in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. §
            534). The act defines hate crimes as “crimes that manifest evidence
            of prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion,
            disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The NCVS measures
            crimes perceived by victims to be motivated by an offender’s bias
            against them for belonging to or being associated with a group
            largely identified by these characteristics.”

            And
            further,

            “Whites,
            blacks, and Hispanics had similar rates of violent hate crime
            victimization in 2007-11”

            See:

            http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hcv0311.pdf

          • 1Brett1

            White, southern, insular, land owners are 39 times more likely to be racist than all other people of all other regions, and they are 136 times more likely to say racist things! They are also much more likely to victimize themselves in conversations about race. 

          • DrewInGeorgia

            “No one has ever explained it to me. What is it about being black that makes it inherently more difficult to obtain an ID.”

            My outrage has nothing to do with race disenfranchisement. Did I say anything in the comment you initially replied to that led you to believe otherwise? You are so stuck on race. Insert Shakespeare quote here.

            My outrage over the voter ID debacle is that there is insufficient proof that there has ever been significant voter fraud at polling places. Maybe the push is due to racial motivations, I don’t know and I don’t care.

            What I do care about is the fact that the impoverished, the disabled, and the elderly are disenfranchised when Photo ID restrictions are imposed. There has been substantial voting fraud, there has not been substantial voter fraud.

            There’s your explanation. It’s not the one you wanted, it’s the one that’s relevant. And it is far more than you deserved.

            Stop protesting so damn much.

          • jefe68

            And the whole gets deeper.
            You’re a modern day Sisyphus.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            But Sisyphus didn’t choose to push the rock uphill endlessly, he was condemned to it, IIRC.

      • 1Brett1

        Your comment this morning just before 9am about that silly book, ‘White Girl Bleed a Lot,’ which is about black flash mobs and how all crime committed by blacks where whites are victims is racially motivated, started the whole thing off, right here, on this forum about the Future of Voting Rights Act. 

        You deliberately injected it into this forum today because you hadn’t repeated yourself enough the other day, I guess (a comment which also injected your diatribe in an off-topic way about all black, flash-mob crime being racially motivated and being an “epidemic,” in reply to my mentioning another topic). So, you introduced the topic twice on two separate occasions on two separate forums, off topic.

  • hennorama

    The Twenty-seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

    “No law, varying the compensation for the services of Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

    The idea was to prevent the conflict of interest inherent in politician’s voting for the own compensation.

    Here’s an idea:

    Amend the Constitution, substituting the phrase “methods of voting for” (or other more appropriate language) in place of “compensation for the services of” in the above.

    In other words, the proposed amendment would read:

    “No law, varying the [methods of voting for (or other more appropriate language)] Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

    One might change it to “an election of Senators”, to make it more restrictive.

    This will help to remove the partisan nature of these last-minute changes, and allow a reasonable period of accommodation to those who may need to acquire an ID for an upcoming election.

    Currently, there’s a crazy quilt of something like 13,000 different voting districts nationwide, each with its own set of rules. This makes it much easier to make mischief.

    A Right To Vote Amendment might also solve a great deal of the pre-election nonsense from both major parties, but this is a long shot. If we didn’t get it after the 2000 Florida Fiasco, it’s unlikely now.

    See:
    http://www.fairvote.org/four-reasons-to-support-a-right-to-vote-amendment

    • John Cedar

      The biggest conflict of interest and voting for their own compensation is by the members of public unions.

      • jefe68

        Next time you need a cop or a fireman deal with the fire or the incident yourself.

        • Ray in VT

          Who wants to be subjected to the horror of having someone from the government there to help?

      • hennorama

        John Cedar – thank you for your non sequitur.

        Clearly you missed the point of my post, which was an idea to amend the US Constitution so that any changes to voting laws and regulations would not be allowed to go into effect until a significant period of time had passed, in order to remove some of the partisan manipulation of these laws.

  • gslouch

    It seems our judicial branch is crumbling,fragmenting.  First encouraging corporations to donate obscene amounts of money to political campaigns, and now ,and even more disturbing, giving states permission to haughtily install barriers to impede the voting rights of many minorities.  What an absolute failure of judgement by these “learned ” individuals.  Did they not see the shenanigans that went on in the most current presidential election?  An abysmal decision.  No respect for this body.

    • Larry Ham

      I highly recommend you read something not written by Democrats once in a while, then you wouldn’t embarrass yourself on here with your ignorance.

      Nobody “encouraged corporations to donate obscene amounts of money to political campaigns.”  Citizens United merely allow unlimited amounts of free speech by anyone…that means political advertisements, not political donations.

      And nobody gets permission to install barriers to voting, this ruling merely admits that ALL states should get treated equally…but you’re probably upset that MA will get as much scrutiny as TX.

  • HonestDebate1

    I just one person could prove the ridiculous assumption that blacks are more likely to be victimized by whites than vice versa but it’s not forthcoming.  

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ad7_1336230731&comments=1

    • Ray in VT

      Are the flash mobs gathering outside of your tin shack now?

      • HonestDebate1

        No.

        • Ray in VT

          Phew.  A guy did walk by my window wearing a hoodie, and he was darker than a paper bag, so how afraid should I be?  Does the New Century Foundation or Colin Flaherty provide any guidance?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I understand that guy walking by your window was in search of Skittles, so…

          • Ray in VT

            Those punks always get away with it.  Get ‘em!

          • HonestDebate1

            What a disrespectful framing of a tragedy. It’s astonishing. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’m just watching my neighborhood for suspicious people.  It is a tragedy, though, when a kid goes out for candy and gets gunned down by a vigilante.

          • HonestDebate1

            What difference does a hoodie or his skin color make? 

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I think that he was on drugs.  He was acting all suspicious.  I think that he was casing the joint.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then by all means call the cops, protect you’re family.

          • Ray in VT

            They told me to stay put, but I think that I’m going to go ahead and confront the guy.

          • HonestDebate1

            Take a gun, protect yourself.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, nothing stops a suspicious guy lieke a guy with a gun.

    • jefe68

      You know, you are getting to be one offensive troll.

      • HonestDebate1

        If you want to accept default false premises then feel free to remain blissfully unaware.

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith – stop trying to run away from your own claims, sir.

      The craptacular video in the link you provided merely repeats the claims you have made, without providing any evidence to back up the claims. Repeating the same misleading/false statements/lies over and over is called “propaganda,” and is not proof.

      Furthermore, the time periods being discussed are long, long, ago, yet you, Gregg Smith, are making claims using the present tense.

      This craptacular video quotes “statistics” from 1990, 1992, “the last thirty years” (without defining the exact time period – it seems to be 1964 to 1994), “the last twenty years” (again without specificity), and various other time periods. Here’s are two direct gobbledygook quotes:

      “Some twenty-seven million non-violent crimes committed in the US in 1994 alone, 31 of the robberies involved black offenders and white victims, only two white offenders on black victims.” This is obviously false. (See from 6:35 to 6:37 of the video, and use the CC
      captions).

      “1.3 million of the 6.6 million violent crimes committed in the US are interracial all in the past twenty years, coincidental with the assumption of power by liberalism and political correctness in this country, violent crimes increased four times faster than the population.” (right after the above gobbledygook quote)

      So, if all this is true, the implication is that it’s due to “liberalism and political correctness.”

      Gregg Smith, your entire defense of your claims is the parroting of claims made by others, who claim to be backed up by “FBI and DOJ Black vs. White Crime Statistics.” Yet those making these claims provide absolutely no verifiable statistics to back up their claims.

      Here are links to the most recent crime, victim and offender data from the FBI and DOJ. If you can prove your claims, the data will be there to back it up, right?

      Just show us the data, sir.

      This link was in the site you provided, Gregg Smith:

      http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/

      This is the link to the FBI’s Crime In The United States (CIUS) for 2011. (2011 is the latest year with finalized data; the 2012 full-year data is only preliminary):

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/about-cius

      As you have primarily been making claims about violent crimes, you might want to begin here:

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime

      Of course, one must note that you have made all sorts of claims, switching back and forth between interracial “violent crime” and “crime” in general, seemingly at will. This lends even less credence to your claims, as they have become non-specific and wildly varied.

      Here’s the most recent DOJ/BJS Victims and Offenders page:

      http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=94

      And this link gets you to the DOJ/BJS Criminal Victimization In The United States — Statistical Tables page:

      http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2173

      Stop trying to run away from your own claims, sir, and instead just

      Prove. It.

  • StilllHere

    The Constitution is a living document and the VRA outlived its useful life. 

  • Larry Ham

    Another example of the left wing bias and partisanship nature of NPR.  Not a single example in here of the unfair election stunts pulled by Democrats right here in MA. 
    Does anyone remember what Barney Frank’s district looked like? It went from Newton to Fall River…how do you explain that?Anyone remember why Tom Finneran was removed from office?  Again it was about gerrymandering.

    Election rules should apply to ALL states, not just Republican ones. 

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