“Scalia described himself as an advocate of judicial restraint, who believed that the courts should defer to the democratically elected branches of government. In reality, he lunged at opportunities to overrule the work of Presidents and of legislators, especially Democrats. Scalia helped gut the Voting Rights Act, overturn McCain-Feingold and other campaign-finance rules, and, in his last official act, block President Obama’s climate-change regulations. Scalia’s reputation, like the Supreme Court’s, is also stained by his role in the majority in Bush v. Gore. His oft-repeated advice to critics of the decision was “Get over it.””
–– Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker
But of course, his acolyte’s are carrying on this shameful legacy:
As Daily Kos puts it: “It should be a source of amazement and disgust to every American when efforts are made to suppress other Americans’ access to the ballot. People lost their lives in the long struggle to extend the vote to everyone beyond property-owning white men. Nonetheless, some high muckety-mucks still have no qualms about making it difficult for certain people to vote, those certain people being the poor, people of color, youth—young women especially, and elders.”
South Carolina: As Kira Lerner at Think Progress reports, while South Carolina’s voter ID law is not as tough as most other states, voters still will be asked to show an approved photo ID. Now, if they don’t have one, they can still cast a ballot if they sign an affidavit explaining why there was a “reasonable impediment” to their obtaining said photo ID. The problem is state officials, including Gov. Nikki Haley, are not telling voters about this provision of the law. Remember, before the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to gut a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, South Carolina was one of the states required to get any changes in its voting laws cleared in advance by the U.S. Department of Justice. [Refer to Scalia above]
West Virginia: Last week West Virginia House of Delegates joined the Voter Suppression Club as the Republican-dominated body passed a new voter ID law by a vote of 64 to 34. “This bill is taking a a very ugly page out of the ALEC playbook,” said Del. Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), referring to the free-market lobbying group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). “Groups like ALEC and the Koch brothers run bills like this, in my opinion, to suppress minority votes in many states,” Pushkin said.
Alabama: This state will be able to uphold its dreadful legacy thanks to a ruling by a federal judge that keeps the state’s disputed voter ID law intact at least for the primary.
Kansas: Of course, as expected Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach is being sued over the proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote in Kansas. As 30,000 people have been kept off the rolls by the law. Plaintiffs also want to stop the trashing of 35,000 incomplete voter registration applications that were suspended because the applicant did not return with proof of citizenship.
Another day defending the right to vote in the world’s oldest Constitutional democracy!