Monday, September 24, 2012
Voter Suppression Round Up
So much is going on in the Republican War On Voting, that even I am starting to lose track. I thought it might be helpful to put down on internet paper some of the cases I've mentioned on the blog and where they stand right now.
A federal court rejected Texas' voter ID law, which means it will (likely) not be in effect for the November election. However, Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott has pledged to appeal the ruling. If the Supreme Court agrees with him, the law could be in effect in future elections. In addition, part of the lawsuit that Abbott filed challenges the validity of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which states that jurisdictions with a history of racial prejudice (including Texas) need to get changes in local voting law approved by a federal court before they can be enacted. This may wind up leading to landmark case.
Federal court closing arguments on South Carolina's voter ID law ended today, so we will have to wait and watch.
The State Supreme Court returned the Voter ID Case to lower court vacating a prior ruling that would have upheld the controversial law. The Supreme Court is asking the lower court to review whether it is really practical for voters to get the necessary ID to comply with the law and vote before election day.
Voting Rights advocates have successfully overturned a law that heavily restricts community based voter registration drives. Florida has also stopped its purge of voter rolls upon the revelation that the government was using outdated lists. However, the Justice Department has sustained Florida's decision to eliminate early voting on the Sunday before election day, when black churches traditionally run their "Souls to the Polls" programs.
The Obama campaign and other plaintiffs successfully fought Secretary of State John Husted over a diminished early voting period by arguing that under the Equal Protection Clause Ohio had to offer the same early voting hours to civilians as were offered to military personnel. Then bizarely Husted issued a directive prohibiting counties from following the ruling and U.S. District Judge Peter Economus hauled Husted into court personally. Economus has rejected a request to delay enforcement of the law. The case is currently being appealed.
As you can see, many of these cases are still unsettled, so please feel free to shoot me a note correcting me with more updated information.
Keep fighting the good fight,