A judge has just thrown out two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that voters approved in November.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law was enacted with the deliberate intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters. Ramos said that it violates the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.
The high court, in a brief written order, declined to stay an appeals court ruling from July that struck down North Carolina’s Republican-backed voting rules. The appeals court found state lawmakers enacted the rules with the intent to discriminate against black voters.
By this time in 2016, the state government hopes, naysayers who see the voter ID law as a barrier to minorities and the poor will see hundreds of thousands of new, zero-cost IDs coming out of voters' wallets and purses. For now, though, O'Keefe is using North Carolina as a proxy for the other 42 states – and the District of Columbia – which don't require voters to show a photo ID. His crew used publicly available election rolls to identify 'inactive' voters and then chose 30-year-old men for him to impersonate. The final footage shows election officials, over and over, accepting O'Keefe's claim that he was one of those people. 'With almost three-quarters-of-a-million inactive voters and no voter ID law in place, we could have turned the election results for most major candidates in the state,' he claimed Monday. 'What we uncovered in this video illustrates how easy it would be for a well-orchestrated campaign with no regard for the law to change the outcome of a major election. Voter laws across the country need to be changed immediately to prevent this sort of potential voter fraud.'Watch:
"The conservative position is that blacks have repeatedly proven they can compete with anyone without the demeaning benefits of lower standards."...
The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election. A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented. The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday. The Supreme Court's order was unsigned, as it typically is in these situations. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying they would have left the district court decision in place. "The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters," Ginsburg wrote in dissent. Texas' law sets out seven forms of approved ID — a list that includes concealed handgun licenses but not college student IDs, which are accepted in other states with similar measures.The Supreme Court Order is here. It denies a request to vacate the stay issued by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals putting on hold the trial court ruling invalidating the law.
Here, the district court’s decision on October 11, 2014 presents similar logistical problems because it will “be extremely difficult, if not impossible,” for the State to adequately train its 25,000 polling workers at 8,000 polling places about the injunction’s new requirements in time for the start of early voting on October 20 or even election day on November 4. The State represents that it began training poll workers in mid-September, and at least some of them have already completed their training. The State also represents that it will be unable to reprint the “election manuals that poll workers use for guidance,” and so the election laws “will be conveyed by word of mouth alone.”
This history describes not only a penchant for discrimination in Texas with respect to voting, but it exhibits a recalcitrance that has persisted over generations despite the repeated intervention of the federal government and its courts on behalf of minority citizens. In each instance, the Texas Legislature relied on the justification that its discriminatory measures were necessary to combat voter fraud. In some instances, there were admissions that the legislature did not want minorities voting. In other instances, the laws that the courts deemed discriminatory appeared neutral on their face. There has been a clear and disturbing pattern of discrimination in the name of combatting voter fraud in Texas. In this case, the Texas Legislature’s primary justification for passing SB 14 was to combat voter fraud. The only voter fraud addressed by SB 14 is voter impersonation fraud, which the evidence demonstrates is very rare (discussed below). This history of discrimination has permeated all aspects of life in Texas...
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