April 22, 2013 | 4 comments
January 17, 2013 | 19 comments
January 3, 2013 | 30 comments
December 21, 2012 | 68 comments
September 5, 2012 | 75 comments
In the wake of this bizarre ruling, Congress will need to revise the Voting Rights Act.
(Page 2 of 2)
Not only may prisoners have the right to participate fully in political processes, but conversely, candidates, and proponents and opponents of ballot measures, would have the concomitant right to seek the votes, and other forms of support, of prisoners.
Sixth, the mantra during the count of the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election was “make every vote count.” The right to vote is the right to make a difference. A real vote is not like the one that the Delegate of the District of Columbia has in the Congress; by law, his or her vote is ignored if it makes a difference in whether a bill is passed or rejected. Rather, a vote is like that of the Vice President who, per the Constitution, votes only in the case of a tie.
We have seen in recent elections, like the 2000 presidential one, and the 2008 Coleman v. Franken Minnesota election for U.S. Senator, how close elections can be. In the latter, it was 312 votes out of 2,887,646 votes cast (or 0.011%). One of the legal briefs in Bush v. Gore cited instances, like one involving Illinois State Representative Penny Pullen, where the votes were tied. I ask you: Is it thinkable or unthinkable for our Congress to retain language in the Voting Rights Act that would require our judges to demand that an American citizen of color in a state prison who
• bilked thousands of elderly of their life savings millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme (a Bernie Madoff of color),
• conspired to commit voter fraud or intimidation (like the Black Panthers or ACORN),
• killed four police officers in the State of Washington, or
• committed an act of terrorism resulting in the deaths of hundreds,
would cast the deciding vote –— in an election for sheriff, for district attorney, for judge, for governor, for president of the United States?
I also ask you: What person of honor would agree to hold office where the margin of his or her victory was less than the number of voting prisoners? (Not a good question, I suppose, since Roland Burris accepted his Senate seat from a governor charged with corruption.)
Finally this observation. In a typical Voting Rights Act case, the defendant State can resolve the issue by modifying its voting procedures and there is no other alternative. In the Ninth Circuit case, the State of Washington could go through the process of amending its Constitution to remove the ban on voting by incarcerated felons. (No one could predict how the people would vote on this, of course.) There is an alternative, however, for the State of Washington: making systemic changes to its criminal justice system. The order by the trial court would provide criteria which, when met, would allow the State to get out from under the requirement to allow incarcerated felons to vote. What racial balance would the State be required to achieve among individuals searched, arrested, convicted, and sentenced to satisfy the Voting Rights Act? Must it be approximately the same as the racial balance in the general population? Note that, even if the racial balance required were achieved tomorrow among newly convicted criminals, it could take decades before that same racial balance was achieved in the entire prison population.
Congress should end this litigation by amending the Voting Rights Act.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?