Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:08 pm

Scalia signaled that he fears Section 5 will be repeatedly reauthorized into perpetuity, regardless of whether it’s justified, unless the courts step in.

“This is not the kind of question you can leave to Congress,” he said.


15th Amendment
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Despite his claims, he's not a textualist, he's basically a The Onion parody (http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-m ... es-c,2849/) -- so wrapped up in his ideology, he cannot see beyond it, and warps reality until it fits his mold.

If you're a real, flesh and blood person, Scalia thinks you only get the rights specifically granted in the bill of rights. If you're a corporation though? Well...

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/0 ... wild-west/

Yeah, you could say I'm going for a strawman, even ad hominem , but seriously... he has a very punchable face... =P

On the other hand, I am a bit sad no one commented on the republican representative that equated guns with penises.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:40 pm

Wow you did a massive jump there between two very unrelated topcis.  First I'll start with the current topic.  Section 5 is probably in violation of section 1 of the 15th amendment.  Race and color are being used to create "extra protections" through that provision.  Scalia isn't saying that congress doesn't have the authority to enforce the protections of the 15th amendment, he's saying that the setup here is so poor, that this quite probably unconstitutional legislation will continue to get approved by congress indefinitely.

Think about it, you have a  branch of gov't of whom 95% are not electable by the people who this legislation affects, exerting additional oversight on to their duely elected representatives.  And this is done under a particular provision of a law entitled the "Voting Rights Act".  What would be the motivation for a federal level congressman to vote against such a bill?  There's no reasonable check and balance here except the judicial branch. You may disagree, I happen to think he's almost certainly correct, but that hardly seems like an egregious position.

Now to the rest of your post, which is pretty far off topic.  I'm not sure what the value of your think"progress" link is, other than implying his citizen's united decision give corporations rights, and ignoring the reality of money in politics...which is pretty silly

I'm no expert on Scalia, but I think your characterization is pretty inaccurate.  His textual reading of the constitution almost certainly isn't meant to constrain your rights, it's meant to contrain governmental regulation.  Just like in this case.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:43 pm

Do you have a quote where Scalia actually said that the right to vote was a racial entitlement? The first article Klaud linked constrained his racial entitlement comment to Section 5. Indeed Justice Sotomayor's supposed rebuke of Scalia's comments directly referenced Section 5.


Scalia never said that, so if I seemed to imply it, my bad. Sotomayor bringing up the right to vote in relation to Section 5 is because that is what Section 5 is essentially about - protecting "the right to vote".

From the point of view of court involvement, if the counties had actual proof that they weren't discriminating, they could get out from Section 5 by simply getting the court to recognise that 10 years puts them into the Get-Out clause (and that some stamp-pusher in somewhere with a grudge wanted to keep them under). That's not quite the angle they're trying to go for though - largely because they can't quite claim that they haven't been pushing for discriminatory voting procedures in the last 10 years.

What would be the motivation for a federal level congressman to vote against such a bill? There's no reasonable check and balance here except the judicial branch. You may disagree, I happen to think he's almost certainly correct, but that hardly seems like an egregious position.


Congress would have zero reason to vote for a bill if no states qualified (aka, every state/county provided evidence that they haven't tried discriminatory voting procedures for 10 years).
It's an extremely hard sell to claim that this violates the first Amendment when it doesn't (and can't, in any way) deny or abridge the right to vote, and does the exact opposite - prevents a State from denying or abridging the right to vote.
Last edited by Darielle on Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Nobody can prove that they haven't discriminated in the last ten years though.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Nobody can prove that they haven't discriminated in the last ten years though.


"The term "bail out" refers to the process by which covered jurisdictions may seek exemption from Section 5 coverage.[18] In order to bail out, a covered jurisdiction needs to obtain a declaratory judgment from the District Court for the District of Columbia.[5] Eighteen Virginia jurisdictions not covered by Section 5 Preclearance requirements have successfully "bailed out."[18]

Before August 1984, this process required covered jurisdictions to demonstrate that the voting test that they used immediately before coverage was not used in a discriminatory fashion. The 1982 amendment included two significant changes.[18] First, Congress provided that where a state is covered in its entirety, individual counties in that state may separately bail out. Second, Congress completely redesigned the bailout standard. The post-1984 bailout standard requires that a covered jurisdiction demonstrate nondiscriminatory behavior during the 10 years prior to filing and while the action is pending and that it has taken affirmative steps to improve minority voting opportunities

On September 22, 2010, the first two jurisdictions outside the state of Virginia—Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and Sandy Springs, Georgia—successfully "bailed out" from Section 5 Preclearance requirements.[20] On November 15, 2012, New Hampshire sued to "bail out" from the requirements, which were originally imposed on ten towns that used a literacy test and had voting disparities when the Act was passed.
"
...
"In 2006, the United States Commission on Civil Rights reviewed the Justice Department Preclearance record and found that the percentage of DOJ objections to submitted changes has declined markedly throughout the 40-year period of the Act: from 5.5 percent in the first period to 1.2 percent in the second, and to 0.6 percent in the third. Over the 10 years prior to the review, the overall objection rate was so low as to be practically negligible, at less than 0.1 percent.[15] The Commission's two Democratic members dissented from the report, charging that the Commission had "abandon[ed] the field of battle."[16]
In the case Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder (2009), the Supreme Court ruled that the district should have greater capability of applying for exemption from this section
"

Now, I imagine the process is certainly harder to get out of than it should be - and that might be a perfect place for the Supreme Court to set some pretty clear guidelines or rules.
But areas certainly can and have successfully bailed out, especially when a county can bail out without being shackled by other counties it may have no control over.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:11 pm

Of course they have reason to vote for it, it's political cover.  It shouldn't be, but in reality it is.  It will be highly controversial to ever not vote for this legislation.  And again, voting for it has almost zero political cost..
 
It's the 15th amendment and yes it can.  If in your example voting hours are unchanged when it adversely affects minority groups while the current hours adversely affects non minority groups...there there's the whole majority minority districting which I believe also falls under the act.
 
And why should properly elected representatives have to go through the hinderance of petitioning the court to simply do the job that others in their position can regularly do without such oversight?  Because someone a few generations ago implemented racist policies?  Is that the crimes of our father provision?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:28 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Of course they have reason to vote for it, it's political cover.  It shouldn't be, but in reality it is.  It will be highly controversial to ever not vote for this legislation.  And again, voting for it has almost zero political cost.. 


And yet you have people voting against things that make complete sense
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/1 ... 26569.html
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... -women-act
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... epublicans
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:31 pm

Thank you for proving my point.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:57 pm

Of course they have reason to vote for it, it's political cover. It shouldn't be, but in reality it is. It will be highly controversial to ever not vote for this legislation. And again, voting for it has almost zero political cost..


Hypothetically, when it next comes up, if there are zero counties that it can be applied to - they have zero reason to vote for it at that point.
If there are counties that it does apply to, that kinda, by default, justifies its existence.

It's the 15th amendment and yes it can. If in your example voting hours are unchanged when it adversely affects minority groups while the current hours adversely affects non minority groups...there there's the whole majority minority districting which I believe also falls under the act.


Being able to prove that would give a case to extend voting hours to cover both what is currently available on top of what you want to provide, not either/or. The Act doesn't stop the counties from extending/expanding procedures to make them better for everyone, but it will stop them from altering procedures to screw someone. It doesn't even actually care about who the minority or majority is.

It also includes stuff like providing Spanish or other translations on ballots based on the criteria of whether the language in that state/country crosses a threshold.

And why should properly elected representatives have to go through the hinderance of petitioning the court to simply do the job that others in their position can regularly do without such oversight? Because someone a few generations ago implemented racist policies? Is that the crimes of our father provision?


And that "characterisation is pretty inaccurate", because this isn't about a few generations ago. That generation is not only still alive, the counties are still currently pursuing discriminatory voting procedures. Should that stop being the case, this Act can fall by the wayside, and 100% won't be extended, because it will have done its job.

Mind you, there probably wouldn't be that many complaints if "in the interest of fairness", the Supreme Court decreed that the Voting Rights Act would have to apply to every state/county and there's no Get-Out clause, and it's just a thing that never has to be revisited/extended. In the interests of fairness. Oh wait, that would also be a perpetuation of racial entitlement /snark.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:14 pm

Really do the rest of the sections of the act have no use? I don't know that throwing it out wholesale is a good idea.

No, it doesn't stop them from altering procedures to the detriment of non minorities. Section 5 has it's own history there too, at times blocking legislation that is ultimately overturned by the higher courts. Most importantly it doesn't stop blatantly discriminatory legislation in other districts. Like the mismash of voter ID laws in covered/uncovered areas some thrown out, some allowed. Again creating a situation that is in violation of the 15th amendment, by providing an unequal protection.

It's not inaccurate. Racially discriminatory voting legislation is already in violation of the 15th amendment. The point of section 5 was to stop a pattern of jurisdictions going back and forth with the feds in a continuing pattern of creating racially discriminatory laws one after another as the feds got them thrown out. Thus, the pre-approval was created to stop that. It seems really unlikely that that could happen again. Also, The data analysis shows that in the last 20 years in particular, there's no statistical difference between the covered jurisdictions and uncovered jurisdictions. So why are we holding them to a different standard?

I'm pretty certain expanding this to other areas would explode the complaints. Requiring federal pre-approval for elected representatives to enact legislation is on shaky ground when dealing with a state's sovereignty just in general. Judicially was justified by the unique nature of the problem that it was attempting to solve in a somewhat "well tough shit you deserve this so we don't care" kind of way, but that was 50 years ago.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:41 am

Fridmarr wrote:No, it doesn't stop them from altering procedures to the detriment of non minorities. Section 5 has it's own history there too, at times blocking legislation that is ultimately overturned by the higher courts. Most importantly it doesn't stop blatantly discriminatory legislation in other districts. Like the mismash of voter ID laws in covered/uncovered areas some thrown out, some allowed. Again creating a situation that is in violation of the 15th amendment, by providing an unequal protection.


That's not actually a violation of the 15th Amendment on the part of Section 5. It's a violation of the 15th Amendment on the part of the states in question, that weren't stopped or addressed by a measure (such as Section 5).

It's not inaccurate. Racially discriminatory voting legislation is already in violation of the 15th amendment. The point of section 5 was to stop a pattern of jurisdictions going back and forth with the feds in a continuing pattern of creating racially discriminatory laws one after another as the feds got them thrown out. Thus, the pre-approval was created to stop that. It seems really unlikely that that could happen again. Also, The data analysis shows that in the last 20 years in particular, there's no statistical difference between the covered jurisdictions and uncovered jurisdictions. So why are we holding them to a different standard?


The answer to that is probably covered in
"These counties haven't proven that they have stopped the pattern", and we already know they have a pattern. The other counties that HAVE Gotten Out were able to prove they were no longer following the same pattern, so they no longer are being held to the standard. These particular states/counties have not. If Sotomayor can cite instances where Shelby County was/is pursuing racially discriminatory laws, that's pretty much the reason for the "different standard" summed up.
If the claim is that the metric used should cover X other states, I don't think people who think the Section is still fulfilling its purpose would complain. It CERTAINLY isn't an argument for scrapping the section.

Now, in saying that it's unlikely that the pattern could happen again, that might work - if it weren't a plausible scenario coming up in every single election, including last year's.

I'm pretty certain expanding this to other areas would explode the complaints. Requiring federal pre-approval for elected representatives to enact legislation is on shaky ground when dealing with a state's sovereignty just in general.


It's most definitely not on shaky ground when it deals with enforcing the state/county's elected representatives' compliance with terms in the US Constitution.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:23 am

Sorry, I mistyped that. The first part is the violation of the 15th amendment, the latter is the 14th.

I'm not sure if it's just lack of familiarity with our federal/state relationship, but it obviously is shaky ground. Pre approval is an extraordinary requirement. It was basically treated like a punishment, and that's why it was constrained and not nationwide when it was implemented. It's doubtful it would have held up to scrutiny if it was nationwide. It's a significant part of why this particular section is being scrutinized by the court now.

We already know that they "had" a pattern, fifty years ago. There is clear data here. Analysis has shown that there is no difference between covered and uncovered areas. As you already mentioned, the objection rate at this point is less than .1%. That is 55 times less than it was in the 60s. Minority registration and participation rates (original metrics used in the 60s) in the covered areas are also solid. Could a particular district still have a problem? Sure, though just because a Justice makes that claim during questioning, doesn't make it true. I can't say I'm particularly familiar with Shelby county, but it's impossible to argue that the covered areas as a whole are still following that pattern, the data just doesn't exist to support that claim.

I've strayed a bit here though, I was really just interested in why Klaud was so upset with Scalia's comments. Not as to whether section 5 is still applicable.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:36 pm

Quick question Fridmarr. Are you just playing Devil's advocate here? Or are you sharing your actual stance?

Just curious
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:21 pm

Throughout the thread I've done some of both. Like that whole vaccination thing was more devil's advocate...well that wasn't devil's advocate as much as me understanding how people reached their decision, but in explaining that I had to put forth their points even though I may have disagreed with them.

Is there something in particular that you are asking about? On this topic, I'm not being a devil's advocate. I don't care for section 5. I think a pre-approval requirement is overstepping by the feds. I can buy their unique justification for it, but the logic behind that justification still needs to apply, and I don't believe it does. The feds can rely on section 2 like the rest of the country does, and it seems to work pretty well. You can see that in the last election cycle pretty clearly.

However, pertaining to what spawned the discussion, I don't find Scalia's comments problematic. What is problematic is how they've been twisted, not necessarily here, but in the media like the second article Klaud linked.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:05 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Throughout the thread I've done some of both. Like that whole vaccination thing was more devil's advocate...well that wasn't devil's advocate as much as me understanding how people reached their decision, but in explaining that I had to put forth their points even though I may have disagreed with them.

Is there something in particular that you are asking about? On this topic, I'm not being a devil's advocate. I don't care for section 5. I think a pre-approval requirement is overstepping by the feds. I can buy their unique justification for it, but the logic behind that justification still needs to apply, and I don't believe it does. The feds can rely on section 2 like the rest of the country does, and it seems to work pretty well. You can see that in the last election cycle pretty clearly.

However, pertaining to what spawned the discussion, I don't find Scalia's comments problematic. What is problematic is how they've been twisted, not necessarily here, but in the media like the second article Klaud linked.



I wasn't talking about the current topic, just an overview of your seemingly opposing position on everything haha (Base generalization there.) Not trying to debate anything, was purely curious if you were just presenting the opposing view, or if you actually held an opposing view.
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