Thursday, May 1, 2008

Partisan Supreme Court Errs

Cynthia Tucker on the Supremes' partisan ruling on Voter ID:

There will be no apologies from this precinct. I have long argued that harsh voter ID laws are unfair, unconstitutional and un-American, and I will continue to say so.

The fact that a group of wealthy male jurists favors suppression of the franchise hardly makes it right. After all, the Founding Fathers believed that only white men should have the vote. They weren’t right, either.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a wrongheaded ruling that upholds Indiana’s voter ID law, widely believed the harshest in the nation. For now, the decision validates similar laws in several other states, including Georgia.

It’s no coincidence that Republicans rule in most state Legislatures that have pushed through these laws. For decades — since the civil rights movement enabled black voting rights, in fact — Republicans have used the guise of protecting against “voter fraud” to justify laws that harass, intimidate and invalidate voters of color. Having given up trying to woo black and brown voters with progressive politics, the GOP has resorted to procedures that suppress their vote.

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, then a young Arizona attorney active in Republican politics and an adviser to Barry Goldwater, was accused of harassing black and Latino voters at the polls in Phoenix in 1962. Testifying before the Senate in 1986, after Rehnquist had been nominated as chief justice, James Brosnahan, a former assistant U.S. attorney, said that he had investigated complaints about behavior by Rehnquist and others that “was designed to reduce the number of black and Hispanic voters by confrontation and intimidation.” (Rehnquist denied the charge and was confirmed.)

Who the fuck do you appeal a wrong SCOTUS decision to?

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