Skip to comments.Federal court rejects voting districts drawn by Texas Legislature, finds maps discriminatory
Posted on 08/28/2012 1:01:40 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON (AP) Federal court rejects voting districts drawn by Texas Legislature, finds maps discriminatory.
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
Ha! Using discrimination to define “discrimination.” Typical Libland court bilge.
Excellent. This sets up an appeal to the Supreme Court, where we can hopefully get some of this federal oversight garbage thrown out.
Is Texas under the same onerous “voting rights” oversight as some of the other southern states?
This has been Holder’s justification for interfering with their voter ID laws.
they need to look at Kalifornia, we have been silenced as conservatives here.
.........”If Texas loses in federal court, as many observers believe is likely, Abbott will be in a position to challenge the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act arguably the most significant provision in the law that says Texas and several other jurisdictions with discriminatory histories must get the blessing of the federal government before they make any changes to election laws.
When Abbott went to federal court over voter ID, he also made a challenge to Section 5. That issue was split off from the voter ID case, but Abbott could move forward with it if the judges deny preclearance to the voter ID law.
Such a move could be politically advantageous for Abbott, a Republican who is considering a run for governor in 2014.
The so-called preclearance provision is not fair because it forces Texas to endure a burden that other states are free of, Abbott said.
“There’s no reason why Texas should be discriminated against,” Abbott said in a recent interview.
Abbott said discrimination exists in states that aren’t subject to Section 5 and cited places outside the South, such as Chicago, with its reputation for crooked Democratic politics, and Philadelphia, where accusations of voter intimidation in 2008 were lodged against baton-wielding members of the New Black Panther Party.
Originally, Section 5 was approved by Congress for a period of five years. It was part of the grander effort to battle discrimination in elections, such as poll taxes and literacy tests. Over the years, Section 5 was extended for short periods, but in 2006, members of Congress authorized it for 25 years.
Now the future of the historic provision appears uncertain. Shelby County, Ala., and Kinston, N.C., already are in line with Section 5 appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court; South Carolina and Florida also could join the fray.
It is impossible to predict, but it is conceivable that Texas could jump in the line to have its case heard before the high court.
But no matter how a Section 5 case gets to the Supreme Court, it appears that a majority of the justices agree with Abbott, said Richard Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine and author of a new book “The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy said in January during a hearing on Texas’ redistricting case, which also had preclearance implications, that “Texas is at a tremendous disadvantage” because “Section 5 applies only to some states and not others.” (The courts have not issued a final ruling on the maps, but the state has interim districts for the 2012 elections.)
Three years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that he, too, might be on Abbott’s side.
“Things have changed in the South,” Roberts wrote in a 2009 case that seemed to set up a fight over the Voting Rights Act. “Voter turnout and registration rates now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels.”
Roberts’ words came in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder in which the court ruled that the water district could “bail out” of federal oversight when it wanted to change a polling place from a person’s garage to a school.
Other conservative justices including Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito also have signaled that they would opine against Section 5.
Ian Vandewalker, a lawyer in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, which advocates for voting rights, said that if the justices ultimately find Section 5 unconstitutional, minorities would suffer because they more often lack valid ID, compared with whites.
“The greater effect would be all these jurisdictions would be able to change their laws in innumerable ways that would discriminate against minorities’ ability to participate in the electoral process,” Vandewalker said. “The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation.”
Without Section 5’s ability to require preclearance, civil rights groups would have a harder time fighting discrimination, he said.
Under the current law, Section 5 puts the burden on the state or locality to prove to the U.S. Department of Justice that it is not discriminating, rather than forcing the plaintiffs to try to prove it.
The Justice Department “would lose a valuable tool to protect minority access to the ballot,” Vandewalker said.
Abbott doesn’t see it that way. He said Texas and other Section 5 states don’t deserve to be presumed guilty of violations of the law.
And if Section 5 and preclearance are deemed unconstitutional, the effect would be minimal, Abbott said.
Even without preclearance, anyone still could file a lawsuit in an effort to undo any changes made to election laws, he said. Abbott pointed to Pennsylvania, where opponents of the state’s voter ID law filed suit against its enactment. A judge ruled last week that the law can be put into place.
“All the protections of Voting Rights Act would still exist,” Abbott said.”
Translation: “The maps are not discriminatory enough.”
No matter which way this presidential election goes, I firmly believe the current and more States will re-assert their Constitutional authority under the 9th and 10th Amendments. Sorta better if Obama wins. All hell will break lose from the States. Although, I rather he not win and Romney have to deal with States'rights.
Stated without any means of verifying if it's accurate or not.
Where is the evidence of this claim?
And another thing...if someone doesn't have any ID on them when confronted by law enforcement what usually happens to them? /strictly rhetorical question
Just something to think about.
Isn't he saying that minorities have more invalid ID's compared to whites?
It's not the evidence that matters, it's the seriousness of the charge.
I look for Robert's to side with Feds again on this case. With Roberts on the bench, nothing we as conservatives hold dear are guaranteed.
Isn't he saying that minorities have more invalid ID's compared to whites?
I guess they think everybody is stupid enough to believe their claptrap.
The crazy thing is that they based their rejection on the fact that the maps weren’t racist enough. They have to be racist in the proper way, however that’s determined.
Thanks Cincinatus’ Wife.
The Justice Department would lose a valuable tool to protect minority access to the ballot, Vandewalker said.
Presumption of guilt is a wonderfully valuable tool...for the prosecution in a Fascist regime. An uber-lefty hellhole like the Brennan Center is all too familiar with applied and theoretical Fascist methods. If Fascist pukes like Vandewalker could envisage a way to apply presumption of guilt only to whites, males, Republicans, Christians, conservatives, and other Enemies of the State, while reserving presumption of innocence for the 'oppressed,' I'm sure he would consider it justice served.