The Supreme Court today ruled on the long-awaited gerrymandering case from North Carolina, Cooper v. Harris. The ruling is Here (.pdf).
Adam Liptak of the New York Times reports, Justices Reject 2 Gerrymandered North Carolina Districts, Citing Racial Bias:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down two North Carolina congressional districts, ruling that lawmakers had violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing them.
The court rejected arguments from state lawmakers that their purpose in drawing the maps was not racial discrimination but partisan advantage.
* * *
In their decision this week, the justices were unanimous in rejecting District 1, in the northeastern part of the state. After the 2010 census, lawmakers increased the district’s black voting-age population to 52.7 percent from 48.6 percent.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court, said black voters, in coalitions with others, had been able to elect their preferred candidates even before the redistricting. Adding additional black voters to the district, she wrote, amounted to an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Legislation, Party Politics, Racism, Redistricting, Scandals
Tagged voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes, even while he won the presidency with an electoral college victory. Without evidence, Trump tells lawmakers 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote.
In pursuit of the delusions of our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief, Donald Trump today issued an “Executive Order Establishing of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.”
Yeah, that’s not at all what this executive order is about. It is about Trump trying to validate his delusions that he won the popular vote but for voter fraud by millions of Americans. It’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment rather than humor this madman.
The Hill gets this right. Trump signs order launching voter fraud investigation:
The commission will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will serve as vice chair, the White House announced during Thursday’s press briefing.
So a GOP led commission with Kris Kobach, the GOP’s dark prince of voter suppressions efforts serving as vice chair. Oh hell no!
This commission has zero credibility and no self-respecting Democrat or election integrity expert or academic should agree to serve on this farce of a commission. Boycott this commission.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Legislation, Party Politics, President, Racism, Scandals
Tagged voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Chamber of Commerce organizations got their lickspittle servants in our Tea-Publican controlled legislature and our “Koch-bot” governor to do their bidding in making it damn near impossible for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to make laws by citizens initiative. Buying a legislature and governor to do your bidding is the exclusive provence of our Plutocratic corporate overlords, and you will obey!
But now that this no good horrible legislative session is coming to an end, Former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson are heading up a referendum campaign to refer up to three pieces of anti-citizen initiative legislation to the 2018 ballot.
Laurie Roberts of The Republic writes, Group filing to block initiative laws:
Memo to Gov. Doug Ducey and all of our esteemed leaders who worked so diligently this year to undermine one of our basic constitutional rights:
Not so fast.
Next week begins the citizen drive to overturn your efforts to make it more difficult, if not impossible, for Arizonans to exercise their right to make laws via initiative.
Voters of Arizona, a group headed by former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, are filing paperwork this week to block all three new laws from taking effect until voters can decide their fate in November 2018. The group also plans to file a lawsuit challenging two of the three bills.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Scandals
Tagged referendum, Tyranny, voting rights
Slate has a good summary of the decision of the federal district court for Texas on Thursday that, once again, struck down the district lines drawn by the Texas legislature for intentional racial discrimination. Federal Court: Texas Intentionally Gerrymandered Its Districts to Dilute Minority Votes:
On Thursday, a three-judge federal court ruled that Texas intentionally discriminated against minority voters in drawing its state House district map in 2011. The decision follows a similar ruling by the same court in March holding that Texas also drew its federal congressional districts in an effort to dilute minority votes. Thursday’s ruling marks the third time in recent weeks that the federal judiciary has found Texas to have intentionally burdened its Hispanic voters.
The majority attached a 151-page findings of fact to its already lengthy opinion, reflecting careful analysis of Texas’ gerrymander that will be difficult for the Supreme Court to ignore on appeal. In short, the court found that Texas legislators drew multiple House districts that diluted Hispanics’ votes, a violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court also found that the legislature had engaged in race-based gerrymandering, which similarly runs afoul of equal protection and the VRA. Finally, the court concluded that the House map violated the one person, one vote principle by creating districts within unequal populations, another Equal Protection infringement.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Party Politics, Racism, Redistricting, Scandals
Tagged discrimination, Equal Protection, gerrymandering, voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965
Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, on remand from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has again ruled (.pdf) that the voter identification law the Texas Legislature passed in 2011 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters. Federal Judge Says Texas Voter ID Law Intentionally Discriminates:
In a long-running case over the legality of one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country, the judge found that the law violated the federal Voting Rights Act.
Judge Gonzales Ramos had made a similar ruling in 2014, but after Texas appealed her decision, a federal appellate court instructed her to review the issue once more.
The appeals court — the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans — found that Judge Ramos had relied too heavily on Texas’ history of discriminatory voting measures and other evidence it labeled “infirm” and asked her to reweigh the question of discriminatory intent.
In her ruling on Monday, Judge Ramos wrote that the evidence cited by the Fifth Circuit “did not tip the scales” in favor of the state.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Party Politics, Racism, Scandals
Tagged Texas, voter id, voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965