GOP war on voting: Florida joins states challenging the Voting Rights Act

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I have previously posted about Arizona Attorney General Tom "banned for life by the SEC" Horne challenging the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Tom Horne files a politically motivated challenge to the Voting Rights Act (Aug. 26, 2011), Tom Horne and the Felonious Five threaten the Voting Rights Act (Aug. 29, 2011).

In a coordinated GOP assault on voting rights, Florida is the most recent Tea-Publican controlled state to challenge the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Florida secretary of state challenges Voting Rights Act | Florida Independent:

In an effort to push forward the Legislature’s controversial elections overhaul, the state of Florida has filed a complaint challenging sections of the Voting Rights Act.

The complaint — which was filed today by Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning — argues that federal preclearance requirements for state election laws are “unconstitutional.”

The Voting Rights Act, which became law in 1965, was written to outlaw discriminatory voting rules. Section 5 of the act requires the federal government to review and approve any changes to election laws in certain areas. Five Florida counties currently fall under that jurisdiction.

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Browning’s office has asked a federal judge to approve four of the law’s most controversial measures: new restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, a shortened “shelf life” for signatures collected for ballot initiatives, new restrictions on voters changing their registered addresses on election day, and a reduction in the number of early voting days.

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With today’s filing, the state is now challenging the very law that stands in the way of implementing the new election rules in every county.

According to Browning’s complaint complaint (.pdf), “subjecting Florida counties and other jurisdictions covered exclusively under the language minority provisions of the [Voting Rights Act] to pre-clearance is not a rational, congruent, or proportional means of enforcing the Fourteenth and/or Fifteenth Amendments and violates the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.”

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Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, says in a statement today that the “Voting Rights Act was designed and passed expressly to prevent states from undermining voting rights of minorities – which is exactly what Florida is doing.”

“Today they’ve essentially asked a court to allow them not to follow federal law,” he says. “It’s an admission that they know that the federal courts are likely to find that the Voter Suppression Act passed this year is a serious threat to the voting rights of Florida’s language and racial minorities.”

U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates recently rejected a similar challenge from Shelby County, Alabama. Take that, Tom Horne! Federal judge upholds constitutionality of Voting Rights Act

This is all part of a coordinated GOP assault on voting rights. The GOP War on Voting (link to Rolling Stone article), The GOP war on voting explained by the Brennnan Center for Justice (link to report). They are hoping that the Felonious Five conservative activist justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will repeal the 20th Century by judicial fiat.



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