Protect Every Citizen's Right to Vote! Thread 8/06/11
Today, 30 states have passed laws requiring voters to present identification to vote, and in 15 of those states, voters must present a government-issued photo ID. These laws will result in untold numbers of legal voters being turned away from the polls because over 21 million Americans do not have government-issued photo identification. Obtaining a photo ID presents a substantial — and unnecessary — barrier for many of our nation's citizens. There is no credible evidence that in-person impersonation voter fraud — the only type of fraud that photo IDs could prevent — is even a minor problem in our country.
The attacks are not just limited to voter ID. Some states are engaging in other voter suppression tactics like restricting voter registration drives and reducing the amount of time for early voting. All these laws disfranchise eligible voters — especially racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, low-income individuals, students, and voters with disabilities.
The Voting Rights Act vests significant authority in the Department of Justice to ensure laws are not implemented in a discriminatory manner. Because of some states' troubling history of voter suppression, any changes in their elections laws are subject to approval — or "pre-clearance" — by the Justice Department under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In jurisdictions not covered by Section 5, the Department must ensure that these laws are implemented in a way that does not discriminate against protected groups in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Established in 1965, the ACLU Voting Rights Project has worked to protect the gains in political participation won by racial and language minorities since passage of the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) that same year. The Project has filed more than 300 lawsuits to enforce the provisions of the VRA and the U.S. Constitution.
Won't You Help Us Profit From the Suffering of Others
A War on Voting:
A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice warns changes to voting laws could strip the voting rights of more than 5 million people — a higher number than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections. Its findings reveal some 3.2 million people in Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin do not have the state identification they will now need to vote. Others will be kept from the voting booth by tougher restrictions for convicted prisoners and laws requiring proof of U.S. citizenship. In 2012, states that have cracked down on voting rights will account for 63 percent of the 270 Electoral College votes needed for a presidential victory. We speak with Ari Berman, author of the new article in Rolling Stone magazine, “The GOP War on Voting," and with ProPublica reporter Lois Beckett, who co-wrote, "The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests," about how money is helping re-shape Congressional districts along partisan lines, a practice known as gerrymandering. [Includes rush transcript]
One of the main players in the photo ID component has been the American Legislative Exchange Council, otherwise known as ALEC, who, as you know, is funded in part by the Koch brothers, the billionaire brothers from Kansas. And what ALEC did, was after the 2008 election, they drafted mock legislation for states to then pass, and what happened is, in five of these states that passed photo ID laws, the legislation was cosponsored by members of ALEC and in three states, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the draft legislation that ALEC gave them was basically almost identical to the legislation introduced. We see ALEC playing a major role.
~ ARI BERMAN
Koch Roaches A.L.E.C. Drug Detention Centers
Today many have had their eyes opened regarding the huge profits made off of what is commonly called the "Prison Industrial Complex." Suddenly awareness has turned from disbelief to anger as taxpayers realize the screwing private prison companies, their lobbyists and elected Legislators have been giving them for more than three decades now.
The majority of prohibitionists profit on the drug war,
and that is their only motive.
A report highlighting challenges on behalf of American Indians in five western states — Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming to a variety of discriminatory election practices with special attention to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, its laws, restrictions, and rules, as well as subsequent amendments.
Voting Rights in Indian Country
The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Steppenwolf - Monster
Brannan Center For Justice U2b
New laws could strip voting rights for 5 million people.
State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition
The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics
"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts"
~ Samuel Chase,
US Supreme Court Chief Justice 1796
"The Jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact"
~ Oliver Wendell Holme, Chief Justice
"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided"
~ Judge Harlan F. Stone,
Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1941-1946
Anglo-Saxon common law right of claiming a "necessity" to break the law,
because doing so prevented a greater harm... ~ Rob Waddell
Only registered voters are called to serve on juries. Most cannabis trials by jury are deterred by 404 gag rules and mandatory minimum sentencing. Plea bargains make up the majority along with $4500 rehabilitation facilities and urine testing, monitoring and probation costs. ~ DdC
Canadian Jury nullification
Did you know that nearly 1 in 40 people in the US voting population are barred from voting due to criminal convictions?
Slave Labor Means Big Bucks For U.S. Corporations
Great numbers of newly freed blacks were quickly 'convicted' and forced to work without pay in state prisons. For those unfortunates all that happened was that ownership of slaves transferred from private parties to the state. Today, with the advent of private, profit-making prisons and prison factories slavery still exists and is moving back to the private sector.
Strong corporate profits amid weak economy?
Corporate Welfare Rats
H/T Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries
* “Wisconsin Surprise: Walker Bill Likely Handing State Assets To Walker-Supporter Koch Industries” and related posts (prwatch.org)
* You: Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute (nytimes.com)
* “The Koch Brothers Have a Hand in Wisconsin’s Unrest” and related posts (nymag.com)
* Koch brothers may be behind Wisconsin labor battle (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
* Koch industries orchestrating anti-union ‘Tea Party’ protests in Wisconsin (dailykos.com)
* The Koch brothers as Wisconsin puppet masters (salon.com)
* Koch brothers’ money fuels Wisconsin union fight (tech.mit.edu)
* How the Koch Brothers Remade Wisconsin Politics by Billy Wharton (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
* Koch brothers behind anti-union attacks in Wisconsin (americablog.com)
* Big Right-Wing Money Pours Into Wisconsin (alan.com)