Posts Tagged ‘voting’

Prison-Industrial Complex Watch: End Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Non-Violent Drug Offenses

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It’s time for Americans to pay attention to what we are doing to so many non-violent drug offenders. We put them in jail, take away their right to vote when they get out, in many cases for minor offenses, that probably shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. Americans need to see the forest for the trees when it comes to U.S. drug laws. Why is it so hard to change failed policy? And this is one issue that does not have a clear partisan divide. Sure, conservatives tend to be the “tough on crime” crowd, but they are also…
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Rights Act ‘Preclearance’ – Stage Set For Increased Discrimination

Supreme Court - photo by Mark Fischer

With yet another 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The high court ruled the “preclearance” formula in Section 4 as unconstitutional, stating that the formula, used to determine which states and jurisdictions are subject to federal approval, was outdated. The New York Times — The current coverage scheme, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, is “based on 40-year-old facts having no relationship to the present day.” “Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense…
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Justice Antonin Scalia Is The Rush Limbaugh Of The Supreme Court

Last week Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the Voting Rights Act was a “racial entitlement.” Funny, I didn’t know protection of minority rights were entitlements. What does a white boy gotta do to get him some entitlements? Adding to his offensive screed, Scalia said: I am fairly confident it [the Voting Rights Act] will be reenacted in perpetuity unless, unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution…It’s a concern that this is not the kind of question you can leave to Congress…Even the name of it is wonderful. The “Voting Rights Act.” Who is going…
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Challenging The 1965 Voting Rights Act, Here’s What I Don’t Get

Shelby County, Alabama, is challenging the 1965 Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court. Lawyers for the county argue that Section 5 of the act is unconstitutional and threatens Alabama’s sovereignty. Here’s what I don’t get — How is the pre-clearance required by Section 5 such a burden to the county and the state? All they need to do is get approval from the federal government when they make voting changes. If they aren’t trying to subvert democracy or disenfranchise minorities, then no problem, changes approved. It seems to me the only problem Shelby County has is, well, Shelby County….
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Voting Rights Act To Face Supreme Court

The 1965 Voting Rights Act will go before the Supreme Court this week. “Over a century after the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act,” said Chris Hayes on “Up” this morning. “Which finally ended decades of routine exclusion of people of color from exercising their right to vote.” Section 5 of the act, which requires Federal scrutiny on voting law changes in southern states, is the specific language being challenged. The argument against Section 5 is that it diminishes the sovereignty of southern states and that the south has changed since the era of…
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