Sunday, November 03, 2013

Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.

This was in a comment by "True Blue Majority" on the Daily Kos story about Former Speaker of the US House, 90 year old Jim Wright, being denied a voter ID card in Texas. 

The story quoted the Star-Telegram: 

Former House Speaker Jim Wright was denied a voter ID card Saturday at a Texas Department of Public Safety office.
“Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn’t give me an ID,” Wright said.
The legendary Texas political figure says that he has worked things out with DPS and that he will get a state-issued personal identification card in time for him to vote Tuesday in the state and local elections.
Texas was one of the states that was covered in Section IV of the Voting Rights Act that was invalidated by the US Supreme Court last June.  If I understand it right, changes that affected access to voting had to be pre-cleared by the Justice Department before.

Section IV was the formula for which states were required to have pre-clearance.  The law which was created in the 60's identified specific problems the biggest problem states had  at that time.  The judges decided that since many of the issues that were mentioned no longer existed, the Congress had to come up with a new way of identifying the states that needed automatic clearance.  And now, free of the pre-clearance requirement, some of those states (and others that didn't need pre-clearance) are devising voting requirements that will make it harder for Democratic voters to vote. 

Texas is one of three states that I'm aware of - Kentucky and Alaska being the other two - that still have not resolved their redistricting plan.  Kentucky's plan got knocked in court just this past week.  A Nov. 1, 2013 post at the ACLU Kentucky site:

COVINGTON, KY – A panel of three federal judges late Thursday declared the ACLU of Kentucky and the ACLU Voting Rights Project winners in a redistricting lawsuit. In August, the judges sided with the ACLU (and the plaintiffs in a companion case brought by a group of Northern Kentucky voters) and held that Kentucky’s House and Senate districts established in 2002 were unconstitutional.
Shortly after this summer’s ruling, during a special session, lawmakers enacted new maps and filed a motion requesting the dismissal of the ACLU’s case as moot. On Thursday, the court once again ruled in the ACLU’s favor, making the temporary injunction permanent and clearing the way for the recovery of attorney’s fees.

And Alaska's is due back in court in December, unless the Court accepts the Board's request to postpone it until January.

[Feedburner notes:  This one took four hours to get on other blogrolls.  I posted.  Waited about 15 minutes, then manually pinged it.  Nothing happened.  I repinged it several times.  Then I copied and republished the whole post.  Nothing happened.  I pinged it again.  Nothing happened.  I deleted the new version and pinged again.  About 20 minutes later it showed up on the other blogrolls, four hours after it was posted.  I don't know if it would have gotten up by itself in four hours or whether my manually pinging makes a difference.   I'm keeping these notes so I can tell if there is a pattern.  It's easier to put them here, but maybe I'll create a separate page eventually.] 

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