Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The Washington Free Beacon's coverage of today's Voting Rights Act decision at the Supreme Court is pretty amazing. Here's the lede:
Conservative activists and black leaders celebrated the Supreme Court’s Tuesday decision to update the Voting Rights Act (VRA) as a recognition of the progress that the nation has made in race relations.
If that phrase "black leaders" caught you up short, relax, they mean Ward Connerly and Tim Scott, not -- well, just about every other black leader in America. Alongside this, the Beacon runs an AP photo of Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, speaking outside the Supreme Court; Haygood is actually a passionate supporter of the Act, but who's going to look that up? Most of the Beacon's regular readership probably went, "A guy from the NAACP likes this decision? Boy, is he in for a shock. [swills corn likker]"

To represent liberal reaction, reporter Bill McMorris quoted from Scott Lemieux's brilliant essay at the American Prospect and the epic dissent of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ha, just kidding!
Liberals slammed the decision. One Minnesota state representative tweeted that conservative Justice Clarence Thomas was an “Uncle Thomas” for joining the majority.
And oh yeah Obama, who gets a few lines before we are told, "supporters of the ruling said Obama is living in the past, pointing out that blacks across the country had higher voter participation than whites in 2012" (but not for long!) and this:
Constitutional law professor Horace Cooper, who is black...
That's just great. Here are some of Cooper's other credentials.
... said Obama had no one to blame but Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for the decision.
“His efforts to stop voter ID laws across the nation and his plans for quota for representation on everything from congressional seats to non-partisan elected boards are the reasons this took place,” Cooper said. “Holder ill-served this administration, was wrong on law and policy, and he should resign.”
Thanks, Obama! Meanwhile, out in the world, it took Texas about 90 seconds after the ruling to move to put in voter ID laws from which the VRA can no longer protect citizens. These will require prospective black voters to spell chrysanthemum.

Somewhere a Tea Party group imminently expecting tax exempt status is preparing a suit to get SCOTUS to give Paula Deen her job back.

UPDATE. Thanks to commenter Gromet for pointing out another of Horace Cooper's credentials: convicted Jack Abramoff flunky. "I'm going to guess his position teaching Constitutional Law was not tenure-track," says Gromet.


  1. What remains of our representative democracy was cashiered today. We know what will happen next inth usual suspect states. Congressional action is hopeless much less a Constituential amendment so we face a Constitutional takeover by Jim Crow. I seem no alternative to a long guerilla war while recruiting people who find themselves sold out (there will be millions of those believe me). Of course 99% of the population doesn't know what's going on.

  2. These voter ID laws are in no way intended to suppress votes. However, they were considered a key tactic in attempting to get Romney elected. To the conservative mind, there exists no contradiction between those two sentences.

  3. Spaghetti Lee10:11 PM

    It would be a good thing if the country actually was able to legitimately not have to worry about people's votes being suppressed by state-level governments, and didn't need these protections. The Republican party's meh-whatever attitude towards voting as a right, and everything from innuendo to outright stating that the GOP needs more whites and fewer minorities to vote if it ever wants to regain power, tells me we are absolutely not ready to 'move forward.' What amazes me is that these cherub-faced liars are earnestly pleading for comity and not being stuck in the past when every single GOP-controlled state is already chipping away at the right to vote.

    I do, however, remain optimistic. The cold-blooded political reptile response is wondering how much good this will do for the GOP. The Mississippis and South Carolinas that are going to go hardcore on this were already GOP-controlled territory. The Dems can keep the Senate and White House, it would seem, entirely on the strength of blue and swing states. (No, that's not a good state of affairs, I'm just arguing that I don't think it will get drastically worse.) The more idealistic response is that there are lots of minority and pro-democracy leaders who know how to deal with this shit and aren't going down quietly. To paraphrase something I saw on another blog, there are people who fought police dogs and fire hoses to get the right to vote. They're not just going to nod and lie down because a pissant like John Roberts tells them to.

  4. Gromet10:51 PM

    Woof, this Horace Cooper is a bowl of yikes. I'm going to guess his position teaching Constitutional Law was not tenure-track. Although maybe it was and he just didn't get tenured because (thanks, Wikipedia) he was scooped up in the Abramoff scandal and pleaded guilty to falsifying documents. Here one of his "studies" (really more of an opinion piece) gets worked over for its reliance on unsubstantiated assertions and nonsequiter pivots: http://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/Natl-Center-report.pdf

    These guys on the right have to know they're pasting together a shit sandwich for their team to eat, right? And everyone who eats it must know that too, right, and just agrees to eat it because... because... they really hate rap?

    I dunno. General Lee looks really cool in all those paintings with his horse. Maybe I'm the one who's wrong.

  5. Jay B.12:47 AM

    We joke on conservatives a lot, and certainly view our Democratic "allies" with a jaundiced eye for very good reasons, but conservatives who support this abomination of a ruling — and that's nearly all of them — deserve every fucking thing that is coming to them. They think it's a political slam dunk for them to continue to rule the shitass peckerwood states they already infect, but they will find sooner rather than later the definition of pyrrhic victory.

    Fucking hateful assholes.

  6. Scott Lemieux1:09 AM

    "Conservative activists and black leaders"

    Seriously, you wonder if even the Free Beacon's intended audience believes this shit. Of course, famed champion of civil rights John Fund has called this a triumph, so...

  7. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume1:27 AM

    supporters of the ruling said Obama is living in the past, pointing out that blacks across the country had higher voter participation than whites in 2012

    Yeah, what a fucking coincidence.

  8. KatWillow1:49 AM

    I wonder who, or what group, instructed Roberts & his cohorts to make this obscene ruling? And how much were the justices paid?

  9. Simply reversing the direction of the threads on the wingnut does not make WOLVERINES! into a meaningful statement.

  10. williamcase32:31 AM

    I could only agree. I don't know why but I have not receive my voters id yet. It's been decades of pure waiting...


    dispute credit report

  11. Bryant3:04 AM

    I think there should be no racial discrimination. Anyone, as long as the original citizens, eligible to run for president. that determines the capabilities
    A fan of V. Maker

  12. Next step: True Voter ID (TruVID), where potential voters are ID'd by asking them who they plan on voting for. Wrong answers are fined for "wasting time" and shown the door, where they must run the gauntlet of folks who brought rotten fruit and rocks to the what is sure to become the national holiday of Reappointment.

    (Of course, taking a page from the book of totalitarian regimes the world over, it will be reported that 1% of malcontents "voted" for the Evil Party--just to prove that we still live in a Democracy.)

  13. I certainly hope so.

  14. Derelict7:09 AM

    Well, to be "fair" to many of these conservative scribblers, many (perhaps most) feel that being friendly and civil to the black doorman qualifies as having black friends. That, in turn, gives them all kinds of dispensation to write and say the most racist nonsense because, hey! I have black friends!

    So this ruling not only opens the gates to all sorts of shenanigans to keep blacks from voting, it also grants permission for the coming tsunami of "quit whining all you minorities! We gave you a chance to vote and look what you did with it!"

  15. Also, too, yet again, when things don't go their way, wingnuts and their corporate masters get to use a handful of old farts to subvert the will of practically everybody else in the nation. They can lie and cheat without consequences, and when they still FAIL, they can always just ask their buddies the Supremes to negate the final score.

    Was this escape-hatch approach to "fixing the occasional wrongheaded outcomes of allowing peasants to vote" really the original intention for this nation?

  16. redoubt7:53 AM

    Redeemers II: Black Robe/White Hood Boogaloo (Discus!)

  17. They were paid with a lifetime appointment to a lucrative position in which they can do whatever the fuck they like with no repercussions.

    That's worth more than money, although they get plenty of that, too, I imagine.

  18. Halloween_Jack9:37 AM

    I love this bit from href="http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/voter_fraud_study_horace_cooper_jack_abramoff.phpTPM's write-up of him:

    Cooper asked a judge to shorten his sentence earlier this year so he could travel to Central Fiji on a trip paid for by Qorvis Communications, writing in a court document that he was hopeful a “more permanent employment relationship may develop” after the trip. [Late update: Qorvis’ Seth Thomas Pietras tells TPM the filing “must be the result of a misunderstanding and no employment offer was ever made of him.”]


  19. Leeds man9:40 AM

    Not for another few years, anyway.

  20. BigHank5310:02 AM

    Given that the franchise was exclusively granted to white male landowners, I'd have to go with "yes" here. On the other hand, they knew perfectly well the Constitution would require periodic updating, so they incorporated a procedure for that too.

    Now, people on the right (or left) may not like the changes we've made over the years. They're free to agitate, organize, and campaign to amend the Constitution or repeal an amendment: we've done both. If you've got to cheat to get your way it's a pretty clear sign that your idea was too unpopular to cut it in the marketplace of ideas.

  21. dstatton10:56 AM

    SCOTUS: Higher participation by blacks? We'll fix that.

  22. Yeah, what a fucking coincidence.

    Bloody hell. When the decision has already been well-marinated in unmitigated gall before release, pointing out that factoid about 2012 is gall overkill. "Partially in response to attempts to suppress their voting rights, black voters turned out in significant numbers to support a black president who has been a nonstop target for the vilest racism. Therefore, minority voting rights are secure and racism is a dead letter."

    What's the equivalent Latin expression for the exact opposite of QED? Something with cūlus or cacō, I'd think.

  23. tigrismus12:10 PM

    Quod erat... ecce, aliquis lucidus!

  24. whetstone12:12 PM

    Well, I don't believe that when I deliver pizza, there's going to be an underclothed sorority girl at the door there to minister to my every need. Doesn't stop me from enjoying the fiction, though.

  25. whetstone12:16 PM

    It's fair: Roberts is unaware that voter suppression is likely in our post-racist world because VRA has prevented it. The only way we can really know that voter suppression is a problem is to allow it anew for every generation of privileged white people to see.

  26. sharculese12:22 PM

    Remember back when Bush apparatchik Has von Spakovsky was head of voting rights at Justice and was rubber stamping every voter suppression law that hit his desk? Remember how absolutely no wingnut legislators found time to complain about the tyrannous yoke of the VRA?

    Well, maybe in a socialist, multiracial paradise like fucking Virginia that happened, but down in Georgia I remember it going a little differe

  27. Substance McGravitas12:44 PM

    VRA expert Abigail Thernstrom said the end of gerrymandering could help
    elevate black politicians beyond the safe minority seats, as well as
    encourage the GOP to court black voters. This hurts the capacity of
    minority politicians from seeking statewide office.

    Um, what the hell? Not just wrong but incomprehensible.

  28. kennyg1:04 PM

    I think Ginsburg made that point in her dissent.
    Like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet

  29. They could view it as a win-win: Either they get to stave off demographic doom by greenlighting even more widespread vote suppression, or they get to point accusatory fingers at rioting subhuman minorities, which, as you say, they've been praying for.

  30. gocart mozart1:41 PM

    Free Bacon is never kosher.

  31. gocart mozart1:44 PM

    Scalia 6/25/13: Let's all overrule the will of congress
    Scalia 6/26/13 How dare the SCOTUS overrule the will of congress

  32. redoubt2:01 PM

    Heh. This is "throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because I'm not getting wet"

  33. Oh, come on, that's hardly fair. In one case, Congress was legislating in a way unsupported by, and potentially in direct contravention of, the Constitution. In the other case, Congress was exercising powers explicitly granted to it by the Constitution. So Scalia's reversal makes perfect sense in light of responsible judicial review. Or it would, if the dates were reversed. But that wouldn't be the utterly unprincipled lying shitsack we all know and love**.

    **I am using love in the originalist 18th-century sense of "would like to see dragged through the streets while being pissed on."

  34. redoubt2:11 PM

    Not just Georgia. Name a voter suppression tactic, and you'll find Hans von Spakovsky's grimy hands on it. (And I have no doubt that a Romney administration would have made him a Federal judge.)

  35. redoubt2:14 PM

    as well as
    encourage the GOP to court black voters by making it impossible for them to vote.

    Fixed. (Or maybe they want to help black voters start the "Kool-Aid Party.")

  36. sharculese2:45 PM

    Oh yeah, of course. I specified Georgia because that's where I lived at the time, and I can't recall my then rep Paul Broun ceasing his grumbling just because the Bush administration wasn't actually bothering to enforce the VRA.

  37. merl13:06 PM

    I guess that means Texas will be providing ID cards free of charge, right?
    Just kidding, I imagine they'll jack up the price to around $100.00 for certain people.

  38. merl13:08 PM

    why not vote by mail like we do in wa and or?

  39. merl13:10 PM

    My fondest hope is that when those peckerwoods become the minority, they have to choke on their own medicine.
    I, for one, will welcome our new Brown Overlords.

  40. Jay B.3:16 PM

    I love a lot about the South, but Jesus Fucking Christ there's an embrace of aggressive stupidity there that is really amazing to see. And of course there's aggressive stupidity everywhere, just nowhere else where its such a point of pride.

  41. Jay B.3:19 PM

    Imagine a +1 upvoting you forever.

  42. merl13:26 PM

    All of my family live in Louisiana and Mississippi, how do you think I feel?
    they have learned to stop discussing politics with me and they know better than to send me their chain emails.

  43. FabulousGayGuy3:43 PM

    As somebody has probably mentioned already, during the deliberations on gay marriage, Scalia actually went on at some length about how it would be absurd to say that something could become constitutional or unconstitutional merely due to the passage of time.

    If yesterday was any indication, he's changed his mind on THAT one.

  44. satch3:46 PM

    I left this post at Charlie Pierce's shop this morning, and I'm pretty sure it still applies:

    "What Dems in the House need to do right now is put together a bill
    mandating that any state that wants to make changes to voting procedures
    has to first prove that those changes will not impinge on voting
    rights. Will it pass this congress? Not likely, but the idea is to make
    the Republicans quash it... and put them on the record. I'm frankly
    tired of our ever-so-reasonable Dems, who will not stand up and fight
    when the odds are that they might lose. For example, Dems wouldn't back
    a single payer health care bill on the grounds that it would never
    pass, while Republicans took thirty eight freaking separate votes to
    repeal the ACA. The Pugs knew those votes wouldn't pass the Senate, let
    alone survive a presidential veto, but they do grasp the fact that
    sometimes it's important to be seen fighting for things you want. I want
    Dems to learn the same lesson, and this would be a great place to start"

    Sorry for the Cut-Paste... carpal tunnel, y'know...

  45. Arrik5:08 PM

    George Mason University: need I say more?

  46. bekabot6:49 PM

    "cherub-face liars"...and if they know how to spell 'chrysanthemum', I'll...convert.

  47. satch7:36 PM

    The above was actually MY comment on Charlie's Politics Blog, but yeah... what are the odds of anything like that happening?

  48. redoubt8:39 PM

    Because these are the same people who have been trying to kill the Post Office.

  49. tigrismus8:50 PM

    Now there's the one thing that would make them willing to pass vote by mail.

  50. Yeah, there's no need to go therorizing about conspiracies when the awful truth is this obvious.

  51. Is this the Vault City Citizenship test?

  52. Spaghetti Lee11:07 PM

    I think I may have pulled the wrong supernatural being out of the hat. Let's go with 'goblin' instead.

  53. Ooops. Sry.

    But yeah.

  54. AGoodQuestion1:39 AM

    They seem to have forgotten what happened to the Confederacy the last time.

  55. "... and because it was in support of your night school classes, you can include it as an educational deduction, like so."

    "Wow, that makes sense. And it saves me a bunch on my taxes. Thanks, underclothed sorority girl!"

  56. montag23:33 PM

    Careful now--Sowell, like Clarence Thomas, is a white man who just happens to be black. Lumping him in with all those other blacks is perilously close to character assassination.