Blitzer: the background, the enormity of what the Supreme Court has decided today.
Kelli: Now that the Supreme Court has upheld Indiana's law it basically gives a green light to other states to pass similar legislation which of course would be just in time for the November election.
CNN covers the newest abominable decision by the Roberts Court. There are 20 other states that were waiting for this ruling so they can pounce and purge the voting rolls. Remember, there was no evidence of any voter fraud---Voting is a "right," not a privilege and I don't mean as in Scalia's Right Wing perceptions. I knew the shift to the right with Roberts and Alito would produce this kind of decision. I'm working with many others to see how we can handle this ruling properly. I will do my best. More opinions are starting to flow in now on this horrendous decision by the Roberts Supreme Court.
The ACLU responded: ACLU Disappointed With Supreme Court's Voter ID Decision
"Today's decision minimizes the very real burden that Indiana's voter ID law places on tens of thousands of eligible voters who lack a government-issued identification while accepting at face value Indiana's unsubstantiated claim of voter fraud," said Ken Falk, Legal Director of the ACLU of Indiana and lead counsel on the case. (more articles below the fold)
The Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to Indiana's voter identification law, the most restrictive in the country, despite the fact that the law could block access to the ballot box for thousands of citizens.
“The Supreme Court has abdicated its role as the defender of our democracy. The Justices should clear the path to the ballot box for voters, not help block the way,” said Kathryn Kolbert, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “Voter ID laws are intended to suppress voter turnout. If voter ID advocates were truly interested in fixing our election system, they'd be working to make elections verifiable and end deceptive practices that keep people from the polls...
The Supreme Court’s decision is disappointing. The Court’s decision today places obstacles to the fundamental rights of American citizens—especially the poor, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities—to participate in the electoral process. Having American citizens pay for underlying documents needed for an identification card and travel to distant motor vehicle locations for processing hinders—and diminishes—their right to vote.
The right to vote is a foundation of our democracy. American citizens who wish to vote must be able to do so.
But while the opinion may be an electoral nightmare, three things keep it from being the doctrinal nightmare that it could have been: the procedural posture, some of the facts, and the fractured nature of the opinions. Unfortunately, this case is going be spun as holding that “Voter ID laws are constitutional” when in fact it holds only that they are not per se unconstitutional.
On October 23, 2007, ACS hosted a panel at the National Press Club, where leading experts discussed how voter photo-ID laws impact our democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, which will examine the constitutionality of requiring voters to show photo ID.
AdamB says: SCOTUS Upholds GOP-Pushed Voter ID Laws.
And don't miss Digby's: Validating Voter Suppression
I have been writing about this since before I started this blog. It's at the heart of the Florida debacle in 2000, where they illegitimately purged voter rolls and relied on arcane interpretations of the rules to deny people the fundamental right to have their votes counted. It goes all the way back to the reconstruction period and has continued right up to Ohio in 2004.
The Supreme Court has just legitimized the notion that "voter fraud" is a problem when, in fact, every study shows that it simply does not exist in any systematic way and that the voter disenfranchisement that results from such laws is a far more serious problem...read on