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Gothmog

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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
Number of posts: 88,391

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Thank you for the hearts

I really appreciate each and every heart

Vote by Mail Applications from Texas Democratic Party

My club paid for the mailing of ballots to the over 65 voters who have a 60% or higher score on the VAN in my county. Approximately 15,000 such applications were mailed last week and are hitting mail boxes right now.

Juanita Jean has her application and she has posted pictures of the front and back http://www.juanitajean.com/2014/02/07/reason-8251-why-i-hate-republicans/





Please be careful in that the GOP has been sending vote by mail applications for the GOP primary to good democrats including Juanita Jean. Make sure that your application is for the Democratic Primary and not the GOP primary. If you filled out an application for the GOP primary by mistake, you can either go to the election office with your ballot to have it canceled and a new ballot issued for the Texas Democratic Primary or bring the ballot to either an early voting or your precinct on election/primary day to have that ballot canceled. You should be able to vote in the Democratic primary even if the GOP fooled you.

Cartoon on Fox News fact checkers

Texas Voter ID law is a poll tax

Only one of the plaintiffs in the Texas voter id lawsuit are pushing the concept that the Texas voter id law is a poll tax. There are two lower court rulings in Georgia and Arizona that have rejected this concept but I still think that this is a good argument. Here is some of my research.

Texas is one of a few states with no opt out provision where a voter can vote by signing an affidavit attesting to the fact that they are unable to get the required documents to get the id. Wisconsin has a similar law and that case is pending.bill http://m.jsonline.com/230511991.htm

One difference between Wisconsin's law and Indiana's concerns those unable to get identification. In Indiana, people who can't get IDs can sign sworn statements and still vote. In Wisconsin, there is no such system.

Wisconsin makes state IDs available for voting for free, but some voters find they still have to pay fees for birth certificates or other documents necessary to qualify for the free IDs. That amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax, opponents of the law say.

Leaders of the state Assembly have said they plan to pass a bill this month allowing indigent people to sign affidavits so they can vote. But state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has said he does not want to take up changes to the voter ID law until there are more court rulings

The decision in the Wisconsin case is due out sometime this spring.

There is one other state that had a strict voter id law with no opt out which is Missouri. The Missouri state supreme court ruled that the Missouri law as a poll tax. Weinschenk v. State, 203 SW 3d 201 - Mo: Supreme Court 2006 http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16462019301480907426

Plaintiffs in this case, on the other hand, offered testimony of specific Missouri voters who will have to incur the costs associated with birth certificates and other documentation to acquire a photo ID and vote. Specifically, Plaintiff Weinschenk will have to pay $12 for her birth certificate; Plaintiff von Glahn, who was asked to pay $11 for his "free" non-driver's license required to vote under the statute, will have to pay another $20 for his birth certificate. Others, like Plaintiff Mullaney, may have to incur more substantial costs for additional documentation because their names have changed since their birth. Additionally, elections officials testified to the substantial number of other otherwise qualified Missouri voters who also must pay a fee in order to vote.

Based on this evidence, the trial court found that this cost was directly connected to Plaintiffs' exercise of the right to vote. The trial court also found that the citizens who currently lack the requisite photo ID are generally "the least equipped to bear the costs." For Missourians who live beneath the poverty line, the $15 they must pay in order to obtain their birth certificates and vote is $15 that they must subtract from their meager ability to feed, shelter, and clothe their families. The exercise of fundamental rights cannot be conditioned upon financial expense. Cf. Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, 16-19 (1956) (holding that due process and equal protection require that indigent defendants are entitled to pursue appeals without payment of costs). In this case, Plaintiffs proved that these costs must be incurred for citizens who lack the SB 1014 mandated photo IDs to exercise their right to vote.


The Texas law is clearly set up so that there is no way to get a “free” identification without a birth certificate and so SB 14 should be more vulnerable to this claim than the other statutes which either have opt out provisions or alternative methods of getting a “free” id. Justice Stevens evidently thought that it was important that older voters could use Medicare cards in the Crawford case. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=07-21&friend=nytimes In footnote 18 of Justice Stevens opinion in the Crawford case, the fact that the Indiana statute did not require birth certificates was important to the court

Footnote 18
As petitioners note, Brief for Petitioners in No. 07-21, p. 17, n. 7, and the State's "Frequently Asked Questions" Web page states, it appears that elderly persons who can attest that they were never issued a birth certificate may present other forms of identification as their primary document to the Indiana BMV, including Medicaid/Medicare cards and Social Security benefits statements. http://www.in.gov/faqs.htm; see also Ind. Admin. Code, tit. 140, §7-4-3 ("The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may accept reasonable alternate documents to satisfy the requirements of this rule".


There is no similar provisions is SB 14. Even the horrible North Carolina law is better on this issue compared to Texas. According to the DOJ petition, a voter can get free copies of birth certificates and marriage licenses if a voter needs such documents for a “free” voter id. http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/dojnclawsuit.pdf

Further, although HB 589 requires a North Carolina register of deeds to issue without charge a certified copy of a birth certificate or marriage license to any registered voter who declares that he or she needs the document to obtain a photo identification in order to vote, it does not address any fees that will be imposed on voters who will have to obtain the requisite underlying documentation from out-of-state agencies.


Texas really has a more restrictive law than the North Carolina law in that a voter has to pay either $22 if they order a birth certificate by mail or $3 if the voter goes to the county clerk’s office. There is also no provision for a voter in Texas to get a reduced cost marriage license which is needed in Texas for married women in Texas who are not using the name on their birth certificate. http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/electionID.htm A strong case can be made that Texas is the most restrictive voter id law in the country.

The Texas voter id law goes to trial on September 2, 2014 but before that trial setting there will be motions and cross motions for summary judgment. I am really hopeful that the federal judge strikes down the Texas voter id law.

Texas Voter ID law is a poll tax

Only one of the plaintiffs in the Texas voter id lawsuit are pushing the concept that the Texas voter id law is a poll tax. There are two lower court rulings in Georgia and Arizona that have rejected this concept but I still think that this is a good argument. Here is some of my research.

Texas is one of a few states with no opt out provision where a voter can vote by signing an affidavit attesting to the fact that they are unable to get the required documents to get the id. Wisconsin has a similar law and that case is pending.bill http://m.jsonline.com/230511991.htm
One difference between Wisconsin's law and Indiana's concerns those unable to get identification. In Indiana, people who can't get IDs can sign sworn statements and still vote. In Wisconsin, there is no such system.

Wisconsin makes state IDs available for voting for free, but some voters find they still have to pay fees for birth certificates or other documents necessary to qualify for the free IDs. That amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax, opponents of the law say.

Leaders of the state Assembly have said they plan to pass a bill this month allowing indigent people to sign affidavits so they can vote. But state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has said he does not want to take up changes to the voter ID law until there are more court rulings

The decision in the Wisconsin case is due out sometime this spring.

There is one other state that had a strict voter id law with no opt out which is Missouri. The Missouri state supreme court ruled that the Missouri law as a poll tax. Weinschenk v. State, 203 SW 3d 201 - Mo: Supreme Court 2006 http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16462019301480907426
Plaintiffs in this case, on the other hand, offered testimony of specific Missouri voters who will have to incur the costs associated with birth certificates and other documentation to acquire a photo ID and vote. Specifically, Plaintiff Weinschenk will have to pay $12 for her birth certificate; Plaintiff von Glahn, who was asked to pay $11 for his "free" non-driver's license required to vote under the statute, will have to pay another $20 for his birth certificate. Others, like Plaintiff Mullaney, may have to incur more substantial costs for additional documentation because their names have changed since their birth. Additionally, elections officials testified to the substantial number of other otherwise qualified Missouri voters who also must pay a fee in order to vote.

Based on this evidence, the trial court found that this cost was directly connected to Plaintiffs' exercise of the right to vote. The trial court also found that the citizens who currently lack the requisite photo ID are generally "the least equipped to bear the costs." For Missourians who live beneath the poverty line, the $15 they must pay in order to obtain their birth certificates and vote is $15 that they must subtract from their meager ability to feed, shelter, and clothe their families. The exercise of fundamental rights cannot be conditioned upon financial expense. Cf. Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, 16-19 (1956) (holding that due process and equal protection require that indigent defendants are entitled to pursue appeals without payment of costs). In this case, Plaintiffs proved that these costs must be incurred for citizens who lack the SB 1014 mandated photo IDs to exercise their right to vote.


The Texas law is clearly set up so that there is no way to get a “free” identification without a birth certificate and so SB 14 should be more vulnerable to this claim than the other statutes which either have opt out provisions or alternative methods of getting a “free” id. Justice Stevens evidently thought that it was important that older voters could use Medicare cards in the Crawford case. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=07-21&friend=nytimes In footnote 18 of Justice Stevens opinion in the Crawford case, the fact that the Indiana statute did not require birth certificates was important to the court

Footnote 18
As petitioners note, Brief for Petitioners in No. 07-21, p. 17, n. 7, and the State's "Frequently Asked Questions" Web page states, it appears that elderly persons who can attest that they were never issued a birth certificate may present other forms of identification as their primary document to the Indiana BMV, including Medicaid/Medicare cards and Social Security benefits statements. http://www.in.gov/faqs.htm; see also Ind. Admin. Code, tit. 140, §7-4-3 ("The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may accept reasonable alternate documents to satisfy the requirements of this rule".


There is no similar provisions is SB 14. Even the horrible North Carolina law is better on this issue compared to Texas. According to the DOJ petition, a voter can get free copies of birth certificates and marriage licenses if a voter needs such documents for a “free” voter id. http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/dojnclawsuit.pdf

Further, although HB 589 requires a North Carolina register of deeds to issue without charge a certified copy of a birth certificate or marriage license to any registered voter who declares that he or she needs the document to obtain a photo identification in order to vote, it does not address any fees that will be imposed on voters who will have to obtain the requisite underlying documentation from out-of-state agencies.


Texas really has a more restrictive law than the North Carolina law in that a voter has to pay either $22 if they order a birth certificate by mail or $3 if the voter goes to the county clerk’s office. There is also no provision for a voter in Texas to get a reduced cost marriage license which is needed in Texas for married women in Texas who are not using the name on their birth certificate. http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/electionID.htm A strong case can be made that Texas is the most restrictive voter id law in the country.

The Texas voter id law goes to trial on September 2, 2014 but before that trial setting there will be motions and cross motions for summary judgment. I am really hopeful that the federal judge strikes down the Texas voter id law.



Knox judge faces allegations of impropriety

The idiot who was the main judge in the latest Knox trial gave a rather stupid interview to the Italian media last week. It appears that according to this idiot the jury came up with a motive for the crime all on their own. If that is the case, then in the US the case would be overturned due to jury misconduct.

It seems that the even under what passes for a justice system in Italy, it is not a good idea for a judge to give a press interview while a trial is still pending. http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/knox-judge-faces-allegations-of-impropriety

The judge who announced the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for murder is facing allegations of impropriety that could result in disciplinary proceedings.

Defense lawyers for Sollecito, Knox's co-defendant, said Monday they will request disciplinary action against Florence Judge Alessandro Nencini as a result of comments the presiding appellate court judge made on Sollecito's defense strategy to Italian media following Thursday's guilty verdict — and that the comments could form part of their planned appeal of the verdict.

"This is not a vendetta because a judge handed down a sentence other than what we expected," defense lawyer Luca Maori said by telephone on Monday. Maori said Sollecito's defense will ask the the magistrate's governing body, the Judicial Ministry, and Italy's supreme Court of Cassation to take disciplinary action, calling the comments on defense strategy a "serious" breach.

Knox defense lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said in an emailed statement that the interviews were "not appropriate," but he reserved comment on any action until the court's reasoning for the verdict is issued, expected within 90 days of the sentence. Knox's defense also is planning to appeal the verdict

Based on the evidence described in another thread, it is clear to me that this case would have never made it to a jury in the United States. It is also clear that it is the Italian media who had decided that Amanda Knox is guilty and that the facts in this case had little to do with the verdict. The giving of a press interview by the judge in this case is yet another example of the type of conduct that has caused me to conclude that the Italian justice system is a joke.

Again, judges do not give press interviews during a trial (which is still pending until the written explanation is delivered) and the judge should not be feeding the media frenzy that convicted Amanda Knox
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