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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 03:58 PM
Number of posts: 90,959

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Statement of Senator John McCain


Texas: Hurricane Harvey victims shocked to find out voter registration was suspended KTRK

Check your voter registrations https://thevotingnews.com/hurricane-harvey-victims-shocked-to-find-out-voter-registration-was-suspended-ktrk/

Displaced Hurricane Harvey victims still struggling to recover are now having to worry about one more thing: whether they can vote in next month’s primary. The problem of suspended voter registrations began bubbling up this week. Nikki Thomason, one of hundreds of people displaced when her Thornwood neighborhood filled with water, never thought her right to vote could be swept away too. “Angry, angry, you know it’s kind of funny the people who are angriest with the government right now, are the people whose votes have been suspended,” she said.

Thomason and other displaced flood victims checking their voter registration online were shocked to see messages their registrations were in suspense. Many were not sure if they would be able to vote in the highly anticipated March primaries.

“What went through my mind is, why am I am suspended and why has nobody told me, surely thousands of people are in the same position,” said Kimberly Truitt-Turner, another flood victim from the west side.

Judge Strikes Down Felon Disenfranchisement System in Florida

Source: Mother Jones

A federal judge in Florida has struck down Florida’s system for determining which ex-felons have the right to vote, handing an unexpected victory to advocates of broader voting rights.

Florida is one of a handful of states that permanently disenfranchise convicted felons, even after they have completed the terms of their sentence. The result is that more than 1.5 million Floridians are barred from voting, including 20 percent of voting-age African Americans. In November, Floridians will vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn the state’s disenfranchisement law.

Judge Mark Walker’s ruling Thursday does not address the legality of felon disenfranchisement, but rather the manner in which the state haphazardly restores voting rights to some former felons. In Florida, felons must individually apply for rights restoration, often imploring the governor and his Cabinet in person for their rights. That practice, detailed in 2015 by Mother Jones, makes restoring a person’s suffrage a personal decision by top state officials. Governors often determine whether to restore a citizen’s voting rights based on unrelated matters, such as his religiosity or number of traffic citations. Sometimes, the voting rights group challenging Florida’s regime has argued in this case, Republican governors may be swayed to restore voting rights to ex-felons who will vote for Republicans.

“In Florida, elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards,” Walker wrote in his opinion. “The question now is whether such a system passes constitutional muster. It does not.” Walker’s ruling, which came without holding a trial, found that Florida’s process violates the First Amendment as well as the 14th, which extends equal protection of the law to all residents.

Read more: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/judge-strikes-down-felon-disenfranchisement-system-in-florida/

Felon disenfranchisement is a holdover from the Jim Crow days. There is also a ballot issue on the 2018 ballot on re-enfranchisement of citizens who have served their sentences

The Founding Fathers designed impeachment for someone exactly like Donald Trump

I attended a CLE event where the author of this article spoke https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/10/15/the-founding-fathers-designed-impeachment-for-someone-exactly-like-donald-trump/?utm_term=.cbe589333ea9

Their writings and debates surrounding the creation of the Constitution make clear that the framers feared a certain kind of character coming to power and usurping the republican ideal of their new nation. Having just defeated a tyrant — “Mad” King George III of England — they carefully crafted rules to remove such a character: impeachment. In the process, they revealed precisely the kind of corrupt, venal, inattentive and impulsive character they were worried about.

The very embodiment of what the Founding Fathers feared is now residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Again and again, they anticipated attributes and behaviors that President Trump exhibits on an all-too-regular basis. By describing “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the grounds for impeachment, as any act that poses a significant threat to society — either through incompetence or other misdeeds — the framers made it clear that an official does not have to commit a crime to be subject to impeachment. Instead, they made impeachment a political process, understanding that the true threat to the republic was not criminality but unfitness, that a president who violated the country’s norms and values was as much a threat as one who broke its laws.

Gouverneur Morris, who wrote the Constitution’s preamble, and future president James Madison were worried about a leader who would “pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation” — theft of public funds — “or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers,” as Madison put it. Morris, who like many in the colonies believed King Charles had taken bribes from Louis XIV to support France’s war against the Dutch, declared that without impeachment we “expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate [the President] in foreign pay without being able to guard against it by displacing him.”

I also purchased a copy of her book on impeachment https://www.mhpbooks.com/books/a-citizens-guide-to-impeachment/ This is the key quote from the book

Impeachment is based upon “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust … as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” —Alexander Hamilton

I got an hour of CLE for listening to a great litigator talk about the legal issues on impeachment. This was a fun day
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