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LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
June 25, 2015

Two years ago today, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act

Two years ago today, the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County vs. Holder opinion. This is also a good time to remember the importance of the SCOTUS and the importance of the swing vote http://www.projectvote.org/blog/2015/06/shelby-county-and-the-power-of-the-scotus-swing-vote/

Two years ago today, the Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to the Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County v. Holder decision. Shelby County invalidated the coverage formula of the VRA, effectively nullifying the section that required jurisdictions that had a history of discriminatory voting practices to get federal preclearance before any new voting practices could be implemented. In the years since Shelby County, the number of states that have proposed laws that restrict access to voting is staggering. The obvious and far-reaching effects of this 5-4 decision highlight the incredible influence and power a single Supreme Court justice possesses.

Shelby County is not unique in its 5-4 split. It is not unusual for the outcome of a case to depend on the decision of a single swing justice. Some of the most prominent cases since the turn of the century have been 5-4 decisions: Bush v. Gore, Citizens United v. FEC, NFIB v. Sebelius (Affordable Care Act). When the fate of such consequential cases can hinge on a single vote, the retirement and replacement of just one new justice could be huge.

The current SCOTUS bench is among the oldest since the New Deal. The average age of retirement for the past nine justices is 80.3 years old, and there are already several sitting justices who are approaching or past that age. It is the role of the president to appoint new Supreme Court justices, and because of the age of the current bench, he or she will almost surely be called upon to fulfill that duty. As 2016 approaches, the prospects of another general election that could includes another Clinton or Bush may leave many Americans feeling less excited about the election than they did it years past. With several aging Supreme Court justices, however, the significance of the 2016 election—irrespective of the eventual nominees—is astronomical.
Justice Age
2016 2020 2024
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 83 87 91
Antonin Scalia 80 84 88
Anthony Kennedy 80 84 88
Stephen Breyer 78 82 86

The table above shows the ages of the four oldest justices at the next three elections. The justices’ ages in 2024 are included because incumbent presidents who run for reelection win two-thirds of the time, meaning that whoever is elected in 2016 has a good chance of remaining in office until 2025 if he or she chooses to run again.

This election will be one of the most important election in recent history as to the direction of the SCOTUS. I live in Texas and I have seen the results of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Turnout in the 2014 race was depressed for Democratic candidates. In my county, it appears that we lost 9000 to 11000 votes. Statewide the GOP candidate for governor in the 2014 race got 10000 more votes than the GOP candidate in 2010 but the Democratic candidate was done almost 300,000 votes.

Elections have consequences we need to remember how important the SCOTUS is. Two years ago today, we saw the Voting Rights Act gutted.
June 18, 2015

HRC Room-Movement on voting rights following Hillary Clinton pitch

It has only been two weeks since Hillary Clinton's speech on voting rights and there have been some meaningful and significant movement in this area http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/movement-voting-rights-following-hillary-clinton-pitch?cid=eml_mra_20150616 Normally you do not see much movement in this area but HRC may have accelerated the consideration of changes to voting rights

June 9, 2015

Texas pool party chaos: Police officer resigns

Source: CNN

The actions of Eric Casebolt, the police corporal shown in a video responding to reports of fighting at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, were "indefensible," the city's police chief said in a news conference Tuesday announcing the corporal's resignation. "Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions," Police Chief Greg Conley said. "He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/09/us/mckinney-texas-pool-party-video/index.html

This officer had to go
May 7, 2015

It is not a good idea to locate a voting center in a police station or branch office

Excuse my frustration. My county is adopting countywide voting which means that on election day a voter can vote at any voting location in the county and not just at their local precinct. I have been an election judge a couple of times each cycle and it is painful to tell someone five minutes before polls close that they are at the wrong location. This plan eliminates that problem.

We had a meeting to discuss locations for polling center and two GOP mayors of small towns really wanted polling locations/voting centers in their local police stations. My county party chair and I went nuts on this suggestion and hurt their feelings. We also had an argument that if it was okay to have a polling location at a supermarket where white people shop, then it was also okay to have a voting center at an other supermarket where less well off people shopped.

It was a frustrating meeting

May 1, 2015

How Bernie Sanders running for president helps Hillary Clinton

I found this article to be interesting http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/04/bernie_sanders_running_for_president_helps_hillary_clinton_the_vermont_senator.html

If this continues to be the Vermont senator’s approach, Sanders will be more of a help to Clinton’s presidential chances than he will be to his own.

The first bonus that Sanders provides for Clinton, say her supporters, is that he becomes a foil. One of Clinton’s Democratic allies in Congress explained that with a country that prefers general election candidates closer to the middle, Sanders will always offer proof that Clinton is not really that far left. He does for Clinton what Howard Dean did for John Kerry in 2004.....

In 2012 Rep. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had a symbiotic relationship in the Republican campaign. Paul elevated his own profile and gave his voters an outlet, but he never pointed out the yawning gaps between what he claimed to believe so deeply and the positions of the man who was on his way to being the party’s inevitable nominee. It’s way too early to see if Sanders will play the same role for Clinton, but it has started out that way.

Sanders is such a long shot that those who share his views might be OK with the consolation prize of imitation from Clinton. But if her move to the left is simply rhetorical, she can shed that rhetoric in the general election as candidates often do. This would be another reason for Sanders to press his case with more definition.

In 2014, Kerry did look very moderate compared to Howard Dean and Ron Paul did in effect work with Romney in 2012. I really think that having Sanders in the race will help HRC and get rid of the talking point that the primary process is a coronation. I remember the Ron Paul/Mitt Romney relationship in 2012 (Paul is from near my neck of the woods) and the two never directly attacked the other. Paul got increased exposure for his positions and Romney was made to look more reasonable.
April 15, 2015

Anyone doing the online Jeopardy tryout?

There is an online test at 8 PM CDT tonight.

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