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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
Number of posts: 15,113

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Wisconsin State Supreme Court engage in some extreme Judicial Activism to save voter id law

The Wisconsin state supreme court upheld the Wisconsin voter id law but looked seriously at the poll tax issue and decided that fees paid to obtain the documents necessary to get a “free” id are not allowed and may be poll taxes. In order to find the Wisconsin law constitutional, the Wisconsin state supreme court engaged in some serious judicial activism and created a waiver where a voter who does not have a document necessary to get a free id can file for a waiver. http://wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=118667

¶69 In order to harmonize the directive of Wis. Stat. § 343.50(5)(a)3., which says no fees; statutes such as Wis. Stat. § 69.22, which impose payment of fees; and Wis. Admin. Code § Trans 102.15(3)(a), which requires certain documents for which electors may be required to pay fees to government agencies, we construe § Trans 102.15(3)(b). We do so to preserve the constitutionality of § 343.50(5), as follows: One who petitions an administrator pursuant to § Trans 102.15(3)(b) for an exception is constitutionally "unable" to provide those documents and they are constitutionally "unavailable" to the petitioner within our interpretation of § Trans 102.13(3)(b), so long as petitioner does not have the documents and would be required to pay a government agency to obtain them.

¶70 Stated otherwise, to invoke an administrator's discretion in the issuance of a DOT photo identification card to vote, an elector: (1) makes a written petition to a DMV administrator as directed by Wis. Admin. Code § Trans 102.15(3)(b) set forth above; (2) asserts he or she is "unable" to provide documents required by § Trans 102.15(3)(a) without paying a fee to a government agency to obtain them; (3) asserts those documents are "unavailable" without the payment of such a fee; and (4) asks for an exception to the provision of § Trans 102.15(3)(a) documents whereby proof of name and date of birth that have been provided are accepted. § Trans 102.15(3)(b) and (c). Upon receipt of a petition for an exception, the administrator, or his or her designee, shall exercise his or her discretion in a constitutionally sufficient manner.

¶71 We further conclude that filing a Wis. Admin. Code § Trans 102.15(3)(b) petition for an exception with a DMV administrator, as set forth above, is not a severe burden on the right to vote. Accordingly, because the burdens of time, inconvenience and costs upon electors' right to vote are not severe under our interpretation of § Trans 102.15, we apply a rational basis level of scrutiny in determining whether Act 23 is constitutional. Mary F.-R., 351 Wis. 2d 273, ¶35; Wagner, 263 Wis. 2d 709, ¶84. As the Supreme Court has explained, it is erroneous to assume that a law that regulates voting must be subject to strict scrutiny. Burdick, 504 U.S. at 432. Strict scrutiny applies only when a statute imposes a severe burden on the exercise of the franchise. Id. at 434.

I read this exception to include any and all documents including a birth certificate from a state other than Wisconsin. This is a major change to the law that makes it a great deal easier to live with and guts the voter suppression effects of the law. There is great language in the opinion on the poll tax issue that will be helpful for the Veasey plaintiffs in the Texas voter id case.

Democrats roll out plan for aggressive voter protection program

I listened to this call this morning http://quorumreport.com/quorum_report_daily_buzz_2014/democrats_roll_out_plan_for_aggressive_voter_prote_buzziid22285.html

Calling it the “largest and most comprehensive voter protection program Texas has ever seen,” the Wendy Davis campaign along with Battleground Texas on Tuesday essentially said they’re ready to go to war to ensure minorities and others are able to make their voices heard in the November election.

Davis’ campaign manager Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, told volunteers and reporters on a morning conference call that the stakes are too high to take anything for granted. He and others said it has become the norm for voters to be disenfranchised only to have that information become known after the election results are in and it’s too late to do anything about it.

That’s why Democratic groups are being proactive this time around, Turner said.

Sen. Davis joined the call as well to tout her record in the Texas Senate on voter protection as well as her participation in court battles over the issue. She sought to contrast that with her Republican rival Attorney General Greg Abbott, who she said has tried to weaken the voting power of some Texans through redistricting as well as his philosophical and legal support for Texas’ voter ID law. "He is not working for all Texans," Davis said. “We have certainly never accomplished anything in America with less democracy and we are not going to start now," she said.

When asked by Quorum Report about what the effort will actually entail, Battleground laid out some ambitious numbers.

I have meet with the Battleground Texas voter protection director. She was with the Brennan Center and knows this area. The fact that we are starting on the infrastructure for voter protection in July is very encouraging to me. In years past, the DNC voter protection effort kept on trying to get me to go to Ohio or Florida. This year everyone is staying put to make sure that Texas voters are allowed to vote.

I was also pleased to hear something that you will never hear from a republican. It was stated more than once that the goal of this program is to protect the rights of all voters and not just a select few who may vote for our candidates. This is the same message that I heard in 2004 from the Kerry Edwards voter protection team and I am glad that this concept is still part of Democratic voter protection efforts

I am having issues cutting and pasting material on DU and Discussionist

I know that I have cut the material in question because I can paste it into a word document. When I try to paste on DU or Discussionist, nothing happens if I right click or left click on the mouse. I am using Google chrome. I had problems this morning but the the issue cleared up

Help-I can not copy and paste links or material in DU or Discussionist

I was trying to copy and paste something on Discussionist and then on DU and the paste function does not work

US Appeals Court Rules University Of Texas Can Use Race As Factor In College Admissions

I am looking for more on this. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-appeals-court-rules-university-texas-can-use-race-factor-college-admissions See also http://electionlawblog.org/?p=63341
A press release from the Project on Fair Representation says there will be further appeal. It is not clear if it will be to the en banc 5th Circuit or a cert petition to the Supreme Court again.

Here is a link to the opinion http://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/fisher-remand.pdf

The SCOTUS told the 5th Cir. to review the UT admission policy in light of new standard and the 5th Cir. found that the UT admission policy was still acceptable.

Voter ID case is going to trial (Texas' motion to dismiss mostly overruled)

Greg Abbott has been trying to get all of the claims and lawsuits dismissed in the Texas voter id lawsuit. The State of Texas made several motions to dismiss and attacked the standing of all of the plaintiffs in this case trying to keep the case from going to trial. On July 2, 2014, the court ruled against Greg Abbott's motions for the most part. http://electionlawblog.org/?p=63103

The court mostly denied Texas’s motion to dismiss, even allowing claims to go forward at this point on voter id as a poll tax and as a First Amendment violation. That’s not to say these will be winning claims, but it is significant that plaintiffs will get to advance a number of federal theories against the id law.

The only bad thing is that the counties of Dallas and Hidalgo were found not to have standing in this case and were dismissed out.

This means that the key federal causes of actions were upheld and can go to trial. Normally in a big case like this in the corporate world, the defendants start talking settlement after losing their motions to dismiss. There will be no settlement in this case given the fact that Greg Abbott is staking his reputation on it.

Finally, is anyone surprised that Greg lost another round? Greg is a bad attorney

Texas Democratic Party Platform

I had a whole ten minutes to review the platform before we voted on it at the convention. Juanita Jean herownself was on the platform committee and she told us that it was the most progressive platform that she had seen and I believe her. I trust Juanita Jean on things like this. They worked on the platform for 12 hours on Thursday and started at 8 AM on Saturday and did not finish until 4:30 PM.

I will post a link when the platform is put up but from what I saw, it is a very progressive document that is a stark contrast to the Texas GOP platform. I think that we will be pleased with this document.

I have been rules committee since 8am at the state convention

Please send a rescue party

Greg Abbot is a bad lawyer-Court finds Texas Swagger Costs It Attorneys Fees in Voting Rights Case

Greg is a bad attorney. Wendy Davis won at the trial court level in the first redistricting case and the court awarded her attorney fees. Greg contested these attorney fees and the court was not kind to him http://electionlawblog.org/?p=62537

See this order in State of Texas v. Davis:

This matter presents a case study in how not to respond to a motion for attorney fees and costs. At issue is whether defendant-intervenors, who prevailed in Voting Rights Act litigation before a three-judge panel, may recoup attorney fees and costs even though the Supreme Court vacated that opinion in light of the Supreme Court’s subsequent decision in a different lawsuit that declared a section of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. A quick search of the Federal Reporter reveals the complexity of this narrow question. Yet, rather than engage the fee applicants, Plaintiff Texas basically ignores the arguments supporting an award of fees and costs. In a three-page filing entitled “Advisory,” Texas trumpets the Supreme Court’s decision, expresses indignation at having to respond at all, and presumes that the motion for attorney fees is so frivolous that Texas need not provide further briefing in opposition unless requested. Such an opposition is insufficient in this jurisdiction. Circuit precedent and the Local Rules of this Court provide that the failure to respond to an opposing party’s arguments results in waiver as to the unaddressed contentions, and the Court finds that Texas’s “Advisory” presents no opposition on the applicable law. Accordingly, the Court will award the requested fees and costs.

Again, Greg is a really bad attorney

Greg Abbott Uses Private Plane Owned By 'Gay Conversion Therapy' Funders

It is going to be hard for Greg to hide from the GOP party platform on this issue http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/greg-abbott-gay-therapy_n_5500480.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) dodged the question last week of whether he agrees with his party's support for "reparative therapy," a process purported to change the sexual orientation of gay people. But campaign records show the gubernatorial candidate has been flying around on a private plane donated by two billionaires who help fund the "ex-gay" movement.

Texas fracking tycoons Dan and Farris Wilks have given Abbott a combined total of more than $30,000 worth of in-kind donations this year for the use of a private plane. The Wilks' charitable trust, The Thirteen Foundation, has contributed nearly $3 million to groups that promote gay conversion therapy, a discredited pseudo-medical practice meant to change people's sexual orientation from gay to straight. The foundation also donates millions to anti-abortion and conservative religious groups.

Abbott's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Greg is not going to be able to hide from being associated with this platform plank
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