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(51,368 posts)
Wed Nov 29, 2023, 01:58 PM Nov 2023

A Rando Trump Judge Just Blew a Giant Hole in the Voting Rights Act


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In the movie The Matrix there is a famous interrogation scene. The hero (Keanu Reeves, playing Keanu Reeves) is being questioned by authorities, and asks for his constitutionally mandated phone call. The villain conducting the interrogation (Hugo Weaving, who hates the world of men in all movies) coldly responds, “What good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?” He then glues Reeves’s mouth shut.

Last Monday, just before Thanksgiving, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit tried to pull a villain move on the 15th Amendment of the Constitution by gluing shut the mouths of Black people fighting for the right to vote. In a shocking and legally dubious decision, the circuit ruled in Arkansas State Conference NAACP v. Arkansas Public Policy Panel that private citizens could not sue to protect their voting rights under the law that is literally named The Voting Rights Act. Trump-appointed judge David Stras wrote the decision.

If the ruling is upheld, the attorney general of the United States will, functionally, be the only person in a position to challenge states that violate the voting rights of Black people. That means that whenever there is a weak AG like Bill Barr or Merrick Garland, red states will be free to go back to their Confederate roots and ignore the 15th Amendment’s prohibition against racism in voting.

I appreciate that talking about “the right to sue” can sound like fancy lawyer-talk, but our individual rights mean nothing if we can’t sue the government to protect them. What good is a constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure if you can’t sue the cops who break into your house without a warrant? What good is the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment if you can’t sue the corrections officer who tortures you? Without lawsuits, constitutional protections are just suggestions that can be violated every time the government feels like ignoring them.


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A Rando Trump Judge Just Blew a Giant Hole in the Voting Rights Act (Original Post) Nevilledog Nov 2023 OP
Corrupting the judiciary is an important step in converting to fascism. Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2023 #1
IMHO, Corruption of the courts was the primary goal of Citizens United. Probatim Nov 2023 #2
Words hardly suffice. GOTV! jaxexpat Nov 2023 #3
The judge should be impeached SpankMe Nov 2023 #4


(2,560 posts)
2. IMHO, Corruption of the courts was the primary goal of Citizens United.
Wed Nov 29, 2023, 03:36 PM
Nov 2023

It's a lot easier to wreck democracy in elections where people have little information about who they are voting for. We've seen a dramatic increase in judicial race funding since the decision came down.

Add the Heritage Foundation's effort to vet the "right" judges and it's a recipe for disaster.


(6,900 posts)
3. Words hardly suffice. GOTV!
Wed Nov 29, 2023, 04:27 PM
Nov 2023

Apparently it matters very little that laws were passed by representatives of the governed when those laws can be circumvented by the will of rogue judges. Especially when rogue becomes the norm when Republicans appoint judges.

That's got to be the current GOP congress' philosophy.

It doesn't matter when we get nothing done, we're not enforcing existing laws so why pass new ones.
And they may have something there considering how since 1981 they've done everything possible to cause government to fail. All while Progressives kept plodding right along, doing the work, apparently unaware that the other side was letting the air out of the tires and spiking the fuel and stuff. Government has become ungovernable simply because, without consensus at some level, there is only chaos.


(2,978 posts)
4. The judge should be impeached
Wed Nov 29, 2023, 04:41 PM
Nov 2023

He's "interpreting" law and precedent like an 8th grader with paper-thin reasoning abilities rather than an experienced jurist.

He's saying that the law itself has to state that private citizens can sue. He's saying that that since the statute doesn't explicitly say this, only the attorney general may sue/enforce.

It is ridiculous to say that every statute passed by congress must include a list of all groups or entities who have standing to sue or seek a remedy/enforcement.

Well, lets beat the courts at their own game. If Dems keep the Senate and Whitehouse and can take the house next fall, we must amend the law to confer standing to any class necessary to enforce the Act.

Dems should be keeping a list of all such revisions needed on any law, and pre-write the drafts now. Then, when and if we can keep control of these branches, whip them out of our back pocket and ram-rod these through within the first few months. That's what Repubs did when Roe fell.

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