Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Escape from the ‘Devonian Amber’: A Reply to Voting and Vice”

Alec Ewald has written this Essay for the Yale Law Journal Online.  Here is the abstract:

This Essay replies to Richard Re and Christopher Re’s Voting and Vice. That article, recently published in The Yale Law Journal, demonstrates that the inclusion of the phrase “other crime” in Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment was no accident, and the authors contend that widespread support for criminal disenfranchisement in the Reconstruction Congress should enhance the restriction’s status today. This Essay argues that those who wrote disenfranchisement into the U.S. Constitution did so from a context far removed from the views to which Americans adhere today when they talk about voting and political equality. Despite the fact that some Republicans made principled arguments contrasting criminal disenfranchisement with African-American enfranchisement, citizens and legislators who propose to abolish or restrict disenfranchisement neither dishonor nor render incoherent the Reconstruction Amendments.


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“The G.O.P.’s Diversity Deserts”

Charles Blow: “Too many House Republican districts are isolated in naturally homogeneous areas or gerrymandered ghettos, so elected officials there rarely hear — or see — the great and growing diversity of this country and the infusion of energy and ideas and art with which it enriches us. These districts produce representatives unaccountable to the confluence. And this will likely be the case for the next decade.

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“Clerk’s $4K recount charge includes staff prep time”

The Modesto Bee:

Former Mayor Virginia Madueño’s supporters said the Stanislaus County election office shouldn’t charge them for staff salaries for the week before ballots were recounted in the November mayoral race.

Madueño is contesting an itemized bill showing that Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan charged almost $4,000 for her time spent on the December recount. A Madueño supporter who asked for the recount was billed $10,217 by Lundrigan’s office for an effort that lasted 5½ hours before it was called off.

In addition to a required $2,400 deposit to start the Dec. 10 recount, county elections sent a bill six weeks later seeking payment of an extra $7,817, based on staff time to prepare for the tally.


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Quote of the Day: Colorado Edition

““If I lose — if [Democrats] win — I think what’s going to happen is that every state politician is going to be fearful to stand up for election integrity for the next few decades…. And this stuff matters. What’s coming down the pike — same-day voter registration, all-mail ballots — what they’re doing is trying to take a very radical agenda and shove it through, and then they’re going to change the election laws and seal their victory so we can’t undo it. That’s what they’re trying to do. That’s what’s at stake here.”

—Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, one of the most controversial chief election officers in the country, announcing his reelection bid.

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“High court poised to upend civil rights policies”

Hope Yen has written this extensive report for AP, which begins:

Has the nation lived down its history of racism and should the law become colorblind?

Addressing two pivotal legal issues, one on affirmative action and a second on voting rights, a divided Supreme Court is poised to answer those questions.

In one case, the issue is whether race preferences in university admissions undermine equal opportunity more than they promote the benefits of racial diversity. Just this past week, justices signaled their interest in scrutinizing affirmative action very intensely, expanding their review as well to a Michigan law passed by voters that bars “preferential treatment” to students based on race. Separately in a second case, the court must decide whether race relations — in the South, particularly — have improved to the point that federal laws protecting minority voting rights are no longer warranted.

The questions are apt as the United States closes in on a demographic tipping point, when nonwhites will become a majority of the nation’s population for the first time. That dramatic shift is expected to be reached within the next generation, and how the Supreme Court rules could go a long way in determining what civil rights and equality mean in an America long divided by race.


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