Restore Voting Rights of Ex-Felons

If you’ve read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness — and you really should, it’s an incredibly important book — you know how our criminal justice system has, intentionally or not, reestablished the reality of the Jim Crow south. Our obsessive focus on drugs and the obsessive focus within that problem on black drug sellers and users (who use and sell drugs at the same rate as whites) has resulted in millions of black men in particular in prison. And that often results in their disenfranchisement as well.
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The Real Problem With the Voting Rights Act Ruling

This morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Shelby County v Holder, which challenged two sections of the Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1966 but reauthorized several times, most recently in 2006 by a nearly unanimous vote of Congress. There’s some good news and some bad news in that ruling, which can be viewed here.
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TX Tea Party Leader Doesn’t Want Blacks to Vote

Republican leaders in Texas held a conference last weekend to talk about how to prevent that state from going Democratic in the next few years as demographic shifts suggest that’s entirely possible. And one Tea Party leader, probably thinking he was safe in a room full of allies, blurted out the truth:
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Oral Argument on the Voting Rights Act Challenge

The Supreme Court on Wednesday hear oral argument in Shelby County v Holder, the case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that states and counties with a history of suppressing the vote on racial grounds get permission from the DOJ or a panel of federal judges before making any changes to their voting laws that affect racial minorities. And it looks as though that law is in serious trouble now, with four clear votes to strike it down and Kennedy seeming to lean that way as well.
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Michigan Republicans Overwhelmingly Support Vote-Rigging Scheme

The Republican and Democratic parties in Michigan held their state conventions this past weekend. The Democrats wisely got rid of their chairman, Mark Brewer (covering him for most of the last few years was highly annoying; he was the king of the outrageous and badly reasoned press release). And the Republicans showed overwhelming support for a proposed scheme to hand out the state’s electoral votes by electoral district rather than by popular vote.
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