Dec 7, 2016

Scale of Voting Obstruction Project Is Not Acknowledged

Consider Wisconsin election law and the failure and refusal of elected representatives, bureaucrats, corporate press and most of the judiciary to note the intent behind unconstitutional voter obstruction, beyond passing comment. The voting rights community is small and its prospects are not heartening.

On the racist, voter obstructionist side, we have Wisconsin Republicans.

Wisconsin Republicans, and only Republicans, crafted the transformation of Wisconsin election law since they assumed elected office in 2011. This is a fact of Wisconsin public policy, and is noted in the July 2016 opinion in the voting rights case, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen (U.S. District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin (Case 15-cv-324)). (Worth noting, as well, is Judge James T. Peterson's silly and polemical characterization of Republican-enacted election law changes as "election reforms." [See page 8. "Since [2011], Wisconsin has implemented a series of election reforms. These laws covered almost every aspect of voting: registration, absentee voting, photo identification, and election-day mechanics." What's Peterson going to do later when the Republican-enacted photo voter ID is further litigated, adopt the Republican Hans von Spakovsky, and John Fund's talking point, 'Easy to vote, hard to cheat,' as his own? (Mal Contends) (Mal Contends).])

Peterson's bending over to find no fault with Wisconsin Republican motives in his One Wisconsin opinion, [Peterson found some fault], ignores both the intent and the effect of Republicans' work to block voters. Republicans stopped 10,000s of voters living in the black sectors of Milwaukee from voting so mission accomplished in election 2016, but with not enough help from Peterson protecting voters.

Effect of Republican Voter Obstruction Laws

Election law scholars, Lawrence Tribe, Ned Foley, Rich Hasan and Chris Carson, weigh in on the question of obstruction effect on voters this week.

A citizen's right and ability to vote is worth considering under the assumption that the political appointees, federal judges like Peterson, are political animals, and upon assumption to the bench do not suddenly become dispassionate Constitutional geniuses. Federal judges most often can be best understand as politicians in robes, and as such write opinions that are politic. Broadly so legal-political commentary and analysis written by politicians have he same defect.

Very rarely will readers find in the judiciary or the academy a finding of fact that Wisconsin Republicans for example, and only Republicans, craft law after law to obstruct the vote, and use new election laws to administer elections in an unconstitutional fashion.

I've yet to find widespread note that Wisconsin Republicans' legislative objective is to frustrate, aggravate, and obstruct as many minority, young and disabled voters as possible in an effort to suppress the total vote in favor of the Republican Party, (Mal Contends).

It should not be surprising that Lawrence Tribe's comment on voter obstruction has been met with widespread hostile commentary. Tribe writes, "Call it what you like, but the # of voters turned away for not having required forms of ID exceeded margin of T’s victory in MI, Pa and Wis."

It takes a major social-scientific investigation to quantify the phenomenon of voter obstruction, because protecting voting just is not in the cards of American political culture. But Tribe is certainly correct from data in the Milwaukee black and brown areas alone.

Wisconsin Republicans have since 2011 worked to transform every corner of government into Republican operations, (Mal Contends) (Mal Contends).

One of the first Republican-enacted changes to with respect to the adminstration of Wisconsin election law was the Republicans' concerted effort in 2011 to staff 3,500 polling places with Republican partisans, to further the objective of obstructing the vote of undesirables.

The lack of acknowledgement and challenge to this Republican attack on the foundation of American democracy should send chills through the political world. I don't believe this is the case, and we should all thank Lawrence Tribe and Chris Carson for noting the scale of the Republican voting obstruction project.

Who are the Republicans staffing your local polling place? Ask your local municipal clerk to find out. Tape record the conversation, the recording may come in handy.

In the meantime, check out the conversation in Ned Foley and Rich Hasan's sites. A great conversation, but one which omits the prospects for voting for 10,000s of black and brown Americans.

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