Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Five Worst People In America Today

I should say a little about the SCOTUS ruling yesterday - less of a ruling and more of a middle finger to Martin Luther King Jr., really - which is tough, because I'm just so depressed about it.  How did Bush vs Gore become only the second most ridiculous decision the court made this century?  How did concluding the person who sets your shifts, your hours, and your tasks at work isn't your supervisor become only the second most stupid thing Sam Alito said this June?  How did a black judge have the balls to stand up and say black people deciding what's best for black people is no less racist than white people saying what's best for black people? 

How can anyone believe in a loving God when not one of these people's faces burst into flames?

For those not in the know, there used to be a bunch of states - all of them with histories of deliberately trying to stop anyone not white from getting as far as the polling booth - who had to clear changes to their voting laws with the feds.  This is not just because of their past performace; some of these states to this day kept coming up with ideas the Justice Department had to overrule because they were so transparently aimed at keeping black and Hispanic citizens from getting to exercise their constitutional rights.  With the new decision declaring such activity bad because... something... five of the states previously covered have immediately launched new legislation aimed at screwing over any person who doesn't look like they belonged on the Mayflower unless they were scrubbing the decks.

People much smarter and with far more legal and constitutional knowledge than me are still picking over this thing trying to work out what happened.  Right now the best anyone can cobble together is that this part of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional because racism doesn't exist anymore.  You'd think all that would be needed to refute this would be to look at the states who'd prepared obviously racist legislation that they waited until the ruling to introduce to know that wasn't true, but instead the court looked at all the laws these states had passed that weren't aimed at suppression - because the VRA stopped them - and declared that clearly everything was fine.

SCJ Ginsberg pointed out that this was equivalent to throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you're not getting wet, presumably because she didn't think she could get away with calling it tossing out your birth control since none of your fucking led to pregnancy.

(Not for nothing, but try and imagine this court striking down the Second Amendment on the grounds that times have changed and the King of England ain't gonna head over to demand back taxes no more.)

There is zero chance this Congress will fix the issue.  There is zero chance anyone with any clout in the US media will report on this issue, at least not in any stronger terms than "Democrats say these laws are racist, Republicans disagree, logic and maths are hard so who knows".  Tens - hundreds? - of thousands of people just lost their de facto right to vote in America.  Corporations might be people, but the rural poor are landscape features.

The Republican party have faced a stark choice these last few years: embrace minorities, or disenfranchise them.  The choice they've made is obvious to anyone with access to a television screen or an internet connection.  This week, SCOTUS decided the biggest problem with that choice was that it was going to be a hard sell, legally speaking. 

Today, that is no longer the case.

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