Skip to main content

Comments to my earlier diary on an Election Rights Constitutional Amendment have made a solid point that what I had suggested was too elaborate for an Amendment, and that the Constitution has to be concise and broad with the details left for statutory reform.  So I've pared it down to the absolute essentials, and this is what I think needs to be added to the Constitution.

1.  The right to vote shall not be infringed, nor shall government on any level involved in the electoral process fail to facilitate the equal, free, fair, accurate, thorough, and timely exercise of that right by all practical means.

2.  The federal government shall establish standards for all elections in order to comply with the above mandate and has the authority to enforce those standards.

3.  The federal government has the power to regulate the financing of political campaigns and related advertising in order to enforce compliance with the above mandates, but for no other purpose.  

4.  The federal government shall establish federal criminal penalties for the deliberate infringement of or failure by public officials to adequately facilitate the right to equal, free, fair, accurate, thorough, and timely exercise of voting in order to unfairly advantage or disadvantage a particular candidate, group of candidates, voter, group of voters, or ballot measure.

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm sure real-world Constitutional language would be somewhat different, but this is the gist of what is needed - regardless of its prospects for passage.  More practical Amendments designed to secure passage through self-interested states not wanting to cede power to the federal government would obviously by considerably different.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

    by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:55:02 AM PST

  •  There is no way #3 will survive the SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

    They know full well Citizens is being flaunted. The whole "Chinese wall" between campaigns and financers is a myth. And when Montana had their law brought before the SCOTUS they rejected it. If we had any hope the court might reconsider or clarify Citizens the Roberts court said, "F U". It stands by it's motto of "One dollar, one vote" (though it was nice to see that didn't work out so well for the Repukes this election)

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:01:59 AM PST

    •  A constitutional amendment (7+ / 0-)

      is by definition constitutional, because it becomes part of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has no say here.

      Not that we shouldn't consider the implications carefully...

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:06:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I misread, I thought this was a law being (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob

        proposed. I think we're going to have to give up on the idea of an amendment ever getting added to the Constitution at this point. With only 13 states needed to block it they're going to suffer the fate of the ERA. The South and parts of the mountain West will pretty much kill anything resembling progress of any form.

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:17:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But there's no time limit on passage. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ontheleftcoast

          You don't have to get every state you need on board within some fixed period of time, so you can get all the easy states to pass it, fight for the borderline states, then focus on the rest for as long as it takes.  Eventually even Blood Red state legislatures end up in our hands.  It's just a matter of "sticktoitiveness".

          "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

          by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:29:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it's been more than 40 years since we've (0+ / 0-)

            had an amendment to the Constitution. Until 1971 we got one roughly every 7 years. Sure, they came in fits and spurts but between needing 2/3rds of the Senate to get the ball rolling and 3/4ths of the States to ratify it the term "pipe-dream" comes to mind.

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:33:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Preemptive surrender is the religion of losers. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PatriciaVa

              "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

              by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:41:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And flailing at windmills is what exactly? (0+ / 0-)

                I think we can make things happen without wasting effort on the impossible.

                To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

                by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:46:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Um, no. 27th Amdt ratified in 1992 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Troubadour

              The one about congressional pay raises.

              •  It sat on the books for 200 years (0+ / 0-)

                I claim it wouldn't get out of the Senate if you proposed it in 1992 let alone today.

                To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

                by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:52:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We need a cultural shift ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ontheleftcoast, Simplify

                  ... I don't believe we talk about amending the constitution enough.  I do think the 27th Amendment is populist and non-ideological enough to pass again.

                  •  OK, that's a good point (0+ / 0-)

                    We do need to change this country. If changing the Constitution is what it takes then that's what we shoot for. But the whole ideology of election "fraud" is a problem. We talk about "free and fair" and we mean everyone. They talk about "free and fair" and then mean "white guys (women optional)". How do you reconcile something like that?

                    For example, an NBC affiliate in CA found that hundreds of dead Californians voted in the 2008/2010 election cycles. We'd all love to see a better system that eliminates that. But Republicans want to raise the barriers so high that hundreds of thousands of real voters would be turned away. The language in the amendment proposed here doesn't deal with the reality of record keeping still being 19th century and not 21st century based. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe not, but it does cause problems.

                    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

                    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:17:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  SCOTUS still resolves Constitutional Crises (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, FG

        If one part of the constitution appears at odds with another in any individual case (like an organization's right to speech and open petition of their government on an issue vs. this proposed regulatory power of campaigns and finance) the Federal Judiciary, leading ultimately to the SCOTUS, is the only authorized power to adjudicate that decision and decide how the Constitution is to be applied.

        They would still rule on this issue and could very easily rule that the inherit rights of the First Amendment trump any specific regulation Congress might pass in accordance with this new amendment.

        They do not have the power to strike the amendment, but they could continually rule that specific regulations are unacceptable infringements to core rights.

        Example:  Amendment 26 gives Congress the right to pass laws enforcing the right of any citizen over 18 to vote in all elections.  To this end, they could pass a law that says if you are found guilty of voter intimidation you are subjected to the death penalty or that the local polling officer can have you immediately jailed until the election is over without trial.

        The SCOTUS would (RIGHTLY) void these things on the grounds of the 8th Amendment as the death penalty OBVIOUSLY does not fit the crime and on the fact that jailing people without trials violates almost every clause of the 5th Amendment.

        The Constitution is there to explicitly guide the SCOTUS not to make any act or person immune from it.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:53:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair point, although (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour

          an amendment that explicitly conflicts with an earlier part of the Constitution overrules that part of the Constitution.

          Otherwise, they wouldn't be "amendments," they'd be "addenda."

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:51:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not how Ammendments work (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tle, erush1345, TiaRachel, FG

    I see what you are going for but.....

    1.  Right to vote.. this is covered by the 14th amendment.  And things like equal, free and fair would be covered under the "equal Protection clause

    2.  This directly and literally contradicts other portions of the Constitution (notably Art II, Sec 1) that grants the States explicit authority in managing their elections.  Remember, the federal government only exists as a representative body of the collection of States.  The one thing we still follow very closely about the founding document is the separation of powers.

    3.  Im not sure what this even means but it sounds like a combination of the federal power-grab of your second point (which the Constitution forbids) and a lot of campaign finance reform (which is Constitutionally questionable on the grounds of Free Speech)

    4.  The constitution is not the US Code of Laws.  it is the Framework that defines where governing power resides and how those powers relate to each other and the body politic.  The Federal government already has the power to set penalties for Federal Crimes.   You would have to pass this as some kind of law in the USC.  

    Currently, as mentioned above, this is a state-level regulation, so any state law about election tampering, etc would incur state-level penalties.  Changing this, again, requires a re-write of the federalist ideals of the Constitution by usurping the State's rights of managing their own elections.

    Lastly, if you are putting these things into the Constitution, they become Civil Rights.; therefore, the breech of these rights would be grounds for a CIVIL SUIT.  Criminal prosecutions require a higher burden of proof about intent, malice, etc and can only be brought to court by authorized agents of the State, at the state or federal level.  You as an individual can not bring a grievance to a courtroom seeking the incarceration of another citizen.

    ...And you already included the required of "regardless of prospect of passage" which I assume is recognition of an absolute lack thereof.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:30:20 AM PST

    •  Like I said, I'm not a lawyer. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      1.  Equal protection has not led to equal facilitation.  This has allowed racist and partisan Republican state governments to impose 9 hour waiting times on voters in Democratic districts while polling places in white, wealthy Republican districts run like well-oiled machines with 15 minute waits.  That's unacceptable.  If the courts refuse to force the issue by explicitly interpreting equal protection as guaranteeing equal facilitation, then we need such a clause in the Constitution.

      2.  Which is why this Amendment would change that so that elections are federalized.  No, the US federal government is not a "representative collection of states" - that went out with the Articles of Confederation.  While we're at it, I forgot to include the direct election of Presidents.

      3.  Since this is a Constitutional Amendment, it's meaningless to say it's "unconstitutional."  Money is not speech.  The "Corporations United" decision was lawless.  This would merely make explicit what is already the case - that the federal government has the authority to regulate the flow of money in elections.  Just because five corrupt, lawless scumbags say up is down and slavery is freedom does not make it the law of the land.

      4.  I didn't say the federal government doesn't have the power - I say it shall make a specific thing a crime.

      And you already included the required of "regardless of prospect of passage" which I assume is recognition of an absolute lack thereof.
      Your whole critique is asinine, baseless, contains horrible and inexplicable misrepresentations of very simple language, and offers absolutely nothing in the way of ideas.  I don't know why you bothered.

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:39:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      I can only add, regarding #2, "Good!".  Republicans are affecting the entire country with their gerrymandering and voter suppression.  Especially gerrymandering, which is much worse, IMO, in Republican-controlled states than in Democratic-controlled ones.  

      We need a better way to deal with the election of House members.  Wish I had a bang-up approach, but I don't.  Not yet.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:40:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Best I've seen (0+ / 0-)

        are state level mandates setting sole authority of redistricting to a designated commission comprised of retired judges of the State bench.  This is to be done ONLY in response to a completed census and to best reflect the equal and reasonable representation across a number of geographic and demographic criteria.

        California tried this ... and lost.  And our party did their fair share of work to make sure this never passed.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:00:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  California used citizens (0+ / 0-)

          to redistrict. Prop 40 was included specifically to repeal the redistricting and reinstate the old districts. The court said it was too late to change the districts for the election, so the new districts stayed.

          Which is why there was no "No on 40" on the ballot information. They didn't spend any money on fighting it, but I think they were hoping that the "no on every proposition" people would prevail and the redistricting would be overturned.

          Since the proposition passed, the redistricting remains as the citizen committee proposed. Some of the districts are truly bizarre, but that's what happened.

          I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

          by woolibaar on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:54:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was referring to something years ago (0+ / 0-)

            in the early days of Arnold's governorship.. I thought there was an independent committee proposal that virtually everyone in Sacramento made sure died a horrible death at the ballot box?

            I am not a Californian so I may very well be misremembering on this.....

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:16:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It did then (0+ / 0-)

              but passed later and they changed the districts after the census came out. The Republicans screamed that it was unfair to them and tried to repeal it with prop 40.

              I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

              by woolibaar on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:30:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Put simply (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, Simplify

      this entire diary is essentially an attempt to transfer state power to the Federal Government.  It doesn't call for anything new.

      Amendment 26 states two things:  

      1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

      2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

      Section1 covers everything laid out about votes being fairly counted and accurate and free and everything else.

      Section 2 covers everything it needs to about enforcement, EXCEPT as limited by the Art II text explicitly granting State Legislatures the power to manage their own elections, both for state level offices, state level ballot initiatives and for the naming of electors for the only two national offices (President & Vice-President)

      So all you are really asking is that the authority of the States be abolished in this area and transferred wholly to the Federal level.

      The one thing left would be the looming SCOTUS decisions attempting to reconcile the regulation of political campaigns and advertising with the rights of free speech and the petition of government.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:40:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  WRT Free speech (0+ / 0-)

        I would add a clause saying that the regulatory authority over political financing and advertising could only extend to guaranteeing free and equal access, not prohibiting specific statements.  

        "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

        by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:48:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would help (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          but that does not address any kind of advertising then... unless you mean the voter suppression tactics of advertising that the election has been moved to a different day and other such things?

          Though, I'm not sure those things are not already illegal if the State can prove intent....  I'd have to research that.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:55:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It addresses the financing of advertising. (0+ / 0-)

            If it is free speech, then it must also be equally available - greater money cannot = bigger megaphone in an election.

            "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

            by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:58:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, then you lost me. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simplify, FG

              If you are going to tell an individual or group that they can not public ally advertise and campaign on an issue they deem important in order to raise awareness or persuade their fellow citizens because of some restriction about money limits, election day timing, the fact that the other side doesn't have equal access, etc... then that's a limitation.

              Any challenger or proposed reform must have unfettered access to the marketplace of ideas.  The government must never hold sole authority to decide what can or can not be communicated related to public law; this is far too flagrant of a door-opening to tyranny.

              And to add the specter of criminal penalties to this actions infers a decidedly chilling effect of anyone to mount a significant campaign against a popular sentiment or status quo.

              Maybe I'm not understanding you Troubadour.  I am sincerely trying not to straw man your argument here but I get the feeling we disagree on the basic "ends do/do not justify the means" rationale of why it might be okay to set limits on campaign speech.

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:07:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  How would you propose accomplishing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, Wisper

      the general goal stated by Troubadour, then?

      I mean, clearly, Republicans are hell bent on corrupting elections to the full extent possible in every jurisdiction they can influence. So how do we enable

      "equal, free, fair, accurate, thorough, and timely exercise of that right by all practical means"?

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:37:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  few things (0+ / 0-)

        1.  Separate the issues we're talking about here.  Anti-voter suppression efforts are not the same as national election reform which is not the same as campaign finance reform.  Yes, they are related and political junkies like us are painfully aware of the overlap, but legally they are distinct.  One issue revolves around civil rights, one around Federalism and one around speech.

        2.  I would voice the same sentiment we use to respond to our over-zealous friends on the other side of the great partisan divide:  STOP TRYING TO SCREW AROUND WITH CONSTITUTION.  Tactically its a bad idea from a feasibility standpoint and rationally this is not the appropriate place to address these legitimate current-day problems.

        3.  Realize that we are winning.  A) We won the election so the idea of some criminal mastermind syndicate that sought to nefariously thwart the will of the people doesn't seem credible in the face of RECORD TURNOUT in many of our key areas and demographics.  B) Every single voter suppression law that we challenged was either voided, weakened, or postponed.  We won every time with the existing laws, the Constitution as it stands now, and with the current people in all the positions of authority related to this issue.  Why the massive need to alter the founding document when the laws of the land are currently supporting our position?

        4.  Recognize that we are wrong on some of these issues.  Citizens United may have been too broad of an over-correction but the arguments for it do contain a very valid Constitutional point about speech and petitioning.  It needs to be fixed, States should have more latitude, the FEC should have more teeth, some of the anonymity and tax-status of these organizations needs to be reconsidered, etc.  There are a lot of things.  But you can not argue that political advocacy, at its core, is political speech.  And speech should not be silenced or controlled by government power, but rather openly countered with opposing arguments and decided by the people.

        5.  Remember that we only favor massive federal power because we currently hold the Senate, and more importantly, the Executive branch.  There is a lot of talk about the feds being able to step in and crack down on any election process they decide is illegal and a lot of people think that sounds GREAT and picture these entrenched racists in deep red districts getting their just comeuppance... but imagine the same concentrated federal power under a Bush administration with Alberto Gonzalez running the DOJ.  Not so funny then, is it?

        States have power, and often for good reason.  We shouldn't seek to undermine that just because some states use that power for right-wing aims.

        6.  Personally I would give up the idea of National Election standards.  We don't have national accreditation standard for schools, or national safety standards for highways, or  national requirements for driver's licenses, etc.  We are a Federalist country and these things were DELIBERATELY assigned to states... as was the authority to manage elections.  Let the people govern themselves locally.  

        7.  Remain vigilant on voting rights and leverage the equal protection clause to make sure we dont get laws that are see-through attacks on poor/minority/urban citizens.  The laws are on our side, we just need to keep challenging them in court.  Over and over and over.

        8.  Focus on more State level races to get progressives in power locally.  Currently the GOP has 30 governors, 28 Secretaries of States and majorities in 63 state houses/senates (not counting the splits/coalitions in the Alaska Senate and the Oregon House, plus the 2 chambers in Nebraska which are nominally "non-partisan")... and we wonder why these states and secretaries of states are ramrodding right-wing bullshit through?  Its because they can.

        9.  Come up with (and I say this optimistically because I don't have the answer either) a reasonable solution on campaign finance.  My thoughts would be to focus more on transparency and timely open reporting (which have a LOT of legal support) and less on strict limitations or bans (which will hit the 1st amendment brick wall every time, just ask Russ Feingold).

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:51:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A tweak to #1 (0+ / 0-)

    For the sake of clarity, I'd add a sentence at the beginning of #1:

    All citizens aged 18 and over have the right vote, and to have their duly cast votes counted, in all public elections within their jurisdiction.

    "In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction." -Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

    by rigcath on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:31:38 AM PST

    •  Already exists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      No need to repeat something that is already a fundamental Constitutional Right.

      You can currently sue if your right to vote is abridged.  And the "18 and over" text is the entire point of Amendment XXVI so that does not need to be included.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:35:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. We had a Kossack (0+ / 0-)

        whose absentee ballot in this election was thrown out because the county said the signature didn't match.  They contacted the elections people and asked for the ability to go and verify their signature to have their vote counted, but were denied, and had their legal petition thrown out of court.  

        The only thing you can sue on is if procedures weren't followed, or if you can prove beyond all doubt that you were discriminated against on the basis of race or some other specifically protected category.  And even then, results have never been overturned on that basis.

        Moreover, there is no current explicit right to equal access to voting.  They misallocate resources to punish and obstruct their political opponents BRAZENLY and there NO CONSEQUENCES.  How fucking dishonest do you have to be to claim we're already protected?

        "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

        by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:56:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then change the law (0+ / 0-)

          Not sure what state or district this event to which you refer occurred.. but you'd have to look at the laws.

          If there are laws in place about how to handle questionable signatures or how to verify absentee ballots, etc then the question becomes "Did the local officials follow that procedure?".

          If they did and you think its bullshit, then do one of two things:  1) If it is bullshit because the law is unfair, you could sue on civil grounds claiming institutional disenfranchisement or 2) If the law is valid as written but you think it is bullshit because we should have a better way to handle ballots, then you should work to change the law.

          We are a nation of laws, not men or good intentions.  Set the laws.. make them public..and ensure they are followed.  

          And there are a LOT of laws to guarantee equal access to voting.  We used those very same laws, amendments, rights and clauses to defeat the Voter ID laws/early voting restrictions/new registration rules many times this year in many states.  "Equal Access" is a powerful phrase in jurisprudence.  To say we need more puts the burden on you to make your argument as to why; to say we have none puts the burden on you to establish that you aren't just ranting about some crazy shit in absurdia.

          I don't understand what you are getting at here: Current laws not being enforced or the need for new laws to enshrine new rights?

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:19:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As I read #3 this says that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Simplify

    there can be no federal regulation of campaign finance and advertising except as it applies to 1 & 2.  That means that all other aspects are unregulated.

    I think that is bad.  I don't think it is your intent.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:32:47 AM PST

    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

      A better stipulation would be that the authority can only be used to guarantee free and equal access to political expression.

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:44:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site