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Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Lost among the frenzy of last Saturday’s health care debate were two discordant notes within the Republican caucus.  Both were the brainchild of Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), who challenged Minority Leader John Boehner for his position during last winter’s the 2006 leadership elections.  I was a Shadegg guy then.  Now I’m glad the caucus voted for the other guy.

First, Shadegg chose to use his Chief of Staff’s child as a prop during his speech on the bill.  Holding the 7-month-old little girl in his arms, Shadegg claimed to give voice for her unspoken thoughts on the legislation:

“Maddy believes in freedom,” Mr. Shadegg said, as his chief-of-staff’s daughter reached toward the microphone. “Maddy likes America because we have freedom.”

He added, “She came here to say she doesn’t want the government to take over health care … She doesn’t want a health care bill that will cost $1.5 trillion.” And he said that if the bill passes, Maddy knows her mother will lose her health insurance.

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Today’s Supreme Court decision overruling the Sixth Circuit and obliterating any chance of correcting the 200,000 potentially-faulty new voters in Ohio is a clear signal to the Republicans — we’re staying out.

You may have heard of this lawsuit, where the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, admitted that upwards of 200,000 newly-registered voters had information in their registrations that did not match other state records.  Keep in mind that this is the same state where a Cleveland resident has acknowledged that he registered to vote 72 times, at ACORN’s behest.

The Ohio GOP filed suit, noting that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires the state to have a process by which such records can be checked and, as appropriate, get the registration confirmed or rejected.  Keep in mind that HAVA passed the House by a 357-48 vote and in the Senate by a vote of 92-2.  Sorry, my liberal friends, but this is not an evil scheme of the (*^@%!  Bush Administration.   Nevertheless, Secretary Brunner has alleged, of course, that this is all a massive attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise Ohio voters.

The invocation of the arcane rules of standing (which govern who has the right to bring a particular lawsuit) is a favorite refuge of the Court when they don’t want to get involved.  Today, the Supremes tell us that they neither know nor care whether the Secretary of State and the State of Ohio is violating the Help America Vote Act.  They are bothered, however, that the Ohio GOP filed the lawsuit enforcing HAVA, because they don’t think the law can be enforced by a private party.

That’s right.  The Supreme Court thinks Massachusetts has standing to sue the EPA to force them to regulate carbon emissions, because those emissions might cause global warming, which might lead to the melting of the icecaps, which might result in the loss of coastline for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the year 2125.  But when the state of Ohio violates existing federal law and allows 200,000 new (and possibly fraudulent) voters to elect our next president three weeks from now without simply checking their names against a couple of databases, the Supreme Court bars the courthouse door for the Republican Party.

And think of the terrible message that sends to political parties.  If only the government can enforce this federal law, then the party holding the White House can act with utter impunity to violate its provisions.  Only the Attorney General can sue you, and he just appeared at the governor’s fundraiser last month.  So the government sits on its hands while the states pack the voter rolls, and the party in power consolidates its hold on that state, and likely on the White House, using fake votes.  Rinse and repeat.

Thanks, Supreme Court.  You’ve invented a whole new tool for tyranny.

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