« Top Headline Comments 10-21-09 | Main | Supreme Court Blocks Disclosure of Anti-Gay-Marriage Petition Signers »
October 21, 2009

Obama's DOJ Imposes Partisan Elections on Sleepy North Carolina Town

This is day-old news now, but worth a mention.

The twisted farce that is President Obama's Department of "Justice" recently used the Voting Rights Act to force a small North Carolina town to include party affiliation on ballots for local offices. The DOJ's excuse is that Democrats are less likely to be elected if they aren't identified as Democrats on the ballot and blacks want Democrats—and only Democrats—to be elected.

Yes, the decision is as starkly and as sickeningly racial as that:

The Justice Department's ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their "candidates of choice" - identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters' right to elect the candidates they want.

Voters should get as much information on the ballots as they want—including party affiliation—but the key is that localities should be free to choose the information provided. In this case, Kinston voted 2 to 1 to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections. Their choice should be respected, and in much of the rest of the country it would have been.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is still covered by the outdated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires state and local governments to submit any change in voting to DOJ to determine if it is "discriminatory." Of course, according to Obama's DOJ, anything that potentially makes it harder for a Democrat to get elected is discriminatory.

There was a chance Section 5 would have been held unconstitutional this year, but Chief Justice Roberts' judicial minimalism led him to avoid the question. Of the justices, only Justice Thomas stood up for the rights of states and localities not to be accused of institutionalized racism based on data 35 years old. He got it right:

The lack of sufficient evidence that the covered jurisdictions currently engage in the type of discrimination that underlay the enactment of §5 undermines any basis for retaining it. Punishment for long past sins is not a legitimate basis for imposing a forward-looking preventative measure that has already served its purpose. Those supporting §5’s reenactment argue that without it these jurisdictions would return to the racially discriminatory practices of 30 and 40 years ago. But there is no evidence that public officials stand ready, if given the chance, to again engage in concerted acts of violence, terror, and subterfuge in order to keep minorities from voting. Without such evidence, the charge can only be premised on outdated assumptions about racial attitudes in the covered jurisdictions. Admitting that a prophylactic law as broad as §5 is no longer constitutionally justified based on current evidence of discrimination is not a sign of defeat. It is an acknowledgment of victory.

If Justice Thomas' voice had won the day, Kinston would not now be forced to decide whether to fight Obama's DOJ in the courts.


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:18 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Jane D'oh: "Ugh.  Funerals.  That's how I broke my f ..."

Brave Sir Robin: "Heh...Eric Greiten's*, (bad-ass) MO, was speaking ..."

Steve: "Ace,  Thought you would want to know about th ..."

dartist: "Christmas songs shot on steel targets by Black Rif ..."

Jane D'oh: "Hallelujah!  Got all the gifts wrapped last n ..."

bluebell : "Oh gosh, grammie. Tough time of year for funerals. ..."

mustbequantum: "Don't run for office if you're not willing to do t ..."

grammie winger - stunned by Christmas: "Well, off to today's funeral.  Not to be conf ..."

Steve and Cold Bear: "[i]Rahm wants to call in UN troops into Chicago. ..."

bluebell : "Thanks, Jen! And Muldoon, that was one of my faves ..."

Meremortal, no proseccutions, no peace!: "Wow. I'm going to make out if they pass the tax bi ..."

grammie winger - stunned by Christmas: "Just start with the Governors. The Federal Peniten ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64