Wednesday Open Thread | The GOP Continues to Attack Voting Rights


Lisa Desjardins
‏Verified account @LisaDNews

A BIG DEAL: The Supreme Court 5-4 just upheld Ohio’s voter rolls law which automatically dropped voters who had not voted for two years or confirmed desire to vote.
7:14 AM – 11 Jun 2018

As always, my go-to person to check in with when it comes to Voting Rights is Ari Berman. He’s always going to tell it to you straight, and what evil is being perpetrated.

Ari Berman
‏Verified account @AriBerman
10h10 hours ago

Breaking: In 5-4 decision Alito reverses 6th circuit & upholds Ohio’s purging of infrequent voters. Ohio has purged 2 million voters since 2011, more than any other state. Black voters 2x as likely as whites to be purged in state’s largest counties

Republicans Are Trying to Kill a Key Voting Rights Law
The Supreme Court could soon make it harder to register to vote.

Ari Berman
Jan. 8, 2018 6:00 AM

Thirty years ago, the United States had a big problem. Barely half of eligible voters had cast a ballot in the 1988 presidential election—the lowest voter turnout since the 1920s. In an effort to increase participation, Democrats in Congress—backed by a few Republicans— drafted the National Voter Registration Act, a bill that would require states to allow voters to register at Department of Motor Vehicle offices and other public agencies.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, led the opposition to the legislation. “This bill wants to turn every agency, bureau, and office of state government into a vast voter registration machine,” McConnell said in 1991. “Motor voter registration, hunting permit voter registration, marriage license voter registration, welfare voter registration—even drug rehab voter registration.” That same year, McConnell, who is now the Senate majority leader, wrote that “low voter turnout is a sign of a content democracy.”

The NVRA passed Congress in 1992, but President George H. W. Bush vetoed it. Congress passed it again a year later, and this time President Bill Clinton signed it into law, calling it “a sign of a new vibrancy in our democracy.” The “motor voter” law, as it became known, was an immediate success. In its first year in effect, more than 30 million people registered or updated their registrations through the NVRA. Roughly 16 million people per year have used it to register ever since.

But in recent years, Republicans have sought to gut the law. In 2013, the Supreme Court weakened a key part of the Voting Rights Act, ruling that states with long histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to clear their election changes with the federal government. After winning that fight, Republicans are now going after the NVRA in what voting rights advocates say is a thinly veiled effort to make it more difficult for Democratic-leaning constituencies to register to vote—and far easier for state officials to remove them from the voter rolls. “We’re seeing a coming fight over how voter rolls are maintained,” says Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s a new front in the voter suppression battles.”


Even as Republicans are seeking to weaken the NVRA, three conservative lawyers who worked in the George W. Bush Justice Department are turning the law on its head by attempting to use it to force states and localities to engage in Ohio-style voter purges. As my colleague Pema Levy reported, they’ve targeted nearly a dozen states, along with small counties in places like Mississippi and Texas with large minority populations:

The letter to Noxubee County [Mississippi] alleged that the county was violating a federal law that requires states to keep their rolls up to date. The commissioners maintained that they were following the law. In fall 2015, the ACRU’s [American Civil Rights Union] attorneys began to push the commission to sign a consent decree that would commit the county to vigorous vetting of its registered voter list in order to avoid a lawsuit. Among its provisions, the draft decree would require the commission to send a non-forwardable notice to all registered voters asking them to confirm their eligibility. Every voter who did not fill it out and return it would be put on a list of inactive voters, and anyone on that list who failed to vote in two federal elections would be removed from the rolls.

From Jennifer Rubin, of all people:

Republicans show they don’t trust the voters
by Jennifer Rubin
June 12 at 11:30 AM

President Trump tweeted triumphantly on Monday, “Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!” The great news in his book is a 5-4 decision allowing Ohio to remove people from the voting rolls who haven’t voted in every election. Specifically, if they haven’t voted in two years, they get a postcard in the mail, and if they don’t respond, they have four more years to vote. Then they are taken off the rolls.

What if they throw away the postcard thinking it is junk mail? Too bad. What if for six years they cannot find someone worth voting for? Too bad. Off they go. You would think the Trump administration and the five conservative justices didn’t want just anyone who wishes to vote to be allowed to do so.


Let’s take a step back from the legal arguments for a moment. As the Republican Party narrows its appeal to white voters and fans the flames of white grievance, it is becoming less attractive to everyone else. Rather than broaden its appeal, the party increasingly seeks to narrow the electorate in ways that, by gosh, just happen to decrease minority participation. The strategy reveals a party’s lack of self-confidence in itself and in democracy itself. When the president celebrates depriving people of the right to vote, something is seriously amiss.

There is a solution (other than a statutory amendment): a full-out, no-holds-barred effort to register every eligible voter. Some states are passing automatic registration. Florida has a ballot measure to restore voting rights to those who have fully served their criminal sentences. I’d add two more suggestions: First, instead of running vanity ads (looking at you, Tom Steyer), wealthy donors should commit to registering millions of voters. Second, the Democratic National Committee, which increasingly seems irrelevant to the national debate, should for the foreseeable future use its resources primarily for voter registration. If there is a better use of the DNC’s money, I’ve yet to find it.


If you live in a GOP Controlled State, get yourself some voter registration applications, and ask everyone you know to fill out a new registration. Tell them it doesn’t matter if they think that they are registered. It doesn’t even matter if they KNOW they are registered. The GOP is coming for your voting rights. Don’t let it be election day November 2018, when you find out that they succeeded. And, no, you aren’t exaggerating. No, you aren’t overstating things.

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55 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | The GOP Continues to Attack Voting Rights

  1. Time to remember Thurgood Marshall.

  2. Tyren M says:

    Good evening 3Chics,

    It’s pissed me off how this story has gotten little to no play in national media. That yesterday marked the death of Medgar Evers yet this got no play. Shit, our media is more concerned about a damn raccoon….

    Again, my thanks.

  3. eliihass says:

    Video of the summit in Singapore…— Gustavo Dominguez (@gdgdom) June 13, 2018

  4. eliihass says:

    “…Beck’s job as official stenographer was to record everything the president said, type it up, and release the transcript to the press office and presidential archive … Her new job would give her insight into the obscure party culture within the press pool, a glimpse of the president’s personal life, and would even land her in a love affair with a White House staffer …She made copious notes on the details of her personal life while traveling to more than 60 countries over five years on Air Force One, and witnessing Obama’s life in midair …In her new memoir, From the Corner of the Oval, White House stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein revealed how traveling with President Obama and his press pool was like ‘summer camp on steroids.’ She also made copious notes on her own personal life while traveling to more than 60 countries over five years on Air Force One, and witnessing Obama’s life in midair (right). According to the stenographer everyone took their drug of choice on long flights: Sonata, Xanax or Ambien – which she says made ‘awkward intimacy with colleagues suddenly just funny and bizarre.’ She broke protocol of the job when she got involved in a hot and heavy secret sexual relationship with one of Obama’s senior staffers, Jason Wolf, in hotel rooms…”

    In the thick of the most immoral, most intellectually bereft, corrupt and treasonous of insanities, this is the last thing we need..

    Never before have we seen so many book deals for random staff from a single administration, to tell-all… And even before the 2 principals – the historic president and First Lady have had the chance to release their official memoirs like their predecessors …

    And these former staff ‘tell-alls’ – complete with stupid, diminishing, titillating tidbits – are not just guaranteed to further muddy up stuff …but provide the corrupt, immoral, treasonous folk (and the complicit weasels who enable them) …awful folks that we are now up against and are fighting hard and must defeat – if our democracy and fragile union is to have a fighting chance at surviving …these corrupt, treasonous folk are now being provided with the cover, deflection and distraction they desperately seek, together with ready-made put-downs, demeaning talking points and false equivalencies …enable false comparisons and whataboutisms guaranteed to do double-duty tearing down a previously well-thought of as serious and scandal-free historic presidency especially in the eyes of a dumbed-down public including the racists among them looking for gotchas …while steadfastly excusing, absolving and enthusiastically talking-up, glossing-over, shining-up, boosting and elevating a corrupt, immoral, treasonous buffoon and his well-protected foreign hostile entity installed, oligarch-supporting, white supremacist kakistocracy ..

  5. rikyrah says:

    Beyond disgrace. Beyond words. The misery, the cruelty, the blood is not just on Sessions & Trump & ICE. It is on on the hands of the US Attys and Ass’t U.S. Attys who are prosecuting these cases. There comes a time when you must refuse to participate. That time is past.

    — Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) June 13, 2018

  6. rikyrah says:

    Infant ripped from mother’s arms while she was breastfeeding the baby at border detention center; mother handcuffed for resisting

    — Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 13, 2018

  7. rikyrah says:

    Those are Reps. Gutierrez, Crowley, Lewis, Jayapal, Green, to name a few— they’ve walked from Customs and Border Patrol to (near) the White House to protest the administration separating children from their parents at the border.

    — DJ Judd (@juddzeez) June 13, 2018

  8. rikyrah says:

    Issa Considered to Run Consumer Bureau
    June 13, 2018 at 2:24 pm EDT

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is among the candidates who have been discussed as President Trump gets closer to naming someone to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Bloomberg reports.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Lips pursed.

    In recent months, Kushner has cultivated a close relationship with CNN host and criminal-justice reform advocate Van Jones. “Jared is obsessed with Van,” one Trump adviser said. Kushner invited Jones to the White House multiple times and the two communicate frequently, Jones told me. “Jared and I have 99 problems but prison ain’t one,” Jones said. “I’ve found him to be effective, straightforward, and dogged.” Jones has lavished praise on Kushner publicly. In January, Jones wrote a CNN op-ed headlined, “Kushner’s effort to sway Trump on prison reform is smart.”

    The Kushner-Jones alliance has infuriated some Republican members of the administration, especially Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “He hate, hate, hates it,” a person close to Sessions said. But Sessions, who is hanging on for survival amidst frequent Trump attacks, has no power to move against Kushner. Sources say Trump may even like that Sessions is outraged because Trump is looking for anything that will get Sessions to quit so he can appoint an attorney general who isn’t recused in the Russia investigation. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)

  10. rikyrah says:

    London Breed feels her life experience can guide the city
    Raised on the rough side of San Francisco, she believes her bruised hometown can be made to shine once again
    By Heather Knight

    For Supervisor London Breed, the past four months have been a whirlwind of headline-making news, jolting her from one job to another.

    On Dec. 11, she was president of the Board of Supervisors leaning toward a run for mayor in 2019. On Dec. 12, Mayor Ed Lee died of a heart attack, and Breed was suddenly running San Francisco. On Jan. 23, she suddenly wasn’t.

    The supervisors stunned her and pretty much everybody else in the city by booting her from the top job in favor of Supervisor Mark Farrell.

    Breed, 43, didn’t have much control over any of it and seemed to be biting her tongue sometimes to project the most professional, measured image possible. Thrust into the spotlight, she avoided the slightest misstep or detouring from the script, as she has been known to do in the past.

    Perhaps that’s why her demeanor upon entering her safe haven, the African American Art & Culture Complex on Fulton Street in the Western Addition, was so striking.

    Totally at ease. Totally joyous. Busting out some dance moves. Playfully tossing her hair. Joking (well, half-joking) with our photographer about her best side, the side with the dimple. Drawing a gaggle of African American girls, who look up to her in both stature and achievement.

    “Oh, I love London!” exclaimed Jasmin Corley, an 18-year-old City College student who was in a dance class that afternoon. “She’s so inspirational. When she talks, it’s like the whole room stops


    As anybody who’s been following the mayor’s race knows by now, Breed’s childhood in the Plaza East public housing projects near the African American Art & Culture Complex was far from picture-perfect.

    She was raised by her grandmother in an apartment with roaches, faulty plumbing and a shower that never worked. She was surrounded by poverty and violence. Her younger sister died of a drug overdose alone in her public housing unit in Potrero Hill in 2006. Her older brother, who was also addicted to drugs, is in prison for robbery and other crimes.

    Breed rose above it — and has just kept rising. She graduated from Galileo High School and UC Davis before becoming an intern in Brown’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Competing shade from dictionary rivals…


    The idea of rats fleeing some kind of losing endeavor has seen use as a simile since at least 1600.— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) June 13, 2018

    A Manchurian candidate is a person, especially a politician, being used as a puppet by an enemy power.— (@Dictionarycom) June 13, 2018

  12. rikyrah says:

    Today the House is holding a markup session on an appropriations bill. Section 112 of this bill would allow tax-exempt churches to endorse political candidates.

    Urge your Members of Congress to keep the religious right’s dark money out of politics

    — Secular Coalition for America (@seculardotorg) June 13, 2018

  13. rikyrah says:

    California woman ‘in shock’ after ICE agents detain father, a legal resident, outside home
    By ELIZABETH CHOU and BRENDA GAZZAR | Southern California News Group
    PUBLISHED: June 13, 2018 at 6:39 am | UPDATED: June 13, 2018 at 6:53 am

    The daughter of an Arleta man who was detained Sunday outside his home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents spoke out this week about his treatment and the immigration policies that appear to target longtime, law-abiding residents.

    Jose Luis Garcia, 62, was watering his lawn and having his morning coffee outside his Arleta home when ICE agents put him in handcuffs and detained him, according to his daughter, Natalie Garcia.


    Garcia said her father has a conviction for a misdemeanor stemming from a domestic violence dispute with her mother that occurred 18 years ago. Her father completed his sentence for that conviction, which was anger management classes and reporting to probation, she said.

    ICE officials confirmed in a statement that Garcia, who is a citizen of Mexico, was arrested by deportation officers on Sunday.

    “Databases reveal that Mr. Garcia has past criminal convictions that make him amenable to removal from the United States,” the statement said. “Mr. Garcia is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings, where an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will determine whether or not he has a lawful basis to remain in the United States.”


    “It’s part of a pattern that we’ve seen of rounding up people who are longstanding members of our community who have family here and settled lives here and their lives are turned upside down because they may have committed some misdemeanor deep in their past,” Kaufman said.

  14. rikyrah says:

    “Healthcare is a right. Healthcare is a right. HEALTHCARE. IS. A. RIGHT. You cannot access the American dream without access to healthcare. When people are denied healthcare, people die. And mental and physical health are the same. Thing.” @SenBooker at #WeThePeople18

    — Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) June 13, 2018

  15. rikyrah says:

    15 attorneys, at these firms, working “around the clock” (let’s be conservative and say 14 hours a day), even if mostly young associates, is likely burning over $100,000 a day. A DAY.

    — NarrowlyDecidedHat (@Popehat) June 13, 2018

    A word of advice to all you right-hand men and lieutenants and underlings out there, based on 24 years of federal criminal law experience:

    Mr. Big never winds up paying the defense bills. Plan accordingly.

    — NarrowlyDecidedHat (@Popehat) June 13, 2018


  16. rikyrah says:


    It’s up to 150!!!!

    BREAKING: Robert Mueller files request for 150 blank subpoenas in Paul Manafort case. This doesn’t end well for Trump or any of his associates. With Cohen flipping, if Manafort flips, it’s ballgame. Trump would absolutely have to resign. Tick to the tock.

    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 13, 2018

  17. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York as his attorneys leave case, sources tell @ABC News.

    — ABC News (@ABC) June 13, 2018

    • Ametia says:

      These lawyers are bolting on the mobster. Who are these sources, hmmm?

      45 has likely not given MC any signs that he will support him sans those faked-pardons he’s giving to other nefarious thugs.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Lips pursed:

    @KellyannePolls on @foxandfriends: “The last president was handed the Nobel Peace Prize, this president is actually going to earn it.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Racial Dot Map Shows Over Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Actually Prisons

    After doing some digging into the locations of Wisconsin’s predominantly Black neighborhoods, a teenage researcher discovered a disturbing trend among African-American communities in the Badger state.

    Lew Blank, 17, was tinkering with the Weldon Cooper Center’s Racial Dot Map when he realized that over half of the state’s Black neighborhoods were actually jails or prisons. The remaining Black communities in the state were either Section 8 housing, homeless shelters, or apartment complexes.

    According to Blank’s research, there are approximately 56 Black neighborhoods in Wisconsin — 31 of them are jails. The young researcher posted his startling findings on the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition’s official blog. Using the Racial Dot Map, Blank identified predominantly Black communities, which were defined as “a certain area where the majority of residents are African-American.”

    For instance, the map shows that the city of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin has a predominantly white population. However, the city’s sole Black neighborhood is the Chippewa Valley Correctional Institution. Surprisingly, there are 14 other cities like this where the only Black neighborhood is a correctional facility.

    The case is similar for Fox Lake, Wisconsin, another white town, whose recorded Black population is roughly 15 percent. The city lies adjacent to a majority-Black jail though, so it can be inferred where much of its Black population comes from.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Mueller’s office says the grand jury indictment of ex-Trump aide Paul Manafort for obstruction of justice while he was on house arrest satisfies the legal standard to end his pretrial release.

    — Brad Heath (@bradheath) June 13, 2018

  21. rikyrah says:

    Sanford facing bleak outlook even before Trump endorsed opponent

    Rachel Maddow reports on primary results in several states, including a likely loss by South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Staffers tape together torn up Trump papers to meet records law

    Annie Karni, White House reporter for Politico, talks with Rachel Maddow about her reporting on Donald Trump’s habit of tearing up papers when he is finished with them, and the staffers who tape them back together in order to keep Trump in compliance with the Presidential Records Act.

  23. rikyrah says:

    After insulting allies, Trump has effusive praise for Kim Jong Un

    Senator Chris Murphy points out the context of Donald Trump having just insulted America’s closest allies before heaping praise and adoration on Kim Jong Un and making concessions without getting any hard commitments in return.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Trump military exercise giveaway to N. Korea suits Putin’s goals

    Among the consequences of Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un is that he agreed without apparent condition to end joint U.S./South Korean military exercises, a concession North Korea has sought for decades. Rachel Maddow points out that it’s not just North Korea that was eager for this outcome.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Democrats pick up long-held GOP seat, Republicans hold on to another in special elections
    Molly Beck, Milwaukee
    Published 9:34 p.m. CT June 12, 2018 |
    Updated 7:50 a.m. CT June 13, 2018

    MADISON – Wisconsin Democrats came one step closer to gaining control of the state Senate by picking up a seat held by Republicans for more than 40 years, while the GOP held on to an Assembly seat in a pair of special elections Tuesday.

    Caleb Frostman topped Rep. Andre Jacque in the 1st Senate District and Jon Plumer defeated Ann Groves Lloyd in the 42nd Assembly District.

    Frostman will be the first Democrat to represent the northeast Wisconsin district since the 1970s — a win Democrats are hailing as more evidence of a so-called blue wave ready to flip more Republican-held seats in elections later this year.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker was so afraid of the #BlueWave that he tried to change WI law to stop a special election in a district Trump won by 17 points from happening. Tonight—we won that race.

    We beat Scott once—let’s do it again. Chip in to help us win in #WI01 ⬇️

    — Randy Bryce (@IronStache) June 13, 2018

  27. rikyrah says:

    Customs and Border Protection agent faces inquiry after questioning reporter about her sources
    By Shane Harris, Matt Zapotosky and Jack Gillum
    June 12 at 8:50 PM

    The actions of a Customs and Border Protection agent who confronted a reporter covering national security issues about her confidential sources are being examined by the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

    The agent, Jeffrey A. Rambo, contacted journalist Ali Watkins last June as the Trump administration was ramping up its investigations of unauthorized leaks to reporters, and he identified himself as a government agent.

    Rambo met with Watkins at a restaurant in Washington after initially contacting her by email. A reporter taking such a meeting with a potential source would not be unusual.

    But after he arrived, Rambo said the administration was eager to investigate journalists and learn the identity of their confidential sources to stanch leaks of classified information. He questioned Watkins broadly about her reporting and how she developed information, according to the people familiar with the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

    Rambo’s behavior was un­or­tho­dox. It’s highly unusual for government investigators to question reporters about their sources, and national security leaks are generally investigated by the FBI, not CBP, part of the Department of Homeland Security. Rambo also contacted Watkins using a personal email address and declined to provide his name.

  28. rikyrah says:

    something that we can do. make our voices heard. spread the word

    Have time between now and Friday? Let the government know that exempting white counties from Medicaid work requirements while requiring them from primarily black counties is wrong:

    — Emma Sandoe (@emma_sandoe) June 12, 2018

    • rikyrah says:

      This was a great response that someone posted on another blog to use as a comment:

      Exempting high unemployment counties (which just happen to be rural counties with heavily white populations) is thinly disguised discrimination. Lower unemployment doesn’t necessarily mean there are jobs for the Medicaid population, and if the concern is to prevent able-bodied recipients from taking advantage of the system, refusal to move where the jobs are should not be an excuse. Work requirements are addressing a problem that doesn’t exist, but if they’re used, they should be applied equitably.

  29. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : June 13, 2018
    adjective | MAN-tik

    of or relating to the faculty of divination : prophetic

  30. rikyrah says:

    The raccoon made it to the roof.
    This was cute 😄 😍

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

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