Archive of Articles in the "Voting Rights" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Abortion Election

[ Posted Friday, April 12th, 2024 – 17:31 UTC ]

If Democrats have their way, the 2024 election will be a one-issue election for many voters (enough to win, hopefully). And conservative Republicans just keep making it easier and easier for that to actually happen.

In the half-century that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, Republicans made a lot of political hay out of being what they called "pro-life," but what is now more accurately referred to as "forced-birth." They want to force every woman who ever gets pregnant -- no matter the circumstances, no matter the consequences -- to give birth, no matter what. American women (and men, it should be noted) do not support these radical restrictions of their rights. And they're now going to get to vote on it, in the clearest way since Roe was overturned. The 2024 election may well go down in history as being "the abortion election," to put this another way.

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Arizona Supreme Court's Abortion Decision Could Hand Entire State To Democrats

[ Posted Wednesday, April 10th, 2024 – 16:04 UTC ]

We are still over half a year away from the 2024 election, so it would be premature to say: "This is the issue is that the election will all be about" (since anything could happen in the meantime which could eclipse all the biggest current issues). But it is looking like abortion rights are going to be a major part of it, at the very least. The fallout from the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision continues -- in statehouses, in ballot measures, and in court decisions. Republicans continue to learn that the most Draconian abortion laws are incredibly unpopular, and they scramble to figure out some way to deal with it all. Democrats are out there championing "freedom" and "protecting your rights" and "get the government out of your private business," which are all very potent arguments in general and which all seem to be resonating with the voters on abortion.

Yesterday, the Arizona supreme court dropped a bombshell into the political fray. It ruled that an abortion law first written in 1864 was still valid and constitutional and would soon go back into effect. This law, written during the Civil War era, completely bans abortion with only one exception. Here is the relevant text of the original, from the section criminalizing poisoning (and "just after the section banning duels"):

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Will April Be The Cruellest Month For Speaker Mike Johnson?

[ Posted Tuesday, April 9th, 2024 – 15:29 UTC ]

That title (and double-L spelling) comes, of course, from T. S. Eliot's masterpiece poem "The Waste Land," which begins: "April is the cruellest month...." Will this prove to be the case this year for House Speaker Mike Johnson? Will he still be speaker when the May flowers start a-blooming? The answer to those questions might hinge on whether he actually gets anything done this month or not. He's certainly got plenty of things on his plate, and he has actually indicated he's going to move a few of the more critical ones forward -- which (naturally) has absolutely incensed certain members of his caucus. And if he does get them passed, it will further enrage them -- possibly to the point of throwing him overboard.

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Friday Talking Points -- Shake, Rattle, And Roll

[ Posted Friday, April 5th, 2024 – 17:56 UTC ]

Living in California means not being generally surprised by earthquakes, but we realize that this is simply not so in New York City and the Northeast in general. So when a 4.8 temblor hit New Jersey, we certainly could sympathize. However, it seems East Coast tectonic zones have a certain personality trait that goes (we can't resist) right down to the bedrock? Here was the tweet that the "USGS Earthquakes" account put out this morning:

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No Labels, No Candidates

[ Posted Thursday, April 4th, 2024 – 15:58 UTC ]

President Joe Biden's re-election campaign just got some good news today, as No Labels announced it is throwing in the towel and will not be running a third-party presidential ticket this year. This brings an end to one of those political science experiments that might have sounded good in the abstract, but which doesn't really live up to its promise in the end.

The basic idea was to run a so-called "Unity ticket," consisting of one Republican and one Democrat, for president and vice president. No Labels was initially coy about which one would lead the ticket, but in recent months let it be known that they were looking to run a moderate Republican for president, with a centrist Democrat as his or her running mate. All those voters out there yearning for a different choice than the two men who ran last time would thus be given a new option to vote for. No Labels deluded themselves into thinking they could draw enough of this protest vote to actually win enough states to win the presidency.

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Nebraska Contemplates An Electoral College Change

[ Posted Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 – 15:58 UTC ]

Nebraska, as anyone who has taken an American civics course will tell you, has a unique form of government. But "unique" isn't the "uni-" word that we all learned to describe it, that would instead be: "unicameral" -- since its legislature only has one chamber, not two. Every other state follows the model of the United States Congress, with an upper chamber that corresponds to the U.S. Senate and a lower chamber matching the U.S. House of Representatives. Nebraska, however, decided long ago that such a division was not necessary. Nebraska also has one other governmental quirk that is not completely unique, since it shares this one with Maine: neither state awards its Electoral College votes in the "winner-takes-all" fashion that the other 48 states use. This, however, might be about to change in the Cornhusker State.

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Abortion Will Need A Supermajority In Florida

[ Posted Monday, April 1st, 2024 – 15:18 UTC ]

The Florida supreme court just sent a very mixed message on abortion rights. In two decisions released today, the high court will allow a very strict abortion ban to take effect, but they also decided to allow an abortion-rights ballot initiative (which would enshrine the right to an abortion in the state's constitution) to appear on this November's ballot. Conservatives in the state government had been hoping that the ballot measure would just get tossed out, but the court allowed it to go forward. As I said, this was a very mixed message from the court.

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Friday Talking Points -- Old Man Misinformates

[ Posted Friday, March 29th, 2024 – 17:58 UTC ]

From the "stop me if you've heard this one" file, we suppose: An old man is running for president who is saying increasingly bizarre things... except that you might not know about it because the mainstream media only goes into a frenzy of breathless reporting when his opponent misspeaks.

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Big Lie Pricetag Nearing $1 Billion

[ Posted Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 – 15:51 UTC ]

The pricetag of spreading Donald Trump's "Big Lie" -- that there were various forms of massive fraud committed in the 2020 presidential election -- is about to grow, once again. At this point it is impossible to predict exactly what the next legal cost will be, but it could easily send the total amount the Big Lie perpetrators have paid (or have been ordered to pay) north of one billion dollars. And this could still be just the beginning -- by the time the counting is fully done, this could jump to multiple billions in legal damages assessed against various bad actors.

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Springtime Is Near For New Jersey Politics

[ Posted Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 – 15:56 UTC ]

In much the same way that odious manure previously spread over the ground can give rise to the sweetest-smelling flowers in the spring, New Jersey politics seem to be going through a period of rebirth or re-emergence into the light of a new spring day (perhaps appropriate for "The Garden State," no?). The sleazy scandal which has (so far) successfully brought down Senator Robert Menendez -- complete with 24-karat gold bars seized by the feds -- has tangentially morphed into an attack on the state's "machine politics," and it could all wind up with major reforms in the way local political leaders currently hand-pick their favorite candidates. This is long overdue and although it comes from an unexpected direction (a major scandal not directly related to the reform itself), it should be welcome news for voters in New Jersey -- and anyone else who supports the concept of fairness in politics.

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