Thursday, January 7, 2010

Felons to Vote in Washington State

What twisted logic brought about this?

42 U.S.C. § 1973(a) (emphasis added). Section 2(b) further
explains that
A violation of subsection (a) . . . is established if,
based on the totality of the circumstances, it is
shown that the political processes leading to nomination
or election in the State or political subdivision
are not equally open to participation by members of
a class or citizens protected by subsection (a) . . . in
that its members have less opportunity than other
members of the electorate to participate in the political
process and to elect representatives of their

This is the broadest interpretation possible of this (and other) statutes related to the Voting Rights Act. I doubt this interpretation was EVER intended. The right to vote is not denied based upon race; it is denied based upon a felony conviction. And white felons are also denied the right.

[5] Defendants appear to invoke the first and second exceptions,
arguing that “[t]he subsequent intervening authority of
sister circuits reveals that this Court’s conclusion was clearly
erroneous and works a manifest injustice.” They rely on post-
Farrakhan I cases from the Second and Eleventh Circuits,which held that the VRA does not apply to felon disenfranchisement
laws. See Hayden v. Pataki, 449 F.3d 305 (2d Cir.
2006) (en banc); Johnson v. Governor of the State of Fla., 405
F.3d 1214 (11th Cir.) (en banc), cert. denied, 546 U.S. 1015
(2005)).15 To the extent Defendants suggest that these cases
constitute “intervening controlling authority” that would make
reconsideration appropriate, such argument is clearly incorrect.
Out-of-circuit cases are not binding on this Court and
therefore do not constitute “controlling authority.” Defendants
have cited no case to the contrary.

But apparently, the 9th Circuit is unwilling to overturn bad decisions even though "out-of-circuit"? Or did I read this wrong?

In another section, they appear to throw out any arrest of minorities of minorities for drug offenses because minorities are "adversely affected"?

Anyway, it is a usurpation of states' rights, IMHO and in other way, just a bad decision. But read it for yourself. With an interpreter.

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