Texas Just Won the Right to take the vote away from 600,000 People. It’s Not the First Time

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Discusses Ebola Case At Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

On Saturday, the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ harsh voter ID law. The state has been on the cutting edge of minority disenfranchisement since the end of Slavery By Erika Eichelberger Tue Oct. 21, 2014 6:15 AM EDT

On Saturday morning, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas’ harsh voter ID law could remain in effect for the upcoming midterm elections, potentially disenfranchising some 600,000 mostly black and Latino voters. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the law may be “purposefully discriminatory” and warned that it “likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.” And Ginsburg noted that Texas’ 2011 law falls in line with the state’s long history of discriminatory voting laws. Here is a look at that history, based on expert testimony by Orville Vernon Burton, a professor of history at Clemson University, and Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

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1865: Voter intimidation. Beginning with emancipation, African Americans in Texas were regularly denied the right to vote, through intimidation and violence, including lynching.

1895: The first all-white primaries begin. In the mid-1890s, Texas legislators pushed a law requiring political parties to hold primaries and allowing those political parties to set racist qualifications for who could participate.

1902: The poll tax. The Legislature added a poll tax to Texas’ constitution in 1902, requiring voters to pay a fee to register to vote and to show their receipt of payment in order to cast a ballot. The poll tax was equivalent to most of a day’s wage for many black and Mexican workers—roughly $15.48 in today’s dollars.

1905: Texas formalizes its all-white primary system. The Terrell Election Law of 1905 made official the all-white primary system, encouraging both main political parties and county election officials to adopt voting requirements that explicitly banned minorities from voting in primaries. The stated purpose of the law? Preventing voter fraud.

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1918: Texas enacts an anti-immigrant voting law. The legislation banned interpreters at the polls and forbade naturalized citizens from receiving assistance from election judges unless they had been citizens for 21 years.

1922: Texas tries a new type of all-white primary. In 1918, black voters in Texas successfully challenged a nonpartisan all-white primary system in Waco. The state Legislature got around this snag by enacting a law banning blacks from all Democratic primaries. Because the Democratic Party was dominant in the South at the time, the candidate it selected through its primary would inevitably win the general election. Anyone voting in the party’s primary had to prove “I am white and I am a Democrat.”

1927: Texas tries a third type of all-white primary. After the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ all-white Democratic primaries, the Legislature got crafty again, passing a new law that allowed political parties—instead of the state government—to determine who could vote in party primaries. The Texas Democratic Party promptly adopted a resolution that only whites could vote.

1932: Texas tries again. In 1932, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ white primaries once more. In response, the Democratic state convention adopted a rule keeping nonwhites out of primaries. The high court initially upheld the new system.

1944: And again. The high court eventually overturned the convention-based white primary system in 1944, but party leaders could still ensure that county officials were elected by whites. A nonparty county political organization called the Jaybird Democratic Association had for decades screened candidates for nomination without allowing nonwhites to participate. The Supreme Court only invalidated the practice in 1953.

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1963: Long live the poll tax! In the middle of the civil rights era, Texans rejected a constitutional amendment that would have ended the poll tax. Efforts to repeal the tax were labeled a communist plot by mainstream Texas pols and newspapers. The tax remained in place until 1966. Research shows it dampened minority turnout until 1980.

1966: Texas implements a strict new voter registration system. After the Supreme Court invalidated Texas’ poll tax, the state Legislature enacted a restrictive registration system requiring voters to reregister annually during a four-month time period that ended nearly eight months before the general election. The high court ruled the voter registration regime unconstitutional in 1971.

1970: Texas draws discriminatory districts. The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the state’s 1970 redistricting lines were intentionally discriminatory. In each redistricting cycle since then, Texas has been found by federal courts to have violated the US Constitution or the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

1971: The state attempts to keep black students from the ballot box. Once 18-year-olds got the right to vote in 1971, Texas’ Waller County became a majority black county. To stave off the wave of new African American votes, county officials fought for years to keep students at the county’s mostly black Prairie View A&M University from accessing the polls.

1981: Texas draws discriminatory districts again. After the state redistricted a decade later, the attorney general found that two of the new districts were discriminatory and violated the Voting Rights Act. (Since 1976, the Justice Department has issued 201 objections to proposed electoral changes in Texas due to the expected discriminatory effects of the measures.)

2003: And again. In a 2006 ruling, the Supreme Court found that one of Texas’ recently redrawn counties violated the VRA.

2011: And again. A year later, a three-judge federal court ruled in Texas v. United States that the state’s local and congressional redistricting maps showed evidence of deliberate discrimination.

2011: Texas enacts its infamous voter ID law. The state’s voter ID law is the harshest of its kind in the country. Poll workers will accept fewer forms of identification than in any other state with a similar law. Earlier this month, a federal trial court struck down the law, ruling that it overly burdened minority voters. The Supreme Court reversed that court’s ruling this past weekend.

Original Article

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As an MEP, I’m ashamed of our government’s stance on immigration

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The government’s stance on immigration is a source of much shame for many MEPs in Europe. BY KEITH TAYLOR PUBLISHED 21 OCTOBER, 2014 – 09:03

The governments stance on immigration is a source of much shame for me in Europe. By falling into the UKIP trap of scapegoating immigrants for Europe’s economic problems, Prime Minister David Cameron is sending out all the wrong messages about Britain. We must counteract this by talking up the reality which is that being in the EU brings massive benefits for everyone, including immigration.

I do not disagree with this week’s New Statesman editorial that, “it would be foolish to deny that immigration from within the European Union and outside it brings pressures” and that “it would be foolish, too, to deny that there are abuses of the immigration system”. However, it cannot be assumed that immigrants are responsible for our faltering economy and for pressures on housing, jobs, schools, etc.

Take housing for example. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard parents blaming immigrants for their sons and daughters having no chance of getting onto the property ladder. The fact is that we’re in the worst housing crisis Britain has ever seen – and it wasn’t immigrants that caused it. Politicians failed us when selling off all of our council housing, by not building enough new houses and by refusing to intervene in a housing market where houses are shuffled around as financial assets instead of providing homes for people in need. Furthermore it wasn’t migrants who caused the financial crisis we’ve just been through – that was the bankers.

Too often on immigration, people are forced to defend and react to scare stories so I feel that it’s time to start setting the agenda. Immigration is great and we shouldn’t be afraid to say it. The UK is a remarkable place because of the fact there is so much diversity in culture on display. Additionally, without migrants some of our most treasured public services such as the NHS would soon fall apart.

But what about them taking jobs away from English-born people? This is a misguided concern which has managed to make it’s way right to the top of the political agenda. The answer is that there isn’t actually any real evidence to suggest that migrants take jobs away from people who were born here. Writing in the Guardian, Jonathon Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, pointed out that a recent government summary of the evidence concluded there was, “little evidence in the literature of a statistically significant impact from EU migration on native employment outcomes”.

Nor do migrants seem to push down wages. “Because immigrants earn money, spend money, set up businesses and so on, it also increases the demand for labour.” Therefore, increased wages will have to come from government – which is why my party are calling for a £10 minimum wage by 2020, in comparison to Ed Miliband’s timid call for £8 by 2020.

Freedom of movement is a massive benefit of being in the EU which is open for everyone to enjoy. Can you imagine the fuss that would be caused if as part of a revised relationship with the EU, people were told they could no longer take their annual summer holiday in France? For me, hopping across the border with my fellow UK MEPs for work at the European Parliament in Brussels is a great experience and opportunity which I would not want to lose out on. I’m sure British people living permanently in other countries would tell you the same thing.

The departing President of the European Commission Jose Manual Barroso was right to warn us over the weekend of the potential illegality of capping migrant numbers and why leaving the EU will not work in our favour. The challenge for everyone else now is to not shy away from talking up the benefits of immigration and of the wider EU project. Of course some reform of the EU is needed, like for a start stopping TTIP – but keeping freedom of movement is a no-brainer.

Keith Taylor is the Green MEP for South East England

Original Article

Labour and the truth about immigration

David Cameron making ‘historic’ mistake over EU, says José Manuel Barroso – The UK prime minister plans to impose restrictions on the free movement of citizens from EU member states

Home Office slips out immigration report under cover of police inquiry

More Americans have been Batman than have had Ebola and then there are the real heroes!

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Meet a man made of very stern stuff indeed:

Peter Pattakos spent 20 minutes Saturday in an Akron bridal shop, getting fitted for a tux for his friend’s wedding. Thursday, his friend sent a text message, telling him that Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson had been in the store around the same time.

Pattakos, 36, a Cleveland attorney who lives in Bath Township, called the health department, which told him to call back if he exhibits any Ebola symptoms. He called a doctor, who told him not to worry.

“I didn’t exchange any bodily fluids with anyone, so I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I’m much more likely to be mistakenly killed by a police officer in this country than to be killed by Ebola, even if you were in the same bridal shop.”

Yep.

Original Article

Today’s One Liners

So, after several hours of online research, I’m starting to think that the sequel to “Sophie’s Choice” isn’t “Victoria’s Secret”.

More Americans have been Batman than gotten Ebola

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest and disingenuous.

Sliced bread must think it’s the best thing ever, which is why it’s so nice to burn it in a toaster and eat it for breakfast.

I would never be childish enough to make jokes about your mum’s favourite place, it’s beneath me…

I just found a message in a bottle. It said “keep drinking me and I’ll teach you to dance.” I love wine.

Nicola Sturgeon to replace Alex Salmond as SNP leader. If your name’s Barry Haddock you may want to consider getting into Scottish politics.

Save money on expensive Halloween costumes by simply becoming a notorious serial killer.

Warning Explicit Opinions!!!

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