Congressional Democrats' first bill aims to end gerrymandering, increase voter registration and rein in campaign finance


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/13/voting-rights-act-reborn.html


#2

It’s definitely a good start!


#3

Chances of it passing: Zero, but it doesn’t cost them anything and the Republicans will look bad killing it in the senate. Hm, refer it to the Senate Committee of Top Men People?


#4


#5

There’s also the problem that much of what it tries to do election wise. Changing how districts are set, dictating voter registration rules.

Traditionally the federal government can’t control that. Elections are administered by the states and those sorts of rules are the purview of State governments. So along with the clauses countering Supreme Court decisions, if this did pass it’d probably go down on Constitutional grounds.

But that’s an excellent way to force these subjects to the forefront.


#6

Well of course they want people to vote! When people vote, Democrats win. What we need is to make it harder for everybody except old white people.

Wait, Republicans are losing the old white people too? Well at least dollars can still vote!


#7

Can we just finally join the rest of the planet and everyone in the USA is automatically registered to vote when they turn 18?

Pretty Please, with sugar on top…


#8

Popcorn! Popcorn!


#9

Bush-era legislation established so-called “motor voter” registration nationwide. Likewise, other Bush-era legislation set us up for the current rash of absurdly insecure voting machines. Congress can’t require that those same kinds of standards apply to local elections (although the 14th Amendment was supposed to 150 years ago) but they certainly can for Federal offices.

Under the 15th Amendment, Congress has the power, should it choose to exercise it, over nearly everything having to do with Federal office elections. This came precisely because of shenanigans in the Confederacy following the War of Northern Aggression and the Great Abomination.


#10

How divided they will be will depend on what their districts are like and how much moderate support they usually depend on. I’m sure there are already conservative brain trusts looking for ways to discredit and demonize the bill, probably with invented bogeymen a la “death panels.”


#11

My point was that it would likely to be a fight and with the current court wouldn’t make it through. It’s not just the sections specifically countering Supreme court decisions that would likely be challenged and fail. But many of the other elements as well.

That in itself is a significant new tactic on the DNCs part. Previously they were pretty unwilling to pass laws that were known or suspected to be unconstitutional with the aim of instigating a court battle. But that’s been a major GOP tactic for keeping their wedge issues at the fore front of the political conversation. Even where such laws were unlikely to pass, and even less likely to make it through the courts.

A big part of how they’ve turned appointing anti roe v wade judges into a major right wing goal. Look at all these laws you want that they wont let us pass. And when we do those activist judges destroy democracy. Vote Trump, maybe he’s a sociopath but man we’ll get them judges.

As poison pill legislation goes. This is an excellent step in the direction of forefronting these issues for the next 2 years and beyond. The GOP won’t vote for it, because it endangers their electoral advantage. But voting against it looks really bad. If they do vote for it under the assumption that Trump will veto, and he does. Trump looks awful. If Trump signs it, and they, or state level GOP attack it in the courts. They still look bad, and this issue spins out for the next two years or longer.

All along the way the DNC can make hay. State level ballot initiatives, becomes a key issue for down ballot races. Don’t you think you should give us the Senate in 2020 so we can pass this. We need the presidency to get judges who respect democracy. And so forth.


#12

Fixing gerrymandering is a tall order. If they change the areas of ridings. they’ve only given a temporary fix. One that’s open to accusations of gerrymandering in their favor. To properly fix that, and many related problems, they’d need to look at proportional representation, like mixed member proportional.


#13

Yup. Time to play hardball – and that means SMART hardball. I detect Pelosi’s fine hand in this, and hope that when she’s no longer Speaker they’ll pay careful attention to her advice. (It looks as though they have taken her “don’t even mention impeachment” dictum to heart, anyway.)


#14

#15

I’m not sure at this point that I’m even worried about it passing. Just the fact that the people we elected are actually taking some kind of action on an issue is encouraging as hell right now.


#16

Well look at that. Maybe, just maybe, the Dems are wising up to the fact that they’ve never been able to use these cheats as effectively as the GOP and don’t really have to.


#17

Let’s see what kind of mental gymnastics they use to justify voting against this… Should be interesting.


#18

The first bill should have been medicare for all - something that would cost the wrong side for opposing. And health care was the #1 issue in the election.


#19

Same as usual: “money = speech, why do Dems hate the First Amendment, blah-blah-blah…”


#20

Pfft. Like they’ll ever get Senate Republicans to support public transit.