August 20th, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- The inexplicable ruling on the voter suppression by Judge Robert Simpson with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, on Wednesday --raised numerous questions on the regarding the facts, the law itself, and the common sense and logical abilities of judges in the judicial systems across the country.
First, did Judge Simpson grow up in a state or in a county in which "Civics" was not taught?
Was he home-schooled by parents that had no formal education whatsoever? Or was he born into an impoverished family in a poor county -- Republican governed, perhaps -- in which taxes had been reduced on the "job-creators" so much that there was not enough money left-over to actually
"have" schools? Because the average third grader from any reasonably well-funded school in any state I've ever lived in -- could have pointed out the miscarriage of justice, the violation of the Voter Rights Act, and the "criminal conspiracy to kill democracy" represented by and perpetrated in the state of Pennsylvania Judge Simpson in his ruling.
Second, is Judge Simpson hard of hearing.? Witnesses for the state of Pennsylvania testified --right in front of Judge Simpson --
well within hearing distance -- that there were no known cases of Voter ID fraud in the state of Pennsylvania for the law to have been purporting to fix. Additionally, in the absence of any "voter fraud" for the law to have as justification for its passage, we were saved the angst of wondering -- when state Rep. Mike Turzai gave us the "smoking gun" of justification for the passage of the bill. "Voter ID" he said, "which is going to allow governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania -- done"!
Third, the Secretary of the State of the state of Pennsylvania, the person which heads up the state agency which is responsible for
implementing and enforcing this egregious new "voter suppression" law, stated that she had absolutely "no idea" what the law contained. And even the governor, who signed it into law, when queried, said that there was one form or another of ID that was required or acceptable -- but that he didn't really know which ones were required or which ones were necessary and sufficient. Now that is reassuring!
Judge Robert Simpson elaborated only slightly. "At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on
my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for the counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to the evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system," Simpson wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, the Advancement Project, and the law firm of Arnold & Porter will be appealing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, according to a statement from the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
"Given clear evidence that impersonation fraud is not a problem, we had hoped that the court would show greater concern for the
hundreds of thousands of voters who will be disenfranchised by this law," Witold 'Vic' Walczak, legal director for the state's ACLU, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania GOP chairman praised the judge's decision.
"I applaud the Commonwealth Court for displaying courage and conviction in this ruling. With sensational headlines and half-truths about this legislation being touted by partisan critics, we are fortunate that the Commonwealth Court realized that the sanctity of our
elections was at stake – and took appropriate action to protect a cherished right," Rob Gleason said in a statement.
Pennsylvania is the first state outside of the areas covered by Section 5 of the Civil Rights Act designed to protect minorities in states with
historic racial discrimination in voting, to be investigated. To date the Justice Department has already filed suit against two states: South Carolina and Texas
., and may take action in Florida. Officials are awaiting a ruling by a panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., on a Texas case argued in early July. Judges have scheduled a hearing on the South Carolina case later this summer.
The Civil Rights Division has taken an aggressive approach to challenging voter photo-ID laws, which many Democratic and minority
groups claim is an effort by Republican-controlled state governments to suppress voter turnout. Republicans have charged the challenges reflect purely partisan politics designed to enhance minority turnout at the polls.
It is the considered opinion of Spotlight On Democracy that "Voter ID" laws as written by ALEC (American Legislative Council) and as
distributed to and manifested in the Republican controlled state legislatures around the country -- constitute a "clear and present danger" to the Democratic system of government of the United States in the year 2012. We further believe that the signatories to these laws are guilty of the treasonous acts of "crimes against democracy" and violations of the Voter Rights Act of 1965 -- and should be arrested, charged and tried by the Department of Justice for these crimes against Democracy.
In that for most Americans our Democracy is at least as sacred and near and dear to our hearts as the Ports of New York or the World
Trade Center buildings One and Two, and the Pentagon -- and therefore as much of a "national security threat" to us as any of the attacks on any of those buildings -- then perhaps it would be appropriate to charge the voter suppression law signatories as "enemy combatants" and subject them to extra-ordinary rendition and indefinite detention -- perhaps even incarcerate them in Guantanamo -- where the rest of us can be relatively safe from their nefarious and dangerous acts to undermine our Democracy.