The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election.
Three of the court’s more conservative members dissented, saying they would have allowed officials to require identification.
Around the same time, a federal trial court in Texas struck down that state’s ID law, saying it put a disproportionate burden on minority voters.
The Wisconsin requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, is part of a state law enacted in 2011 but mostly blocked by various courts in the interim. A federal trial judge had blocked it, saying it would “deter or prevent a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack ID from voting” and would disproportionately affect black and Hispanic voters.
The law was provisionally reinstated last month by a unanimous three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Chicago hours after it heard arguments. The full court was deadlocked, five to five, on a request for a new hearing.
“It is simply impossible, as a matter of common sense and of logistics, that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters will both learn about the need for photo identification and obtain the requisite identification in the next 36 days,” the appeals court judges opposed to the requirement wrote.
The three-judge panel upheld the law on Monday, reasoning that it was similar to one from Indiana that the Supreme Court upheld in 2008.
The challengers to the Wisconsin law asked the Supreme Court to block the voter identification requirement for now, saying it would “virtually guarantee chaos at the polls.” Whatever the legality, they said, the state cannot issue enough IDs and train enough poll workers before the November election.
The law requires absentee voters to submit identification. But forms sent before the appeals court acted did not include that requirement. State officials had said they would not count ballots returned without copies of valid ID.
The officials argued that voters knew of the appeals court’s ruling and that blocking it would cause confusion. “Voters would get the pinball treatment,” they wrote. They told the justices that opponents “legitimately raise issues regarding absentee ballots,” but that local election officials were trying to inform voters that they might have to take more steps for their votes to be counted.
One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything” to bring him over. “They were ready to back the Brinks truck up,” the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“Obama faces trash talk left, right and center – literally – and doesn’t deserve it. Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflicted disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history. His health reform is imperfect but still a huge step forward – and it’s working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it’s much more effective than you’d think. Economic management has been half-crippled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much better than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy.”—
If you write for the National Review Online and you’re not getting yourself all worked up about something all the time, you’re not doing it right.
Today, it’s those damned liberals and their ridiculous and nefarious attempts at inclusivity.
“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at Lincoln Public Schools.
“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.
My son, who is 4 years old, is in the “bears” classroom at day care. Last year, I think, he was a “fish.” I presume it helps when the various pre-k classrooms get together on the playground; the teachers can say something like, “OK. All the ‘bears’ line up to go inside for snack.”
This is an absolute non-issue for the kids. I don’t think my son has ever commented on being a “bear” instead of a “fish,” apart from saying that they colored on cut-outs of bears during their first week in the new classroom. It gives them a theme for the year. It doesn’t affect his identity; it doesn’t confuse him when there are boys and girls who are all called bears. He doesn’t believe himself to be a girl or an actual bear.
But let’s imagine for a moment that my little boy did believe himself to be a little girl. If my kid was transgender, I can only imagine how helpful it would be to have a system in place that made at least one thing easier, that focused on drawing all the kids together as “bears” or “fish” or “purple penguins” rather than leaving my kid feeling unusual and isolated.
Let me say this again: Fun classroom animal names is an absolute non-issue for the kids in the classroom. It’s only an issue for certain conservatives who want to get themselves all worked up and yell at liberals.
Like the geniuses who are commenting on the NRO story:
“The Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, Shwe Mann, another former general, met with me in another gigantic room, beneath a painting of a lush Burmese landscape that seemed to stretch for miles. He was chatty and good-natured. “We’ve been studying your country trying to understand how to run a Parliament,” he told me. I asked if he’d read books or consulted with experts. “Oh no,” he said. “We’ve been watching The West Wing.” I laughed and promised that we would provide even more information.”—Hillary Clinton, Hard Choices (via kileyrae)
There’s just one problem: Duncan Hunter appears to have made up his claim out of whole cloth.
If U.S. Border Patrol officials had actually caught 10 Islamic State militants at our border, it would be an extremely important national development. But the reason “there’s nobody talking about it” is that this never actually happened in reality.
Danny Vinik reached out to a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, who said on the record, “The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.”
Which raises the question of whether one congressman – and only one congressman – has secret knowledge about bizarre circumstances that no one else can verify, or whether that congressman made stuff up during a Fox News interview.
Vice President Biden is forced to apologize when he says things that are true, while Republican members of Congress don’t have to apologize, ever, when they say things are demonstrably ridiculous.
“But suddenly out of nowhere, Obama admits what everyone knows. Our Businesses are punishing us. They want us to work for nothing, or as little as is necessary to keep us alive. Obama admits that this economy isn’t about fairness or social justice. It’s about power, the power to punish. That power has been handed to Our Businesses. They have a free hand to punish hard-working citizens, because they and they alone have the power to give people jobs, and they and they alone have the power to determine what they will pay you.”—Obama Says Our Businesses Are Punishing Workers (via azspot)
“President Obama got a lot of flack during his 2012 campaign for re-election for saying that wealthy business owners “didn’t build that” all by themselves, but his point was indisputable. The president mentioned the internet, roads and bridges, firefighting, and other public works that make it possible for the market economy to function and thrive. He could have said far more. How about the culture of general law-abidingness that we call the rule of law? The Federal Reserve’s regulation of the money supply? An independent judiciary for the settlement of civil disputes? Law enforcement at local, state, and federal levels that fights violent crime, fraud, corruption, monopolistic business practices, and a host of other behaviors that would otherwise scuttle the working of markets? And on and on and on. The order we see at work in the United States and in other advanced democracies is anything but spontaneous.”—
As we and others already discussed this week, the wingnuts and the talking heads over at Faux “news” have worked themselves into a lather over their latest fake “controversy” which they have since dubbed the “latte salute” — which is actually just their latest excuse to completely disrespect President Obama.
Obamacare isn’t by any means a perfect law and not everything in it is going right. The law powers a different insurance market in every state (plus the District of Columbia), so it is perfectly possible for Obamacare to be a success in California even as there are troubles in Minnesota. And there continue to be operational issues: there have been troubling revelations about web site security, and problems verifying the incomes of some enrollees.
On the whole, though, costs are lower than expected, enrollment is higher than expected, the number of insurers participating in the exchanges is increasing, and more states are joining the Medicaid expansion. Millions of people have insurance who didn’t have it before. The law is working. But a lot of the people who are convinced Obamacare is a disaster will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them.