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SCOTUS Watch

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msduncan
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SCOTUS Watch

Post by msduncan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:24 am

First ruling:

Cops can DNA swab anyone under arrest
At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court was one of the first to say that it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King’s DNA without approval from a judge, saying King had “a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches.”

But the high court’s decision reverses that ruling and reinstates King’s rape conviction, which came after police took his DNA during an unrelated arrest. Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer.
And the minority:
“Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,” conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom.

Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by msduncan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:28 am

Strange mixture of alliances on that ruling.
It's 109 first team All-Americans.
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It's 15 National Championships.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by hepcat » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:35 am

Discussing this on GT too. I'm in the camp that this is simply the 21st century version of fingerprinting.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LordMortis » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:40 am

hepcat wrote:Discussing this on GT too. I'm in the camp that this is simply the 21st century version of fingerprinting.
Makes sense to me.

What you do with the DNA is a different question though. If it's just for finger printing those that are arrested and is only used to verify presence at a crime then it's fine IMO.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by msduncan » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:42 am

Doesn't really bother me. What other hot button topics are being decided during this session?
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:46 am

I had no idea that states were taking DNA swabs after arrests. Are those states doing it for everyone that is arrested? That's got to cost a ton of money.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Exodor » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:50 am

msduncan wrote:Doesn't really bother me. What other hot button topics are being decided during this session?
DOMA/ California's Prop 8 I think?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:12 am

I believe they are reviewing a case at least related to the Voting Rights Act of 1965(? working from memory here), particularly the part that makes all of the Southern States [voting] laws subject to review by the feds. Should have an impact of voter ID laws, etc.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:04 pm

Yeah, the "We haven't been allowed to be racist in gerrymandering in 48 years, so we would never do that now" lawsuit.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:37 pm

DNA and genes cannot be patented.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that human genes cannot be patented.

But in something of a compromise decision, all nine justices said while the naturally occurring isolated biological material itself is not patentable, a synthetic version of the gene material may be patented.

"Genes and the information they encode are not patent-eligible under [federal law] simply because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material," said Justice Clarence Thomas for the 9-0 court decision.

The case involves Utah-based company Myriad Genetics, which was sued over its claim of patents relating to two types of biological material that it identified -- BRCA1 and BRCA2, whose mutations are linked to increased hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
This is a pretty big ruling since it changes how the patent system had previously been working re: genes/DNA. It's good to see that the ruling was unanimous as well.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by silverjon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:42 pm

You didn't build that!
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Enough » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Great news, glad to see that decision.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Unagi » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:41 pm

silverjon wrote:You didn't build that!
nice :D

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Unagi » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:42 pm

I imagine Monsanto is upset by that ruling... And that's a good thing.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:44 pm

Unagi wrote:I imagine Monsanto is upset by that ruling... And that's a good thing.
I'm not sure that they will be affected so much. From what I understand after doing no research whatsoever, most of their patents deal with transgenic plants. Those are still covered by patent laws as they have effectively created something not found in nature.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Unagi » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:50 pm

Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
Unagi wrote:I imagine Monsanto is upset by that ruling... And that's a good thing.
I'm not sure that they will be affected so much. From what I understand after doing no research whatsoever, most of their patents deal with transgenic plants. Those are still covered by patent laws as they have effectively created something not found in nature.
Yeah, I realize much of what they do is not natural, I'm just saying I am sure they were one entity that would have loved to put a patent on even the natural stuff.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by silverjon » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:16 am

Unagi wrote:
Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
Unagi wrote:I imagine Monsanto is upset by that ruling... And that's a good thing.
I'm not sure that they will be affected so much. From what I understand after doing no research whatsoever, most of their patents deal with transgenic plants. Those are still covered by patent laws as they have effectively created something not found in nature.
Yeah, I realize much of what they do is not natural, I'm just saying I am sure they were one entity that would have loved to put a patent on even the natural stuff.
*cough*
http://www.countercurrents.org/en-shiva270404.htm" target="_blank
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:46 am

Another day, another lack of DOMA decision. Although the court did announce it would release opinions tomorrow as well (rather than just on Thursday).
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Pyperkub » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:28 pm

stessier wrote:Another day, another lack of DOMA decision. Although the court did announce it would release opinions tomorrow as well (rather than just on Thursday).
I'm starting to think they will get out of town before DOMA/Prop 8 is decided. It will be the last decision, and most likely will also not be a real decision.

Which may well be appropriate, given how divided the country is and has been on this, and how the decision tends to go with upholding ideals against what has been a strong majority (IMHO)
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:55 pm

Prop 8 will likely not be a "real" decision -- they'll decide that the standing issues make it impossible for them to hear the case, and will boot it back down to the Ninth Circuit, whose ruling will stand. Marriage equality will return to California soon thereafter.

DOMA very much will be a real decision. I fully expect the Court to strike down Section 3 of DOMA, meaning the Federal government will be empowered to recognize gay marriages. Which gay marriages they'll be recognizing will be a massive headache for Congress and the White House, unless SCOTUS paints with a wide brush in its ruling and makes things easier.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Exodor » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:29 am

Re: Voting Rights Act decision:
Dan Froomkin ‏@froomkin 1h
A court ruled by originalists strikes down a duly-passed law they don't like on the argument that times have changed.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Cortilian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:00 pm

Exodor wrote:Re: Voting Rights Act decision:
Dan Froomkin ‏@froomkin 1h
A court ruled by originalists strikes down a duly-passed law they don't like on the argument that times have changed.
OK time for my yearly foray into R&P.

Um,, so what does that decision mean? Does it have any real practical impact?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Captain Caveman » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Cortilian wrote:
Exodor wrote:Re: Voting Rights Act decision:
Dan Froomkin ‏@froomkin 1h
A court ruled by originalists strikes down a duly-passed law they don't like on the argument that times have changed.
OK time for my yearly foray into R&P.

Um,, so what does that decision mean? Does it have any real practical impact?
ARAIK, it means that Voter ID laws and the like are more likely to stand, not be deemed discriminatory, and no longer be easily challenged in the courts. I'd be surprised if we don't see a resurgence in these sorts of laws for 2014 and 2016 (and probably kill any interest the GOP has in passing the immigration bill).

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:46 pm

I have seen some Republicans celebrating this decision (immigration reform etc as CC points out). However, this decision has all the ingredients to mix up some potent liberal rage fuel; it just might end up backfiring on Republicans.

Edit: As a side note, the changing conditions aspect really rankles me....it makes the whole decision seem all that more political. The Conservative members spend a lot of time spilling ink about deference to duly passed laws of Congress except...when they don't...this was a very ugly decision in a way.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:31 pm

Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:39 pm

Redfive wrote:Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
Perhaps but it is completely inconsistent with what at least two of them if not 3 of them explicitly say is their approach and theory to judicial review. Essentially, my beef is with the lack of integrity possibly demonstrated. I don't have a strong opinion on the policy itself.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Holman » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:45 pm

Redfive wrote:Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
It's funny. You never see those Democrats any more. I wonder where they all went?
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:59 pm

Holman wrote:
Redfive wrote:Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
It's funny. You never see those Democrats any more. I wonder where they all went?
Yeah, I see what you did there--not that it wasn't obvious, but you can rest assured that 'those people' inhabit the full range of the political spectrum.

There should never, ever be discrimination or laws put in place that stop any citizens from voting which is why voter ID laws should actually be the solution...Of course that puts it all right back squarely in the political side of things.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:00 pm

I skimmed part of the decision : it seems less "non-originalist" than I initially believed as it is mostly grounded in a very strict reading of the 15th amendment-- however that reading is based on some interesting mental gymnastics. They basically complain that the pre-clearance formula is based on conditions of the past and that a new formula would need to reflect current conditions. Considering Congress reviewed it in 2006 (as Ginsburg asserted in her dissent) then Congress is in a real bind. That apparently isn't contemporary enough. An interesting point of view is that that the first time the VRA came up in 2009 he telegraphed a good portion of this decision; which was essentially only a few years after the last review. So it could imply that the process would require very short review periods. How do you come to meaningful results on short time frames statistically considering election windows? You probably can't. So they have effectively killed it two ways: Congress is broken and wouldn't pass reform anyway and secondly any formula they manage to agree on is going to be put through the wringer. No one is going to bother.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by noxiousdog » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:24 pm

Or they could apply it equally to all states.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:32 pm

Redfive wrote:Well, it shouldn't. There very much was a need for that provision in the 60s when the Democrat run South had passed all of the Jim Crow legislation, but times have changed and there is no longer a reason to hold only a few states to a different standard.
[/quote]

Southern conservatives continue to try to disenfranchise minority voters throughout the South. Witness the "voter caging" programs in Florida in 2004, 2008 and 2012, which preemptively de-registered thousands of black Floridians from the voting rolls *without notice* because they had the same name as felons. Take a look at the current Texas electoral district maps, which are designed specifically to pack minorities into as few districts as possible, limiting their electoral voice far beyond what would be required to ensure "minority majority" districts, or shatter them amongst numerous white majority districts by breaking their communities up into small pieces, all to ensure that white Republicans win the vast majority of the seats.

Driving west from downtown Dallas you will enter, leave, re-enter, re-leave, re-enter and re-leave the same two state House districts *while driving in a straight line* because those districts literally swirl around each other to break up the existing Latino communities thoroughly enough to ensure that white Republicans win both districts. I used to work in Texas, and I have folders full of complaint forms about white Republican election judges sending minority voters away from the polls for not having "sufficient" identification when the voters had exactly the paperwork they were required to have to vote. Prior to 2006, one prominent early voting location in Dallas County produced voting results a full five points weaker than the Democratic performance of the surrounding areas would have suggested amid constant complaints of harassment of Latino voters; after 2006, when the location's election judge was no longer a Republican, the discrepancy disappeared.

Redfive wrote:There should never, ever be discrimination or laws put in place that stop any citizens from voting which is why voter ID laws should actually be the solution...Of course that puts it all right back squarely in the political side of things.
A large percentage of adult Americans do not have a valid photographic ID that lists their current place of residence and would face significant financial hardship acquiring and maintaining such a piece of identification.

Offices for the production of such cards are distributed unevenly, based mostly on the density not of people but of *drivers*. Most Americans do not have on hand the documentation required to acquire those forms of ID (a certified birth certificate, etc), and those documents themselves can be costly. Acquiring a license can cost hundreds of dollars in expenses and lost wages for a person who, like most Americans without ID, has a job without paid time off. These are also the Americans most likely to move at least once a year, thus accruing more costs as they would have to take time off work to go get *another* license with the new address *every time* they move (many states do not issue address change stickers via mail anymore, and require in person appearances to get cards issued). Many of these workers are not allowed to take such time off by their employers, so the cost to taking a day off from work to get an ID could very well be their job.

These costs and risks create an undue burden on the working poor in acquiring a valid, up-to-date photographic ID. Unless major changes are being made to the distribution system for such IDs, to end the need for, sometimes, multiple hours of travel to and from ID offices for people who live in working class areas, and unless *all* costs associated can be waived, including requiring businesses to allow time off for employees to acquire documentation for IDs and the IDs themselves without risk to employment, the result is that voter ID laws are massively more burdensome for poor people than they are for rich people. Of course, the Republicans who push these laws routinely refuse to accept amendments to ameliorate this imbalance -- because making it more burdensome for poor people than it is for rich people is the *point* of their legislative initiatives.

That doesn't even get into edge cases like black people born in the rural south in the 1950s and early 1960s, many of whom were never issued birth certificates. Or the fact that a woman who gets married and sends in her change-of-name forms on the same day to both the voting office and the ID office may be denied her right to vote because the voter roll gets updated before her new ID arrives. Or the fact that college kids who are often registered to vote where they live near campus but whose driver's license lists their parents' address may be denied their right to vote. But, again, those aren't flaws to the folks who wrote these bills.

There is virtually no voter identification fraud in the United States. There are much easier ways to commit electoral fraud, and impersonation fraud is time consuming, difficult, easy to catch and requires a broad group of conspirators. Most election fraud in the United States is either direct fraud by vote counting officials, or mail ballot fraud. The latter is a bigger problem, but also easier to solve through the sort of highly-redundant systems put in place in states like Oregon. If everywhere in America adopted Oregon's ballot system, we'd see a major jump in voter participation, and a virtual end to non-official electoral fraud.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:09 pm

You know, I don't mean to minimize all the effort you just put forth above with such short responses, but the reality is I don't have the energy / interest to engage line by line.

To the first part of what you said: Essentially, I read that as 'Texas is a Red State'

*shrug*

It was a Blue State before until all the evil, rich, racist, conservative Democrats decided to become evil, rich, racist conservative Republicans.

The party in power shapes redistricting and districts get redrawn to re-elect the party in power. Not really news and not exclusive to Republicans.

A more interesting, completely separate discussion would be why they have to be redrawn to exclude Latinos who culturally should be 90% Republican. 90% may be extreme, but for the sake of discussion I'm using it.

The second part of the response (about how poor people literally cannot get IDs) is just--BS..I'm sorry.

I promise I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I just don't buy it.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Exodor » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:10 pm

Well that didn't take long
Shortly after the high court issued a sweeping 5-4 decision Tuesday striking down a centerpiece of the historic 1965 law, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to immediately implement a controversial voter ID law in the Lone Star State that was blocked last year by the now-gutted preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:13 pm

Exodor wrote:Well that didn't take long
Shortly after the high court issued a sweeping 5-4 decision Tuesday striking down a centerpiece of the historic 1965 law, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to immediately implement a controversial voter ID law in the Lone Star State that was blocked last year by the now-gutted preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Not surprising, especially for us who are local.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:41 pm

Redfive wrote:You know, I don't mean to minimize all the effort you just put forth above with such short responses, but the reality is I don't have the energy / interest to engage line by line.
I understand. You're just an uninformed conservative who can't imagine alone living a life different than how he lives his, and no capability of feeling empathy for anyone worse off than you.

I apologize to myself for wasting my valuable time at lunch putting effort into a reply to something like you.

I am so glad I will never live in Texas again. I just hope my brother and his wife escape before they have kids.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Redfive » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:51 pm

Fireball1244 wrote:
Redfive wrote:You know, I don't mean to minimize all the effort you just put forth above with such short responses, but the reality is I don't have the energy / interest to engage line by line.
I understand. You're just an uninformed conservative who can't imagine alone living a life different than how he lives his, and no capability of feeling empathy for anyone worse off than you.

I apologize to myself for wasting my valuable time at lunch putting effort into a reply to something like you.

I am so glad I will never live in Texas again. I just hope my brother and his wife escape before they have kids.

Hey, it wasn't me that jumped through your monitor and told you to put down your granola bar and wheat grass juice to respond. Feel free to apologize to yourself though ;)

If you ever decide to come back, look me up here. I'll meet you and have a beer with you so you can, you know, actually get to know me a little before you presume that you could actually insult me with a response like that.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by msduncan » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:05 pm

Ok i'll say it. Democrats hide behind calling out 'discrimination' and 'racism' to try and prevent asking voters for their ID. Why do they do this? Because they can then bus ineligible individuals to the polls to get their chosen candidates in. To their credit they are trying to get all of these ineligible voters legalized en mass with this immigration bill, but in the meantime they are relying on having the pollsters ill equipped with having any tools to determine if the person standing in front of them is a US citizen or not.

This voter suppression bullshit you are hearing out of Fireball and Democrats is just that -- bullshit.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:08 pm

And I have yet to see any documentation to see mass loads of illegals being used to rig votes. So right back at ya, there, msd.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:13 pm

msduncan wrote:Democrats hide behind calling out 'discrimination' and 'racism' to try and prevent asking voters for their ID. do they do this? Because they can then bus ineligible individuals to the polls to get their chosen candidates in. To their credit they are trying to get all of these ineligible voters legalized en mass with this immigration bill, but in the meantime they are relying on having the pollsters ill equipped with having any tools to determine if the person standing in front of them is a US citizen or not.
Show one shred of evidence of this. I already posted why I oppose these laws *as written*. You clearly don't care about the reality. You can't even argue the facts I raised.

Are you calling me a liar? Are you accusing me of a crime?
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
Zarathud: The sad thing is that Barak Obama is a very intelligent and articulate person, even when you disagree with his views it's clear that he's very thoughtful. I would have loved to see Obama in a real debate.
Me: Wait 12 years, when he runs for president. :-)

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msduncan
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by msduncan » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:15 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:And I have yet to see any documentation to see mass loads of illegals being used to rig votes. So right back at ya, there, msd.

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Give me a single reason why asking someone for their ID when casting a vote to elect individuals that determine policy, security, national interests, taxes, etc of this country is a bad thing? If you are intimidated at the booth for showing proof that you are who you say you are, then you have bigger problems than any voting rights act can handle.

NOT asking for identification undermines the protection against foreign influence in our elections. Pure and simple. It's time to stop this bullshit charade of claiming this is racist or discriminates.
It's 109 first team All-Americans.
It's a college football record 61 bowl appearances.
It's 34 bowl victories.
It's 24 Southeastern Conference Championships.
It's 15 National Championships.

At some places they play football. At Alabama we live it.

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