Eric Holder fails to fight election policies that discriminate against me

For as long as Democrats have been in charge of legislative redistricting in Illinois, my right to be represented fairly has been trampled, without a peep from the like of Eric Holder who are determined to find racism under every rock. (Slate: "Erick Holder: We won't allow 'open season' on voter ID laws.")

The Constitution requires that congressional districts must be "compact and contiguous" but House Speaker Michael Madigan who is in charge of Democratic-controlled redistricting, has creating maps maximize Dem control while leaving Republican voters pretty much out in the cold.

To be successful in his suit against Texas requiring voter ID, Holder must prove that requiring voters to show an ID at the polls is intended to trample on minority voting rights. That's a high standard. But it's easy to show that Madigan et al clearly intended to smother the importance of my vote.

Yes, I know that I'm mixing legal apples and oranges by drawing parallels to these two issues. But, isn't disenfranchisement still disenfranchisement, no matter the color of my skin?

For example, Illinois' 4th Congressional district  (below) is designed to protect Democratic Cong. Luis Gutiérrez Does it look 4th districtcompact and contiguous to you?





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  • Take a look at the congressional shapes in Texas, Pa, Ohio, and Georgia. Look at the imbalance in national voting and the Congressional House numbers.

    Fairness dictates that something needs to be done to avoid officeholders protection of their seats. Until a national mandate is enacted that provides for non partisan drawing of congressional districts is effected, we will continue to see the inequity eliminated.

  • You can't be serious, Dennis. You assert a false equivalency between your putative victimization and the overt, concerted effort of Republican governors to suppress minority voting.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    One, as I indicated, if there is "overt, concerted effort" to intentionally disenfranchise minorities, it must be proven in court. What Holder is saying that racism is so institutionalized that you can assume that the intent can be taken for granted. Folks who start with the premise that such intent, rooted in racial hatred, are driven by ideology and their own brand of loathing. The "de factor" impact of Texas policies might well be disparate, and if that's so, efforts should be made to correct that.

    But in the case of Illinois, there is no doubt about motivation and intent: the map is overtly designed to weaken Republican voices. Is there anyone who would deny that? And just so you understand: When I was on the Sun-Times editorial board and the Republicans happened to control districting, I opposed the same practice by the GOP and wrote the paper's editorials objecting to it.

    So, yes, apples and oranges, as I said. But the larger issue is the same: monkey business with our basic civil rights. I am absolutely serious. Whether it is voter fraud in Chicago and Illinois, or in Texas.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Dennis, can you enumerate examples of voter fraud in these Republican-run states which justify changing voting requirements that would disproportionately penalize minorities? It's a solution, as they say, without a problem.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It is an inoculation against a disease called voter fraud, spread by the left. Can you name any group of citizens with voting rights that are categorically denied photo ID's or are categorically denied the right to vote?

    Can you enumerate what other activities you feel should not require a valid ID? Gun ownership? Drivers License? Admittance to a commercial plane flight? Cashing a check anywhere?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Aquinas, always the partisan. You just cannot admit or concede that the Democrat politician has at least self-preservation in mind?

    As Dennis said, he at least called out the Republicans for the same effort.

    One party rule, which we have had in Illinois, even with Republican governors, is the reason Illinois will probably be the first state to go "bankrupt".

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It's in states controlled by the left, like Illinois and Chicago specifically, where fraud occurs. What Republican governors are leading on is preventing it from spreading further.

    But any thinking person would know that.

  • fb_avatar

    And if you look at the Illinois 5th District, which extends from North and East of the 4th (in the Wrigleyville neighborhood) all the way west and south to Hinsdale in Dupage County. How exactly does that meet the standard of "compact and contiguous?"

  • In reply to Wayne Driscoll:

    Wayne, is there a state that doesn't gerrymander in one way or another?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Yes Iowa is but one example of computer generated political districting. There are several other states, mostly Red, that use similar programs.

  • In reply to DanL60:

    Let's see, you can count 3 out of 50? Case dismissed!

  • A better example from Illinois for why Holder/Obama are being hypocritical about Voting Rights is the 2005 Lee v. Keith case from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Prior to that case, it had been 25 years since an Independent candidate had been able to get on the ballot for the Illinois General Assembly or US Congress. The 7th Circuit ruled that Illinois election law had violated the 1st and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution by making ballot access laws impossible to meet for Independent candidates. After losing the case, Lisa Madigan did not appeal to SCOTUS.

    From the ruling,
    "In combination, the ballot access requirements for independent legislative candidates in Illinois--the early filing deadline, the 10% signature requirement, and the additional statutory restriction that disqualifies anyone who signs an independent candidate's nominating petition from voting in the primary--operate to unconstitutionally burden the freedom of political association guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Ballot access barriers this high--they are the most restrictive in the nation and have effectively eliminated independent legislative candidacies from the Illinois political scene for a quarter of a century--are not sustainable based on the state's asserted interest in deterring party splintering, factionalism, and frivolous candidacies".

    Unlike in Texas, it has been recently proven that Illinois election laws violated the US Constitution and blatantly discriminated against political independents by keeping them off our ballots for 25 years. What are Obama/Holder doing about that?

    Article III, Section 3 Illinois Constitution.
    "All elections shall be free and equal."

    Signature requirements to run US House in that gerrymandered 4th District as an example.
    Democrat - 686. Republican - 145. Independent or Other Party - 8,607.

    Signature requirement to run for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court in the 2nd District as an example.
    Democrat - 1,394. Republican - 2,012. Independent - 25,000.

  • In reply to Jeff Trigg:

    Eric, oh, Eric? Yoo-hoo? Are you listening?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    He had to go get his SNAP card refilled. He will be right back.

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