Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Historic Voting Rights Law

Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Historic Voting Rights LawThe law passed at the height of America’s civil rights movement, when citizens in parts of the country were fighting each other and sometimes authorities over how skin color impacts a person’s place in a democracy. Now, it’s present and future are in doubt after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Tuesday that key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are no longer valid.

‘Unfair barriers’

Tuesday’s ruling doesn’t change the fact it’s still illegal to discriminate against a person when it comes to voting. But it does change how some governments have been singled out. Unlike the rest of the nation, these municipalities, counties and states have had to get the federal government’s approval first before they made any changes to their voting laws and regulations.

Civil rights groups say the Voting Rights Act — specifically Section 5, the mechanism for the special treatment for some locales — has been an important tool in protecting minority voters from governments with a history of setting unfair barriers to the polls.


‘Equal voting process’

The law had been working in preventing “discriminatory voting changes,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. Specifically, he mentioned how it blocked Texas from adopting a new congressional redistricting map that would have “discriminated against Latino voters.” Holder also said the Voting Rights Act changed how South Carolina will implement a law requiring photo identification before being allowed to vote.

Obama characterized Tuesday’s ruling as a “setback,” even as he vowed his “administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.”

This particular change in the Voting Rights Act — is it a good thing or a bad thing in general? Feel free to air out your comments below!

Source: Bill Mears and Greg Botelho | CNN

Image: Al-Rasub

Koch Industries Threatens Layoff If Obama Is Re-Elected

Koch Industries Threatens Layoff If Obama Is Re-ElectedKoch Industries, the Wichita, Kan.-based company run by the billionaire Koch brothers, sent a voter information packet to 45,000 employees of its Georgia Pacific subsidiary earlier this month.

‘Suffer the consequences’

In it was a letter, dated Oct. 1, from Koch Industries president Dave Robertson implicitly warning that “many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences” of voting for President Obama and other Democrats in the 2012 elections, a list of conservative candidates the company’s political action committee endorses and a pair of editorials: one, by David Koch, supporting Mitt Romney, and the other, by Charles Koch, condemning Obama. Robertson’s letter said:

“If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills. This is true regardless of what your political affiliation might be.”


‘Anti-Obama Missives’

Last week, David Siegel, the founder and CEO of Florida-based Westgate Resorts, sent an email to employees informing them that layoffs are likely if Obama is reelected. Siegel and the Koch brothers are not alone in issuing anti-Obama missives to employees.  According to MSNBC, Arthur Allen, chief executive of ASG Software Solutions, wrote a similar email to his staffers on Sept. 30 which stated:

“Many of you have been with ASG for over 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years… If the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none… If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

Do you agree or disagree that Obama’s re-election will bring massive layoffs? Who are you going to vote for during the 2012 elections in the U.S.?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Democratic Underground