Friday, September 17, 2021

Last Call For It's About Suppression, Con't

Three North Carolina state judges have ruled 2-1 that the state's Voter ID law is still "motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent" to target Black voters as the legal battles continue over the NC GOP's ongoing Black voter suppression efforts.

North Carolina judges struck down the state’s latest photo voter identification law on Friday, agreeing with minority voters that Republicans rammed through rules tainted by racial bias as a way to remain in power.

Two of the three trial judges declared the December 2018 law is unconstitutional, even though it was designed to implement a photo voter ID mandate added to the North Carolina Constitution in a referendum just weeks earlier. They said the law intentionally discriminates against Black voters, violating their equal protections.

The law “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters,” Superior Court Judges Michael O’Foghludha and Vince Rozier wrote in their 100-page majority opinion.

“Other, less restrictive voter ID laws would have sufficed to achieve the legitimate nonracial purposes of implementing the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, deterring fraud, or enhancing voter confidence.”

The majority decision, which followed a three-week trial in April, is now likely headed to a state appeals court, which had previously blocked the law’s enforcement last year while the case was heard. The law remains unenforceable with this ruling.

With a similar lawsuit in federal court set to go to trial this January and another state court lawsuit now on appeal, it’s looking more unlikely that a voter ID mandate for in-person and absentee balloting will happen in the 2022 elections.

The ruling reflects “how the state’s Republican-controlled legislature undeniably implemented this legislation to maintain its power by targeting voters of color,” said Allison Riggs, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney.

Spokespersons for Republican legislative leaders, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, didn’t immediately respond to email requests for comment.


Southern states increasingly aren't "red" states, they are "states where Black and brown voters are kept from voting "states. Losing Virginia to the Democrats was bad enough, but if Republicans lost Georgia, NC, Florida and Texas, their national ambitions would be done.

They know this.

Everything going forward is the GOP maintaining their power through white supremacist tricks as old as America itself.

The Vax Of Life, Con't

The violence by anti-vax cultists continues against the rest of America, and it will continue for some time, unfortunately.

Three people were arrested for allegedly assaulting a New York City restaurant hostess on Thursday after she asked a group of diners visiting from Texas to show proof they had been vaccinated before seating them.

Cellphone footage obtained by NBC New York shows a brawl involving several people outside Carmine's Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. Staff and bystanders intervened to break up the melee after it broke out around 5 p.m. ET, the station added.

The hostess, who has not been identified, was repeatedly punched and her necklace broken, police said.

One unspecified patient was taken to the Mount Sinai Hospital, the New York City Fire Department said, without stating their condition.

The three suspects, whose ages are 21, 44 and 49, were taken to NYPD's nearby 24th precinct station house, police said.

The attack comes as New York City this week became to first major U.S. city to require hospitality, entertainment and fitness businesses to ask customers for proof of vaccination to gain access to indoor venues. Any business that fails to comply could face a $1,000 fine.

Carmine's said in a statement to NBC New York that it was "shocking and tragic situation when one of our valued employees is assaulted for doing their job — as required by city policies — and trying to make a living."
Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, said on Twitter the incident was "completely unacceptable."

In a separate tweet she added: "There’s no place for this kind of violence to be perpetrated against our essential workers."
I know the right is going to scream "Discrimination!" and make idiotic and repulsive yellow star of David comparisons blaming Mayor de Blasio as a "bigot" but nothing excuses the assault of a restaurant employee or anyone over this.

I honestly expect people to be killed over this, and soon. The next time there's violence against a restaurant worker or another person enforcing mandates like this I'm afraid it will lead to someone getting badly hurt or killed, especially if that worker is Black or brown. 

It's only a matter of time.

The Big Lie, Con't

If it even possible for a state to do a worse job than Arizona did with its bogus "independent election fraud audit investigation", the "results" being made public next week because even Arizona Republicans are actively tired of the scam, well, we're about to find out as Pennsylvania Republicans are electing to do that even worse job by subpoenaing voter information on millions of voters, effectively ridding the state of secret ballots.
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania on Wednesday approved subpoenas for a wide range of data and personal information on voters, advancing a probe of the 2020 election in a key battleground state former president Donald Trump has repeatedly targeted with baseless claims of fraud.

The move drew a sharp rebuke from Democrats who described the effort as insecure and unwarranted and said they would consider mounting a court fight. Among other requests, Republicans are seeking the names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, last four digits of Social Security numbers, addresses and methods of voting for millions of people who cast ballots in the May primary and the November general election.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) called Wednesday’s vote “merely another step to undermine democracy, confidence in our elections and to capitulate to Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.”

Wolf added in a statement, “Election security is not a game and should not be treated with such carelessness. Senate Republican[s] should be ashamed of their latest attempt to destabilize our election system through a sham investigation that will unnecessarily cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”

But Sen. Cris Dush, the Republican chairman of the committee that approved the subpoena, argued during the hearing that the information is needed because “there have been questions regarding the validity of people who have voted — whether or not they exist.”

“Again, we are not responding to proven allegations. We are investigating the allegations to determine whether or not they are factual,” he said, adding that the vetting process for outside vendors will be “rigorous.”

Judges, including on the Pennsylvania and U.S. Supreme Courts, have denied bids by Trump and his allies to overturn President Biden’s win in the state or invalidate millions of ballots.

Yet in Pennsylvania and other battleground states, Republican legislators have bowed to pressure from Trump and his base to investigate the results, despite a consensus among judges, election officials and experts that there was no widespread fraud in the election.
An outside vendor is going to have full identifying information on as many as seven million Pennsylvania voters, and exactly how they voted, including name, SSN, and all registration info. The potential for abuse or for criminal action here through a security breach is catastrophically high.

This has to be stopped by Dems and the courts.

Hopefully they will be able to.


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