Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Ninth Circuit makes another dumb decision

Roger Clegg points to another screwy decision from the 9th Circuit. A three judge panel just ruled that it was a violation of the Voting Rights Act to deny felons the right to vote. Just how have we not realized all this time that all the states that do deny felons voting rights were violating the law? It took the 9th Circuit to figure this out? Clegg summarizes why this is so very wrong.
Oh, where to begin? First, the evidence of systemic discrimination is dubious. Second, even if there were such discrimination, the record is overwhelming that Congress did not intend the Voting Rights Act to apply to felon disenfranchisement. Third, even if the Voting Rights Act did apply, the state’s legitimate and strong reasons for not wanting criminals to vote would rebut any prima facie case. Those who won’t follow the law themselves can fairly be told that they will not be allowed to make the law for everyone else. We don’t let everyone vote — not children, not noncitizens, not the mentally incompetent, and not criminals — since there are certain minimum, objective standards of responsibility, loyalty, and trustworthiness that we require of those who would participate in the serious enterprise of self-government. The Center for Equal Opportunity has devoted part of its website to this important issue.
We can hope that the entire 9th Circuit will reverse this. If not, it can be yet another dumb 9th Circuit decision that gets reversed by the Supreme Court