Friday, June 28, 2013

That perfectly sums it all up...

Richard Posner is no "liberal" judge, thought he is a respected and conservative one.  He had an interesting statement to make about Chief Justice Robert's reasoning in overturning the Voting Rights Act...and it is on the nose:

Shelby County v. Holder, decided Tuesday, struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (the part requiring certain states with a history of racial discrimination in voting to obtain federal permission in advance to change their voting procedures—called “preclearance”) as violating the “fundamental principle of equal sovereignty” of the states. This is a principle of constitutional law of which I had never heard—for the excellent reason that, as Eric points out and I will elaborate upon briefly, there is no such principle.
There is no greater condemnation of a legal opinion in our system of jurisprudence than -- THEY MADE IT UP.

6 comments:

Aaron said...

So this whole "principle of equal sovereignty" will be what he cites when he strikes down federal drug laws that conflict with indvidual states who leagalize pot, right?

Yeah, no. Fuck these guys.

pansypoo said...

the CONSERVATIVE ACTIVISTS have been making shit up since 2000.

Ed Furey said...

Comment is correct, but it was Eric Posner, not Richard Posner.

Montag said...

Actually, the quote is Richard Posner referring to Eric Posner's earlier remarks.

That aside, both Posners are correct about this not being an established Constitutional principle. The 15th Amendment, in fact, makes it pretty clear that the Federal government can treat states differently based on lack of compliance with federal voting law. The text says, "any State...," and Section 2 says the federal government can address non-compliance with "appropriate legislation." Since not all states behave identically with regard to compliance, appropriate legislation would not necessarily require all states to be treated identically, and that it was permissible to target non-compliant states only.

There is no implicit or explicit recognition of "equal sovereignty" in the amendment. Since this amendment has specifically to do with voting, and the Voting Rights Act is solely concerned with voting, no other implication of equal sovereignty elsewhere in the Constitution could logically override the specific lack of same in the amendment as concerns individual voting rights.

But, hey, what do I know? I'm not a great legal mind like Scalia or Sammy "The Fish" Alito, or Clarence Thomas, or John Roberts.

But, then, I'm not a right-wing creep, either.

MRjonz54 said...

And somewhere in Hell, Roger B. Taney monetarily felt a cool breeze.

Anonymous said...

I'm no Originalist, but it seems to me the States certainly were treated differently in the original constitution that these morons claim to revere...