Koch Wing of SCOTUS  Grants OHIO GOP Its Wish To Restrict Early Voting


Hustend disenfranchising voters

The Koch brothers controlled branch of the Supreme Court of the United States, granted Jon Husted’s wish to uphold the Republicans restrictions on early voting in Ohio.

From a legal perspective, there is room to suggest that since Husted “only” rolled back early voting by a week, it isn’t a big deal.  In fact, there is room to argue that doesn’t really hinder people’s voting rights since other states have shorter early voting periods or no early voting at all.  However, if one looks at the developments in election law over the past several years, there is no doubt that restrictions on the vote are definitely occurring, even if it is on an incremental basis.


Here is the Court’s order:


Ohio Scotus order


Technically, this is a temporary order.  An order like this one isn’t supposed to be an indicator of how the court would rule on the issues in this case.  Also, it is worth noting again that this reduces early voting by a week, but doesn’t eliminate it all together.

Still, we know the “conservative” wing of the Supreme Court grants unfettered civil rights to corporations while choosing to look upon the rights of human beings in the narrowest possible way.  Examples include the rulings on Citizens United, Hobby Lobby and Shelby v. Holder.

This divide is reflected in what is supposed to be an administrative order.  It’s only supposed to say, we’re putting a hold on this law until the courts sort out the legal issues.  Typically, you don’t see partisan divisions on orders like this one.  However, the fact that there is a 5-4 split along ideological lines suggests we are seeing same division that occurred in Shelby v. Holder and we will probably see again when the Court considers vote suppression laws.

As Rick Hasen  said in his  analysis of the order,

 But now if the Supreme Court reads both the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act very narrowly in the Ohio case, it is bad news all around and in cases where the changes matter more.

There is reasoning to feel a sense of doom over this order because the way the SCOTUS chooses to interpret the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting rights will influence how the court rules on the vote suppression laws of Texas and North Carolina.  In other words, the Court is using the Ohio case to establish a new “precedent” in its interpretation of the Equal Protect Clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  It will then apply that “precedent” when the vote suppression laws of Texas and North Carolina land on the docket.

Simply put, Liberal judges interpret the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting rights Act more broadly in the spirit of recognizing that free and fair elections means all eligible citizens have equal opportunity and access to the vote. Conservative judges tend to interpret civil rights (for people) from the narrowest perspective possible while looking upon the same rights more broadly when the “civil rights” of a corporation are at stake.

We saw the concrete consequences of this interpretative differences in the Supreme Court’s rulings on affirmative action as well as in the case that put the Voting Rights Act on life support.  By weakening section 2, the Supreme Court will deal the final blow to the Voting Rights Act.

Poll taxes thinly disguised as “voter ID” requirements, reduced voting hours, out of the way and inaccessible voting locations disproportionately make voting harder for visible minorities.  However, Republicans and their supporters on the bench will deny that this is about disenfranchising people based on their race (or gender, age and socio-economic status) claiming this is really about maneuvering the electoral system to make conditions more favorable to Republicans.

Still, the results remain the same. Conservatives are out to disenfranchise everyone with the exception of rich, white, male Republicans. The Koch brothers controlled wing of the Supreme Court, is setting the stage to give constitutional “legitimacy” to mass disenfranchisement of racial minorities, women, the poor, the old and the young.

Image: Factivists Democrats

23 Replies to “Koch Wing of SCOTUS  Grants OHIO GOP Its Wish To Restrict Early Voting”

  1. Little by little, they are chipping away at our voting rights…among other rights. Koch brothers should be charged with treason, as well as SCOTUS.

  2. And after that, the lower and middle middle class voting. And after that, fuedal lords.

    And the tea bags will have to smile as they say well, we didnt know. Its 3:00 pm, time for prayers

  3. “Republicans and their supporters on the bench will deny that this is about disenfranchising people based on their race (or gender, age and socio-economic status) claiming this is really about maneuvering the electoral system to make conditions more favorable to Republicans”.

    Shouldn’t that be illegal, also? Blatantly stating that it’s OK to make conditions more favorable to one party doesn’t sound very democratic to me, and the R’s would be screaming if the shoe was on the other foot. Apparently it’s not against the law to discriminate against a person based on political affiliation.

  4. Plain and Simple its up to the women of this country to vote these people out of office the scumpreme court of the usa are now a bought and paid for wing of Koch industries. Vote your own best interest women.

  5. And on the rightwing sites that I visit, just to see what they are complaining about, they are constantly harping about their rights and freedoms being lost because of the Democrats disregarding the constitution and the laws of the land. The whole group has their heads up their arses and can’t see for the sh#t.

  6. However, this should energize the “blah” people and other minorities to show their defiance and be even more perseverant in exercising their voting rights (as we saw in Florida in 2012).

  7. Omg……unbelievable! Husted will lie cheat and steal, just like Catherine Harris in Florida! Remember she was promised a spot and got nothing!

  8. The Constitution gives us the right to vote. With the Republicans cutting down days to vote, what happens if it’s 8pm and there are thousands of people in line. Then they shouldn’t be able to close the polls, right? Everyone has the right to vote. If we have millions of people voting and they have cut weeks of early voting, how can all these people be vote before 8pm?

    What happens if the Republicans decide all we need is 5 hours on election day only? It means that MILLIONS of votes won’t be counted. The Republicans are running on empty and this is the only way they have a chance in Hell to win.

    How easy is absentee voting? If we all started sending in the absentee voting form before election day, would that count?

  9. The big problem is, it is up to the people to let the Koch brothers know that no part of this country is for sale. We must all get out and vote, and once we get decent Americans in office, problems like the Koch brothers and the SCOTUS will be taken care of. There is no doubt that God will use them as a sample of his patience has run out dealing with the hatred and evilness in this country. Just pray and then vote.

  10. The Republicans’ main scheme to win the elections is taking away people’s rights to vote. What kind of idiot would vote for Republicans?

  11. Good legal scholarship. The worst part of the article is the title, which cheapens the quality of the work. I am guessing this is driven by a desire for more hyper-partisan clicks, (possibly coming from an editor?) Whatever, possibly there is gain in immediate response, but the cost is to cheapen the brand. Your work deserves more respectful treatment.

    With apologies for my own harsh opinion.

    Warm Regards,
    Paul Frank

  12. Unfortunately, there are apparently a lot of idiots who vote Republican. They are blinded by religious beliefs, bigotry and gullibility. You’re not going to convince these people otherwise. Instead, we have to get those people who have the attitude that their vote doesn’t count or those with the false equivalency attitude to wake up, educate themselves and get out and vote.

  13. At one time I would have been convinced this was satire in VERY questionable taste. Now I’m not so sure. In fact, I am wondering who will be completely disenfranchised first, the Blahs or the wimmens.

    I am hoping that people who can still vote will do so.

  14. If the GOP had any honesty instead of trying to distroy President Obama they would have impeached Scila and Thomas years ago. Instead they would rather lie, cheat and steal to obtain their pot of gold. There’s not one conservative in office or attempting to take office worth a dam to anyone but the very rich. We have to fight for our lives because the greed is out of control.

  15. Is this the brand of democracy “W” wished to spread to the Middle East 10 years ago? Perhaps we should start by cleaning our own house before we go off half-cocked disrupting foreign governments.

  16. The republicans are trying every dirty trick in the book to gain election in Ohio and North Carolina because they see the handwriting on the wall: Get out arsholes. I see no reason that voting regulations cannot be standardized at the federal level across all states uniformly. As an aside, I have asked the democratic party why they couldn’t at least put a monkey on the ballot against John Boehner. The results might be refreshing. Where a single candidate is running unopposed, negative voting should be allowed so that candidate has to garner some positive cumulative votes to win. Stick that in your teepee, John Boehner.

  17. YOU are doing a GREAT JOB. Keep it up. You just might make a difference. Don’t forget — VOTE early and OFTEN to counteract the impact of these voting law changes. One good screw deserves another.

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