The 7th Circuit Relies On Fox Logic and Lies To Uphold Wisconsin’s Vote Suppression Law

Wisconsin Vote Suppression Law

On Monday, the Seventh Circuit  handed Wisconsin’s vote suppressors a victory with a ruling that is to law, what Fox is to news.  Judge Frank Easterbrook relied on the sort of logic that you can find in a Sarah Palin word salad and the sort of lies Fox relies to pretend that it reports the news.

For example, Easterbrook dismissed the fact that 300,000 registered voters will be disenfranchised, based on the following.

Take the conclusion (based on the testimony of a “marketing consultant”) that 300,000 registered voters lack acceptable photo ID. The number is questionable; the district judge who tried the Indiana case rejected a large estimate as fanciful in a world in which photo ID is essential to board an airplane, enter Canada or any other foreign nation, drive a car (even people who do not own cars need licenses to drive friends’ or relatives’ cars), buy a beer, purchase pseudoephedrine for a stuffy nose or pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open a bank account or cash a check at a currency exchange, buy a gun, or enter a courthouse to serve as a juror or watch the argument of this appeal

There is so much nonsense packed into this paragraph, it begs for a response.  Generally, Easterbrook compares ID requirements for a host of privileges to the restrictive voter ID requirments as a condition to exercising the fundamental right to vote.

Let’s dispense with the categorically ridiculous.  The point about entering foreign country is nonsensical because it compares the rights of U.S. citizens within their country to requirements one must meet for a foreign country to grant the privilege of entry to foreign nationals.

On the point about drivers’ licenses, again we’re talking about applying the same hoops to jump through for the privilege of driving vs. the right to vote.

Now let’s dispense with additional points that combine the ridiculous with the untrue.

First, the claim that a photo ID is essential to board an airplane is simply not true.  In fact, the TSA’s website clearly states:

We understand passengers occasionally arrive at the airport without an ID, because of losing it or inadvertently leaving it at home. If this happens to you, it does not necessarily mean you won’t be allowed to fly. If you are willing to provide additional information, we have other ways to confirm your identity, like using publicly available databases, so you can reach your flight.

In other words, having a photo ID will make it easier to board a plane, but failure to present a photo ID does not mean you will automatically be forbidden from boarding the plan. However, while people will be disenfranchised in Wisconsin if they don’t have photo ID.  Moreover, boarding an airplane is a privilege, while voting is a fundamental right.

Aside from the fact that buying beer is a privilege, it is not “essential” to show a photo ID in order to buy it.  Republicans relied on the Sudafed argument ever since overt vote suppression became their preferred election strategy. Again, buying Sudafed is not a right. As for the ID requirement for picking up a prescription, Pharmacists accept all sorts of ID that are excluded from Wisconsin’s restricted list of voter ID.  Similarly, banks may require ID for the privilege of opening an account and the same may be true of the privilege of cashing a check at a currency exchange. It’s likely that if a student shows their government issued student card, they can open a bank account and cash a check.  Of course, Wisconsin Republicans excluded the student ID from their list of “acceptable” government issued Voter ID.

The closest to an analogous example is Easterbrooke’s claim that a photo ID is essential to buy a gun. Even that fails when you consider the reality that one can buy a gun on the internet, where I suspect the less a gun seller knows about their customers the more they like it.  It’s also likely that one can buy a gun at a gun show without showing ID, provided they have the green to pay for their purchase.

Based on personal experience in DC, I question the veracity of Eastbrooke’s claim that one needs to show a photo ID to enter a courthouse. I didn’t see a requirement for photo ID on my most recent summons for jury duty. However, I’ll grant the possibility that it may be “essential” in some jurisdictions.

Of course, I’ll happily defer to Judge Easterbrooke’s expertise regarding the essentiality of showing photo ID to observe argument in the 7th Circuit’s courtroom.

Rick Hasen observes another Fox like trait in Easterbrooke’s ruling. He rejected a study that found no relationship between voter ID laws and public confidence solely because “it was published in the Harvard Law Review.”  Just as Fox rejects any policy President Obama is for because President Obama is for it, Easterbrooke rejeccts a quality study just because the Harvard Law Review published it.

Just as there is nothing fair and balanced about news based on lies, distortions and cherry picked facts, there is nothing fair and balanced about a ruling based on lies and cherry picked evidence.  Unfortunately, this means the fate of 300,000 voters in Wisconsin now rests in the hands of the conservative Supreme Court.

Image: Veterans Today

7 Replies to “The 7th Circuit Relies On Fox Logic and Lies To Uphold Wisconsin’s Vote Suppression Law”

  1. Make no mistake. Judges will try to their hearts content protect white privilege. Fro the SCOTUS to every other ruling they don’t believe in one man/women one vote because if they followed the Constitution they will be voting themselves out of the gravy train.

    Today is their day but let this be warning. Its not if but when, you will no longer be the majority and in the words of Desmond Tutu:”Be nice to the whites. They need you to rediscover their humanity.”
    Lets just hope so

  2. Kicked in the teeth again in Wisconsin. There seems to be no end to it. I’ll vote for Burke, but damn, the past 4 years have got me down…

  3. JIM CROW EASTERBROOK New voter suppression law identity; Democracy mocked kicked in the teeth by a dumb as appointed judge suffering from dementia or stupidity.

  4. Beedy eyes will win again and KOCH will attempt to buy him the White House along with rulings by the bought off federal court judges appointed by repuglikans.

  5. The national supremacy ought also to be extended as I conceive to the Judiciary departments. If those who are to expound & apply the laws, are connected by their interests & their oaths with the particular States wholly, and not with the Union, the participation of the Union in the making of the laws may be possibly rendered unavailing.

    — James Madison to George Washington, April 16, 1787.

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