Judge Richard Posner’s Awesome Opinion Against Photo ID Voter Requirements

Posted: October 12, 2014 by watsonthethird in Current Events, Politics, Voting Rights
Tags: , , , ,

On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court barred the State of Wisconsin from enforcing its photo ID voter law. The law was passed more than three years ago by the Wisconsin state legislature, but legal challenges have prevented it from being enforced except for one state primary election in 2012. Earlier this year, a federal judge concluded that the ID requirement would deter voting by a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack a proper ID. That ruling was overturned by a panel of three judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, clearing the way for its use in the November election until the Supreme Court acted.

Before going on, let’s stop for a minute and absorb the fact that more than 300,000 Wisconsinites–about 9 percent of registered voters in the state–currently lack the required identification to comply with the law. This isn’t a trivial number. The supporters of photo ID laws would have you believe that virtually everyone has such ID because it’s basically impossible to do anything in American society without one. Well, that’s factually false, as the evidence in this case showed.

In any event, before the case went to the Supreme Court, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit asked for a vote of his fellow judges to rehear the case en blanc, but the ten members of the Seventh Circuit deadlocked in a 5-5 tie, thus letting the panel’s ruling stand. On Friday, Posner published a blistering opinion denouncing Wisconsin’s photo ID law and the panel’s decision, calling allegations of voter impersonation fraud “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government.” Judge Posner’s opinion is a thorough beat down of the photo disenfranchise movement, and I encourage you to read in its entirety. (It’s not that long.)

Judge Posner’s opinion is especially fascinating consider his background. He was appointed to the Seventh Circuit in 1981 by Ronald Reagan. He’s regarded as conservative in his views, though as Wikipedia notes, “in recent years he has distanced himself from the positions of the Republican party.” Perhaps this is because in recent years the Republican party has veered further to the right as it has become beholden to it’s more extreme elements, but that’s just supposition on my part; you’d have to ask Judge Posner about it. In any event, as Wikipedia points out, Judge Posner was identified by The Journal of Legal Studies as the most cited legal scholar of the twentieth century. Without question, he’s an influential and conservative judge.

In 2007, Judge Posner wrote the Seventh Circuit’s opinion upholding the State of Indiana’s recently enacted photo ID law in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. Indiana’s was the first of the post-Obama wave of photo ID laws enacted by Republican-controlled states. After the Seventh Circuit’s ruling, the case went to the Supreme Court, which also upheld the law as constitutional. Now here we are in 2014, and Posner has written a scathing rebuke of Wisconson’s voter ID law, as well as the greater move to restrict voting rights. What caused him to, by all appearances, change his mind? The details are in his opinion.

To start with, Judge Posner addresses differences between the Indiana and Wisconsin cases, noting that the latter “involves a different statute and has a different record and arises against a background of a changed political culture in the United States.” The cases are “importantly dissimilar, not only in their terms but in the evidentiary records of the two cases.” In Indiana’s case, for example, no evidence was presented of in-person voter fraud, but neither was evidence presented that the law was likely to disenfranchise “more than a handful of voters.” In contrast, eight persons testified in the Wisconsin case that they wanted to vote in the November 4 election but were unable to obtain the required identification.

Judge Posner addresses the difference in scale of affected registered voters. In Indiana, it was estimated that one percent of the voting population lacked the required identification, whereas in Wisconsin that number is nine percent. Further, the Wisconsin law is much more restrictive than Indiana’s and provides little leeway with respect to identification. Evidence showed that many of those affected also lacked the documents needed to obtain a photo ID (e.g., a birth certificate). In addition, evidence showed that a “substantial number of the 300,000 plus eligible voters who lack a photo ID are low-income individuals… who have encountered obstacles that have prevented or deterred them from obtaining a photo ID.” And for good measure, he debunks the panel’s assertion that a photo ID is required to fly (it isn’t), as well as in other circumstances that the panel claimed required a photo ID, but actually don’t.

Judge Posner notes that “[t]here is no evidence that Wisconsin’s voter rolls are inflated, as were Indiana’s—and there is compelling evidence that voter impersonation fraud is essentially nonexistent in Wisconsin. ‘The [state] could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.’ There are more than 660,000 eligible voters in Milwaukee County. According to the state’s own evidence, in only one or two instances per major election in which a voter in Milwaukee County is turned away from the polls because a poll worker tells him he’s voted already is there even a suspicion— unconfirmed—of fraud. An expert witness who studied Wisconsin elections that took place in 2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012 found zero cases of in-person voter-impersonation fraud.”

Voter-impersonation fraud “is by all accounts a tiny subset, a tiny problem, and a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government. Those of us who live in Illinois are familiar with a variety of voting frauds, and no one would deny the propriety of the law’s trying to stamp out such frauds. The one form of voter fraud known to be too rare to justify limiting voters ability to vote by requiring them to present a photo ID at the polling place is in-person voter impersonation.” “Some of the ‘evidence’ of voter-impersonation fraud is downright goofy, if not paranoid, such as the nonexistent buses that according to the “True the Vote” movement transport foreigners and reservation Indians to polling places.”

He then tackles the question of whether the Indiana case sets a precedent that must guide future voter ID cases.

The [Seventh Circuit] panel is not troubled by the absence of evidence. It deems the supposed beneficial effect of photo ID requirements on public confidence in the electoral system “‘a legislative fact’-a proposition about the state of the world,” and asserts that “on matters of legislative fact, courts accept the findings of legislatures and judges of the lower courts must accept findings by the Supreme Court.” In so saying, the panel conjures up a fact-free cocoon in which to lodge the federal judiciary. As there is no evidence that voter impersonation fraud is a problem, how can the fact that a legislature says it’s a problem turn it into one? If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials? If the Supreme Court once thought that requiring photo identification increases public confidence in elections, and experience and academic study since shows that the Court was mistaken, do we do a favor to the Court—do we increase public confidence in elections—by making the mistake a premise of our decision? Pressed to its logical extreme the panel’s interpretation of and deference to legislative facts would require upholding a photo ID voter law even if it were uncontested that the law eliminated no fraud but did depress turnout significantly.

If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials? Ya gotta love it. The scary thing, of course, is that some conservatives actually do think witches are a problem. But I digress.

Finally, Judge Posner gets to the true underlying motives of the post-Obama voter disenfranchisement movement. “Judge Evans, dissenting from our decision in Crawford, called the Indiana law ‘a not too thinly veiled attempt to discourage election day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic.’ But he cited no evidence to support his conjecture–a conjecture that now seems prescient, however.”

And now, six years later? “There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.”

Hear, hear.

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Comments
  1. 02casper says:

    The voter ID laws were passed for one reason and one reason only. To keep as many people as possible from voting Democrat. Conservatives know their message is so toxic that they will never convince a true majority of voters to support them. This is the only way they can stay in power.

  2. Cluster, it was Judge Richard Posner, a conservative, Reagan appointed judge, who wrote last week:

    There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.

    That was his finding of fact. Why don’t you read for a change?

    • Cluster says:

      That is not a finding of any fact whatsoever, that is merely an opinion from an old white guy. The FACT is that voter ID laws are supported by blacks and Democrats:

      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/206300-poll-70-percent-support-voter-id-laws

      The facts are that Obama was elected twice and Democrats still control the Senate so evidently this big, scary and evil push to scare Democrats from voting isn’t working. FACTS are again that voter ID laws increase integrity and participation – here’s just one example:

      http://www.ajc.com/news/news/despite-voter-id-law-minority-turnout-up-in-georgi/nR2bx/?__federated=1

      Your ideas and ideology are increasingly irrelevant.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Hey Cluster,

        How’s that global cooling theory working out for you? Still chilly over there in Spook’s pond?

        http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/10/13/nasa_earth_just_experienced_the_warmest_six_month_stretch_ever.html

      • meursault1942 says:

        “FACTS are again that voter ID laws increase integrity”

        As we all know, conservative arguments rely heavily on two things:

        1) The dynamic wherein conservatives can tell 20 new lies in the time it takes to dispel just one of them, and
        2) Conservatives are adamant that facts they disagree with aren’t facts, but opinions they do agree with are facts

        Cluster is attempting to deploy both here, so let’s just go ahead and hone in on his primary lie: That voter ID laws “increase integrity.”

        Of course, they do nothing of the sort, but that’s the talking point–i.e. the opinion, which has no supporting facts–Cluster is stuck with.

        As Judge Posner pointed out, the FACT (not opinion, but absolute fact) is that:

        “there is no evidence that Wisconsin’s voter rolls are inflated, as were Indiana’s—and there is compelling evidence that voter impersonation fraud is essentially nonexistent in Wisconsin. ‘The [state] could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.’ There are more than 660,000 eligible voters in Milwaukee County. According to the state’s own evidence, in only one or two instances per major election in which a voter in Milwaukee County is turned away from the polls because a poll worker tells him he’s voted already is there even a suspicion— unconfirmed—of fraud. An expert witness who studied Wisconsin elections that took place in 2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012 found zero cases of in-person voter-impersonation fraud.“

        The Iowa GOP similarly went a-huntin’ for some voter fraud and came up empty. If you look really, really hard, you can find a shocking 31 potential instances of voter fraud out of one billion ballots.

        Ever notice how on the rare occasions that conservatives actually do have a proposal, it’s always a solution in search of a problem? That’s not a coincidence. They try to find fig leaves to cover their desires–in this case, preventing Blacks and Hispanics from voting–knowing that good little apparatchiks like Cluster will dutifully spout the line they are told to spout. Both the above links note this whole “solution in search of a problem” thing that conservatives are trying to pull with voter ID laws.

        Both of the above links also note the other small problem with Cluster’s talking point: Even if you manage to find a rare-as-hen’s-teeth case of voter fraud, voter ID laws would do exactly nothing to stop it. So even if the problem were real–and it isn’t–the proposed GOP solution would do nothing to address it. Hmmm…a fake solution to a fake problem…it’s almost as though conservatives are offering up a bullshit excuse to engage in voter suppression, just as court after court has been finding.

        Nah, it must be a coincidence. Or liberal media bias. Or BENGHAZIIIIIIIIII111!!!11!11

        So, Cluster, now that your “increasing integrity” talking point has been very handily shredded by facts–not opinions that you want to be true, but actual facts–it is left with two conclusions:

        1) That “increasing integrity” is just a lie unsupported by any data whatsoever.
        2) That “increasing integrity” to conservatives simply means preventing minorities from voting.

        Lucky for you, those options aren’t mutually exclusive, so you don’t have to choose! It can just be both of them!

        How sad to be a conservative these days.

      • Cluster, yes, it was a legal opinion. But from “an old white guy”? Naw, that doesn’t fly and you know it. As for increasing integrity and confidence, wrong again. Read Judge Posner’s opinion, which cites the facts. As for increasing voter participation, why is that more stringent voter ID laws only pass in conservative-controlled states, indisputably disenfranchising a greater proportion of people who tend to vote Democratic? Even you know why, regardless of whether you’re willing to admit it or not.

      • Cluster says:

        Well I know you have made up your mind based on ideology, but fortunately you don’t set policy and more reasonable minds will ultimately prevail. Let me introduce you to the Holocene temperature conundrum and one of the best articles I have read on the subject:

        “We have been building models and there are now robust contradictions,” says Liu, a professor in the UW-Madison Center for Climatic Research. “Data from observation says global cooling. The physical model says it has to be warming.”

        Maybe Obama should give another speech

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-08-global-temperature-conundrum-cooling-climate.html#jCp

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Cluster,

        Do you read your own links? I realize the headline must have given you a hard on, but the authors of the study agree with me and 99% of climate scientists. The authors emphasize that the Holocene temperature conundrum “does not change the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century.”

        I see your reading ability hasn’t improved.

      • Cluster says:

        That was your take away from the article ?? I would have thought the following may have piqued your interest:

        In that study, the authors looked at data collected by other scientists from ice core samples, phytoplankton sediments and more at 73 sites around the world. The data they gathered sometimes conflicted, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. Because interpretation of these proxies is complicated, Liu and colleagues believe they may not adequately address the bigger picture……………”In the Northern Atlantic, there is cooling and warming data the (climate change) community hasn’t been able to figure out,” says Liu.

        But I guess when you’re eager to shut down the debate, continued science can become a nuisance.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        That was your take away from the article ??

        Yes, that is exactly my take away from the article. However much you may wish to obfuscate, discrepancies between long range temperature models and data are part of the picture but well beside the main point. Human impact on global climate is precisely what we’re debating, and the authors, like all intelligent people, are unequivocal in supporting my position and refuting yours. They have these things called thermometers; you should read up on them sometime…

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Y’know Cluster, you’re so woefully confused and ignorant on this issue that you present evidence from researchers which you think proves your point only to find that the researchers thoroughly disagree with you. Maybe you really believe that you are better equipped to interpret these scientists findings better than the scientists themselves. Wow.

  3. Incidentally, a few comments were stuck in moderation today. Not sure why that is. Everything has been unstuck. 🙂

  4. Cluster says:

    Mersault do me a favor. Please don’t go away on the the day that actual results dispel the rhetorical horseshit you shovel on a daily basis. Aside from your assumed position that minorities are too stupid and poor to obtain voter ID, which is quite a demeaning position to be sure, or of your obvious position that many of your fellow Americans are just evil racists (another heart warming position), your insistence that this is all about voter fraud is completely irrelevant. You raise the issue of fraud because the low rate of instances is the only validation you can find to support your minority position. In conclusion I will leave you with a q

    • Cluster says:

      In conclusion, I will leave you with a quote from Former Pres. Jimmy Carter and Democratic Sec. of State James Baker commenting on their election reform commission:

      The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.

    • meursault1942 says:

      ” Please don’t go away on the the day that actual results dispel the rhetorical horseshit you shovel on a daily basis.”

      You’ve got that backward: Actual results are dispelling the rhetorical horseshit you shovel on a daily basis. In this case, about voter IDs (and with a side-serving of climate science). Actual results are pretty brutally smacking down your talking points. But I’m sure that after loss after humiliating loss, you’ll get something right eventually. Have faith!

      “your insistence that this is all about voter fraud”

      Again, you’ve got it exactly backward. I’m pointing out that despite conservatives’ insistence that voter IDs are all about preventing voter fraud, the facts–not opinions, not talking points, but actual facts–show that it has noting to do with voter fraud. This is because 1) voter fraud is not a real problem, and 2) even if voter fraud were a real problem–and keep in mind, it is not–voter ID would do absolutely nothing to address it. It is a lie. You are lying. Even worse, you are lying in service to an agenda that seeks to prevent minorities from voting. And somehow even worse than that, you think minorities are too stupid to understand what you’re doing. But hey, you’re stuck defending the side that thinks minorities voting ruins the “integrity” of the whole thing, and besides, since conservatives have given up putting forth anything even vaguely resembling a positive agenda, voter suppression is one of the very few options they have left. How sad.

  5. 02casper says:

    cluster,
    So show us where and why voter fraud is a problem. If it’s not then why do we need these laws? I thought conservatives were against unneeded laws and regulations.

    • Cluster says:

      Let me put this in a way that you guys might be able to understand. State legislatures, who were elected by a majority of their citizenry are putting in electoral safe guards that the majority of voters support. It’s called a representative republic. Sorry.

      • But state legislatures can’t suppress the rights of individuals to vote, even if they were voted into office unanimously, and even if the majority of its citizens wish they would. You really need to study up on the history of the United States, particularly in the South.

      • meursault1942 says:

        So you can’t indicate any reasons why voter fraud is a problem. Thanks for your honesty there. But if this isn’t a safeguard against voter fraud, what, exactly, is it a safeguard against?

      • Cluster says:

        In other words – this is still a very flawed and racist country and without white people like me who deem themselves the guardians of all that is right and fair; racists will continue their evil ways including denying others the right to vote even it is in the form of the menial task of obtaining an ID, of which the majority of Americans support.

        Thank God people like you and Mersault exist. Can I say “God” on this blog?

      • Cluster says:

        Since Mersault is myopically focused on what he thinks is the trump card, I will submit for your review an article that I have shared on many other occasions when speaking to this issue, but an article of which is continually dismissed – for obvious reasons. Here’s an excerpt:

        This year there have been investigations, indictments or convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. In all but one case, the alleged fraudsters were Democrats.

        The only question Mersault, is what level of crime do you support? What is an acceptable embezzlement rate? Do you think the Franklin Raines dismissal was appropriate? Accountability is the core issue here, and accountability has never been a liberal strength – again for obvious reasons.

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/12/27/why_americans_support_voter_id_laws_112546.html#ixzz3G7hJLeOp

      • meursault1942 says:

        Yes, Cluster, we’re well aware the wingnuts are constantly launching “investigations” to find this alleged “voter fraud.” The problem, as we’ve seen over and over again is that, well, these investigations don’t really find anything. Courts have seen this over and over again, too, which is why they keep smacking down your attempts at voter suppression. Too bad, so sad. So your attempt to dodge is duly noted, but you’re still left with two related but not mutually exclusive questions to answer:

        1) If this isn’t about voter fraud–and it clearly isn’t, as courts have found and you have admitted–then what is it about?

        2) Why do you think that suppressing minority votes somehow increases the “integrity” of voting?

        I did love the attempt to claim that while suppressing minority votes isn’t racist, attempting to prevent the suppression of minority votes somehow is racist. You conservatives are so funny when you try to use logic.

      • Good to know that Cluster still suffers from Aggrieved White Guy Syndrome. As for the “menial task” of obtaining a photo ID, that is covered in Judge Posner’s opinion as well. But then, Cluster didn’t read it because he only sticks to the approved AWGS reading list. You know, Town Hall and the like.

      • Cluster says:

        Let me come at this from another angle, knowing that you guys obviously consider yourselves the smartest people in any room (a wide spread liberal infliction). Tell me what you are for on this issue. Do you think anyone should be able to walk in to any polling place, at any time, grab a ballot and vote? Where do you set the bar?

      • Cluster says:

        2) Why do you think that suppressing minority votes somehow increases the “integrity” of voting?

        You must be speaking of the suppression of white voters. It has been documented that black, hispanic and asian voter participation has increased over the past few election cycles despite these horrible, draconian laws you are so afraid of:

        http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-568.pdf

        Why do you scare so needlessly?

      • Let me come at this from another angle, knowing that you guys obviously consider yourselves the smartest people in any room (a wide spread liberal infliction). Tell me what you are for on this issue. Do you think anyone should be able to walk in to any polling place, at any time, grab a ballot and vote? Where do you set the bar?

        Hmmm. I thought you and your pals considered yourselves the smartest people on the planet. Hell, you guys admit to pontificating about things you don’t even know to be true.

        What am I for? Maybe better, what am I against? I am against suppressing the constitutional rights of individuals to vote in order to address an imaginary problem. To me, you have to have a compelling reason to put up roadblocks that will prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights, and the evidence presented doesn’t show that in-person voter fraud is a problem.

        You have not addressed the fact that 9% of the registered voters of the State of Wisconsin lack the proper ID. You have not addressed the fact that it costs between $75 and $150 to get the ID. That may be inconsequential to you, but it isn’t to someone of little financial means. I mean, maybe if the state proactively obtained the ID for all of its registered voters, at no cost to the individuals, tracking down their birth certificates (if they even exist, and even if they were born in a different state), then things might be different. But they don’t. Why? Because the conservatives in control of those states don’t want these people to vote. It’s as simple as that.

      • Cluster says:

        Well that still doesn’t account for the fact that minority voting has increased in the past few elections, but why let that fact get in the way? I am just curious what this liberal utopian voting world looks like where there are no restrictions or obstacles whatsoever. Obviously you have a passion for everyone voting, so I am just curious to what lengths you are prepared to spend other peoples money to make that a reality. You have have made a few suggestions, but obviously there would still be some “disenfranchised people”. I suggest you should work towards convincing the electorate of your ideas, as it is though, you are still in the minority. Sensible people it seems believe that voting is a right to be held with a certain level of responsibility.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Cluster,

        Your lack of reasoning skills is showing again. Higher minority turnout may be attributed to many different things, including having a minority in the White House. Correlation does not imply causation. My advice to you: cut down on trolling right wing websites and crack a book.

      • meursault1942 says:

        Still waiting for your answers to these two questions, Cluster:

        1) If this isn’t about voter fraud–and it clearly isn’t, as courts have found and you have admitted–then what is it about?*

        2) Why do you think that suppressing minority votes somehow increases the “integrity” of voting?

        *Addendum to question 1: How much more of Other People’s Money are you hoping to piss away trying to push through these sad attempts to create an ineffective “solution” to a nonexistent problem?

      • I suggest you should work towards convincing the electorate of your ideas, as it is though, you are still in the minority.

        Upholding individual rights isn’t a question of majority rule, Cluster. This would seem to be a very conservative point-of-view, so I’m surprised you don’t share it. In fact, among other things, the Bill Of Rights and other constitutional amendments are there to _ensure_ the rights of individuals remain in place whether or not it is popular with the majority of citizens.

        What other rights, beside voting, are you willing to give up because you feel threatened by an imaginary problem? Do you think your right to free speech should be trampled on just because a majority of people in your state don’t like what you say? What about your religion? Maybe your gun?

        And while it is true that even rights like free speech are not universal, the exceptions are not based on made-up problems that one political party in particular has fixated upon. The fact that these voter suppression measures are being carried out by one political party, to the determent of people who tend to vote for another political party, makes them extremely suspect. Therefore, the bar has to be pretty high in the sense that you have to prove enough real harm is occurring to justify taking away other people’s rights. Nothing of the sort has been proven. And because voter ID fraud is virtually non-existent, it isn’t possible to improve the integrity of voting by these measures, so that’s a non-starter of an argument as well.

      • And from Judge Posner’s opinion, which you are too lazy to read:

        Those of us who live in Illinois are familiar with a variety of voting frauds, and no one would deny the propriety of the law’s trying to stamp out such frauds. The one form of voter fraud known to be too rare to justify limiting voters’ ability to vote by requiring them to present a photo ID at the polling place is in-person voter impersonation.

        See Cluster? There needs to be justification to limit a person’s rights.

      • Cluster says:

        Watson, I suggest you coordinate with Mersault. Your talking points are confused. On one hand Mersault is convinced voter fraud is such a non issue that any ID requirements are pointless. On the other hand, the author of the article just used fraud as a basis of his contention. Moreover, the logic the author does use is a little bat shit insane, proving once again that political correctness and liberalism lead to brain damage.

        I have provided more than enough documented information to give any sane person enough reason to reflect on their entrenched ideological positions on the issue of climate change and voter ID, but the three of you have proven once again that your ideological bents supersede any common sense or practicality. Your self superiority complexes run deep and your critical thinking skills are quite shallow. Those two character flaws preclude any productive debate. These are character flaws you share with President Obama and that is the main reason why this country is in such deep shit.

        As for my positions of which you should all know by now, are that the climate has been changing since the beginning of time, there have been more dramatic swings in history absent any human involvement, and the pattern of the current fluxes and man’s contribution thereof are still largely unknown. It would be nice if we would allow the science to continue absent the heavy hand of the leftist agenda.

        On voter ID, it really is a very common sense approach to a very important process which is supported by a large majority of common sense people of all stripes. I do agree that governments should provide ID cards free of charge and assist in those who need assistance. There is absolutely no reason to be theatrical on this issue – although Mersault does like to put on the cape, do his best Underdog impression and stand for justice, equality and whatever.

      • meursault1942 says:

        You still can’t answer the questions, can you, Cluster? Your evasiveness speaks volumes. You’re really, really in favor of voter ID, but you can’t say why.

        The stated reason is voter fraud, but that reason has been exposed to be a complete lie: It’s not a real problem, and even if it were a real problem–and remember, it’s not–voter ID would do nothing to solve it. Hell, in a rare moment of honesty, you even admitted that voter fraud is not the reason for these (illegal) voter ID laws. So what IS the reason? This is evidently really, really important to conservatives as they’re clearly willing to break the law to make it happen…so why? Why do we need to have this now now now?

        As is quite obvious, you can’t answer these questions because doing so gives up the whole charade. The voter fraud lie is what conservatives are choosing to use as cover, but that lie has been shredded on every front–logically, morally, legally. Take away that lie, and we’re left with the truth: This is conservatives’ desperate play to save their electoral asses in the short-term future. They can’t appeal to more people–and how could they when they stand for ignorance and hatred, their positions are quite unpopular, and they have no positive vision for anything?–so their only chance is to prevent voters for the other side from casting their ballots.

        Now, is your thus far unblemished record of ducking the simple question of why you and your fellow conservatives think voter ID is so hair-on-fire important going to remain unblemished? Smart money says yes it is. And again, your refusal (or is it inability?) to answer that simple question says everything anybody needs to know.

      • Watson, I suggest you coordinate with Mersault. Your talking points are confused. On one hand Mersault is convinced voter fraud is such a non issue that any ID requirements are pointless. On the other hand, the author of the article just used fraud as a basis of his contention. Moreover, the logic the author does use is a little bat shit insane, proving once again that political correctness and liberalism lead to brain damage.

        Cluster, the author I quoted is Judge Posner from his opinion. His point is that there are many kinds of voter fraud, but voter ID fraud is so rare that it doesn’t justify limiting people’s rights. To that point, no evidence has been presented by the State of Wisconsin of even one instance of voter ID fraud. Sorry if my excerpt from his opinion didn’t make that clear.

        Meanwhile, even Michigan Gov. Scott Walker, in his debate the other night, admitted there isn’t voter ID fraud in his state. But he thinks that guarding against the possibility of even one instance of voter ID fraud is worth disenfranchising thousands of other voters. That just doesn’t make sense. Unless your aim is to disenfranchise voters. Which it is.

      • Cluster said, I do agree that governments should provide ID cards free of charge and assist in those who need assistance.

        Agreed. I’m glad you are prepared to spend other peoples money to make voting rights a reality.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        I have provided more than enough documented information to give any sane person enough reason to reflect on their entrenched ideological positions on the issue of climate change and voter ID, but the three of you have proven once again that your ideological bents supersede any common sense or practicality. Your self superiority complexes run deep and your critical thinking skills are quite shallow. Those two character flaws preclude any productive debate.

        No you haven’t. Quite the opposite. Regarding climate change, I’ve refuted every piece of denialist information you’ve offered. Every one. Conversely, you’ve fallen silent when presented with the actual science on the issue. It’s you who are ideologically driven, and your constant tactic of projecting your own intellectual and moral shortcomings onto your opponent is juvenile, desperate, and transparent. When you defend religious bigotry you whine: “You’re the real bigots!” When you champion policies that adversely affect women you bleat: “You’re the real sexists!” When hard science contradicts your ideological position you mewl: “You’re the ideologue!” And then you pretend you’ve made a solid argument. *Yawn* That’s how third-graders argue.

        We’re not “self-superior”, we’re superior. And you’re an idiot.

  6. 02casper says:

    Here’s a simple solutio . Have everybody go to mail in ballots.

  7. rustybrown2012 says:

    Cluster (commenting on liberal fascism at bfv) :

    I was just reading this story and came over here to write an article about it but you beat me to it Noonan. This is liberal insanity at it’s finest. The question you need to pose to liberals before you mention anything about this is if they think it would be ok to subpoena Mosques around the country for any “speeches, sermons, writings, etc, that are critical of America”. You will then enjoy watching their head explode, only to present this case to them afterwards. I am curious as to their answer then.

    This is a good example of the liberal straw men you yahoos construct. You find an isolated example of malfeasance and ascribe it to all liberals. Based on the preliminary news reports in this case, to me this appears to be a gross violation of the churches first amendment rights, I suspect most liberals would agree (perhaps other contributors can weigh in on this), and this ill-advised maneuver from the governor will be quashed. But at bfv, you pretend this case typifies liberal and progressive thought. It doesn’t. It’s an outlier that you pretend is the norm.

    • Cluster says:

      First of all, she was the mayor of Houston, not the governor. Secondly, it is not malfeasance. It is a gross over reach of constitutional authority, and I believe that pattern has been quite evident in the Obama administration and the Harry Reid led Senate. The other component to this is intimidation, and I think there is a faction of the gay lobby that is quite militant. Combine the two, and we see what happens. It’s not an outlier. It’s a natural extension of the storm that has been brewing and endorsed by the elected leaders of the progressive movement.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Cluster,

        it is not malfeasance. It is a gross over reach of constitutional authority

        I’m agreeing with you here. Maybe you should look up the definition of “malfeasance”. But more importantly, there is no nefarious “pattern”. It’s now apparent that “intimidation” is not a factor, but rather, this was a poorly worded instruction from a group of lawyers. The mayor herself had nothing to do with it and condemns the language as well as the childish overreaction (typified by you) that it’s inspired. In other words, my original post about this is spot on: this is an outlier (actually, a misunderstanding), but you reactionary bedwetters use it to bolster a fictitious narrative about the evil liberal cabal. You people are silly and unserious. From New York Magazine:

        “Parker, who says she hadn’t heard about the subpoenas until yesterday, doesn’t care if pastors called her a dirty sinner or advocated for overturning the Equal Rights Ordinance. It turns out the subpoenas were sent by outside attorneys working for the city pro bono.

        They were looking into what instructions pastors gave out to those collecting signatures for a referendum on the non-discrimination law. (What exactly the pastors said, and what the collectors knew about the rules, is one of the key issues in pending litigation around whether opponents of the law gathered enough signatures for a referendum.)

        “There’s no question, the wording was overly broad. But I also think there was some deliberate misinterpretation on the other side,” Parker said at a press conference Wednesday. “The goal is to find out if there were specific instructions given on how the petitions should be accurately filled out. It’s not about, ‘What did you preach on last Sunday?'”

        To reiterate: The mayor’s office is not interested in what they preached, or how the pastors feel about Parker or her sexual orientation. (Those things are all well protected under the First Amendment, as they should be.) All officials want to know is what kinds of instructions the pastors gave out with respect to collecting petition signatures, and whether what they said agrees with what they’re arguing in court while appealing the referendum.

        In an email to Intelligencer, the mayor’s office confirmed that the city will narrow the scope of inquiry into the pastors’ communications to more directly target HERO petitions. No word from the other side if they’ll move to limit their hysterical allegations.”

      • What’s so funny about this is not only do you guys have egg all over your face about this story, it’s that you don’t even know it! Similar to when you link to climate studies that flatly contradict the point you’re trying to make. Thanks for the chuckles!

      • Cluster says:

        What’s funny is how you’re framing the issue. Of course the mayor is now walking this back, her initial gross and purposeful initial over reach (which is not malfeasance, i.e.: “wrong doing”) was blatant and back fired on her, the city attorney, and their hired lawyers. And just a little FYI, when lawyers are hired to work on behalf of the city, the mayor does have “something to do with it” – now I understand that you as an Obama supporter would have trouble connecting those dots.

        At the end of the day, this just another issue of which to laugh at liberals about. It’s so typical. They over reach, walk it back, apologize and then spin. You just did it. Obama has been doing it for six years. And it will probably happen again on another issue within the next week. It’s a comedy of errors.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Give me a break. Where’s the proof that she had anything to do with the wording of that subpoena? Are you under the impression that clients proofread every single document in complex litigation they’re involved in? And your story doesn’t even make sense. If this was purposeful intimidation by the mayor, she obviously would have been expecting some reaction and push-back, so why would she back down the next day at the first sign of resistance? That would be some pretty lame intimidation, but I guess you understand lame.

        No, it was a stupid mistake that was immediately denounced, but not soon enough to prevent right wing loons like yourself from wetting the bed.

  8. rustybrown2012 says:

    Noonan’s latest post is a doozy. Hey gang, did you realize the main problem with the Iraq war was that we didn’t invade more Middle Eastern countries? We should have been trying to “remake the Muslim world”. Now there’s an opinion you don’t hear everyday, outside of mental hospitals that is.

    Ama’s first comment is similarly enlightening. Do you know why the Iraq war was such a miserable failure? Liberals, that’s why! Turns out, it was all their fault. The clusterfuck that was the Iraq war should be blamed on the people who said it was going be a clusterfuck, not the people responsible for the clusterfuck. It’s true! Look it up.

    http://blogsforvictory.com/2014/10/17/karl-roves-silence-about-saddams-wmds/#comments

  9. meursault1942 says:

    White people in New Hampshire really need to do some self-reflection and regulate their animal impulses in the wake of #keenepumpkinfest.

    But seriously, it’s impossible to miss the difference here. Unarmed Mike Brown gets shot and killed, but these kids riot and straight-up throw things at cops…nothing.

  10. 02casper says:

    Gay marriage in Wyoming. Life is good.

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