I wonder how this law will work out, and for whom?

JayMysteri0

Site Champ
Aug 18, 2020
341
552
Yeah, this makes fucking sense. If you exercise your right to protest, they decide they don't like it ( when do they? ), you can lose your voting rights.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee protesters will face harsher penalties, including losing the right to vote, for breaking certain laws during demonstrations under a law enacted by Gov. Bill Lee.

The Republican governor quietly signed off on the bill Thursday. Lee has previously conceded there were portions of the bill he “would have done differently” but ultimately agreed to make the proposal law effective immediately with his signature.

Tennessee’s GOP-dominant General Assembly advanced the measure last week during a brief three-day special legislative session while also passing bills on COVID-19 liability immunity and telemedicine.
It's all about SOME priorities.

Most notably, the new law now states that those who illegally camp on state property would now face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, rather than a misdemeanor. Felony convictions in Tennessee result in the revocation of an individual’s right to vote.

The bill also imposes a mandatory minimum 45-day hold if convicted of aggravated rioting; enhances the fine for obstructing emergency vehicles from accessing highways; requires a court to order restitution for damaging state property; and creates a Class C felony offense for aggravated assault against a first responder — which carries a $15,000 fine and mandatory minimum 90-day prison sentence.
Where I think the bill will be selectively applied...

The governor said a provision requiring a warning to those camping illegally strengthened the bill, and cited the discretion of prosecutors and judges.
You know certain protestors will be seen as "patriots" just exercising their rights, while others will be deemed automatically harshly. That option should scare anyone in these partisan times.
 

Thomas Veil

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 13, 2020
481
820
Ramping up the penalties and punishing protesters with loss of voting rights? Absolutely, positively, without a doubt there is no way that passes Constitutional muster.

I'm amazed to even see that they went there.

When are they changing their motto to "Make America China"?
 

SuperMatt

Site Champ
Aug 11, 2020
364
482
Stories like this are why we needed the voting rights act. The pre-clearance for anything affecting voting was important. But instead, SCOTUS decided “racism is over; voter suppression is all behind us!” And then the next day, the areas that used to require pre-clearance started passing laws to disenfranchise minorities. I heard Biden might pass a new voting rights act. I hope so!!!
 

lizkat

Site Champ
Aug 15, 2020
492
1,007
Catskill Mountains
Amen to that.
They should have left the Voting Rights Act alone. In 2013 there was nothing in the then recent history that suggested that --just because the data involved in the sections of that law at issue was 40 years old-- there was no longer a need for preclearance of changes in voting laws or enforcement thereof in the designated regions.

It was no mistake that the suit to invalidate those sections was filed after Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. "Once a fluke, twice, well..." -- well McConnell hadn't managed to make Obama a one term president after all, eh? So off to the courts then, to try to make it so that unconstitutional deprivations of the right to vote could only be addressed legally after the fact of their occurrence, and tweaks of local voting procedures or enforcement that made it harder for minorities to vote could no longer be reviewed in advance by the Justice Department's Civil Rights group.

If there was ever anything more blatant than that lawsuit and SCOTUS ruling in the modern Republican Party's efforts to walk back clarifications about our equal rights under rule of law that were established during the Civil Rights era, I can't think of it.
 

Scepticalscribe

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2020
588
876
Yeah, this makes fucking sense. If you exercise your right to protest, they decide they don't like it ( when do they? ), you can lose your voting rights.






It's all about SOME priorities.



Where I think the bill will be selectively applied...



You know certain protestors will be seen as "patriots" just exercising their rights, while others will be deemed automatically harshly. That option should scare anyone in these partisan times.
Is that actually legal?

Would it not be open to legal challenge?
 

ericgtr12

Elite Member
Staff member
Aug 10, 2020
1,093
1,674
Is that actually legal?

Would it not be open to legal challenge?
Just thinking about the logistics of it, writing the law, getting it passed, and then enforcing it, etc. This makes for good optics for angry Republicans but there's no way they pull something like this off in 9 weeks.
 

Alli

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 11, 2020
948
1,340
Just thinking about the logistics of it, writing the law, getting it passed, and then enforcing it, etc. This makes for good optics for angry Republicans but there's no way they pull something like this off in 9 weeks.
Executive Order.
 

Scepticalscribe

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2020
588
876
Just thinking about the logistics of it, writing the law, getting it passed, and then enforcing it, etc. This makes for good optics for angry Republicans but there's no way they pull something like this off in 9 weeks.
I don't mean the "logistics", I mean the philosophy.

Is it legal to disenfranchise - or deprive of their right to exercise the franchise - voters/citizens/people in the US?

And, if so, is it legal to disenfranchise people/voters/citizens on such grounds?

Precisely because of the dismal history of depriving certain groups - most notoriously, those of Jewish extraction or cultural heritage - of the franchise (along with almost every other right) in Europe in the 30s, this is not an approach that would be countenanced in Europe with any degree of equanimity.
 

ericgtr12

Elite Member
Staff member
Aug 10, 2020
1,093
1,674
Executive Order.
Okay, let's say he does that. How are they implementing and enforcing it? I ask because a system would need to be in place to track, categorize and enforce it. I suppose it would be possible but in such a short time it seems difficult.
 

lizkat

Site Champ
Aug 15, 2020
492
1,007
Catskill Mountains
Is that actually legal?

Would it not be open to legal challenge?
Sure but by the time such cases wend their way through courts and become part of new data for reinstatement of the invalidated sections of the Voting Rights Act, not just the 2020 elections but elections down the road will have occurred, with more people selectively made into "felons" and unable to vote in the meantime.

The catch is in the law that leaves room for discretion in whether the charges are prosecuted. So in order to take it to court on challenges regarding discrimination (racial, or political preferences / registrations of those convicted), data has to be accumulated on arrests, prosecutions, convictions. All that takes time, and meanwhile the voter rolls are reduced by whoever's been slapped with a minor felony for something like jaywalking as a police car rolls up to see what's up with some peaceful if noisy demonstration: "obstructing a first responder".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe

Scepticalscribe

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2020
588
876
Executive Order.
Would that not face a legal challenge?

Certainly, if I were observing the forthcoming election in the US, I would be keeping a very close, and beady and focussed eye on such matters, would be seeking out expert legal opinion, and would be writing reports to those to whom I report and insisting tat such matters feature - and be highlighted - in our published reports.

Depriving - or attempting to deprive - those with whom you disagree of the right to exercise the franchise is not a good look coming into an election. Not if you claim to be a democracy.
 
  • Lovely
Reactions: lizkat

Scepticalscribe

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2020
588
876
Sure but by the time such cases wend their way through courts and become part of new data for reinstatement of the invalidated sections of the Voting Rights Act, not just the 2020 elections but elections down the road will have occurred, with more people selectively made into "felons" and unable to vote in the meantime.

The catch is in the law that leaves room for discretion in whether the charges are prosecuted. So in order to take it to court on challenges regarding discrimination (racial, or political preferences / registrations of those convicted), data has to be accumulated on arrests, prosecutions, convictions. All that takes time, and meanwhile the voter rolls are reduced by whoever's been slapped with a minor felony for something like jaywalking as a police car rolls up to see what's up with some peaceful if noisy demonstration: "obstructing a first responder".
In Europe, felons don't get to exercise the franchise, but this is because - in general, - you do not tend to find precinct or polling stations in prison.

Their right to the franchise is not extinguished, - least of all, by virtue of the fact that they are imprisoned - rather, they just don't get to exercise it.

Once released, exercising their rights as citizens, they can cast a ballot and exercise the franchise.
 

Scepticalscribe

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2020
588
876
Does the doctrine of states' rights in the US actually mean that it is considered perfectly legal for a state governor to deprive someone of the franchise?

Is the right to the franchise a state, or a federal matter?

I get that the "logistics" of an election (as @yaxomoxay has already pointed out to me) is/are a matter for individual states, but I had assumed that the philosophy issue of the right to vote, and who should be able to possess - if not exercise - this right, is a matter for the federal authorities.

When did depriving felons of the franchise become something of a - a perverted political custom, a political fashion, a means of reducing numbers of the voters' register - that is enshrined in law? When did it become a normalised tactic?
 

yaxomoxay

Site Champ
Aug 13, 2020
471
632
When did depriving felons of the franchise become something of a - a perverted political custom, a political fashion, a means of reducing numbers of the voters' register - that is enshrined in law? When did it become a normalised tactic?
I might be wrong but I think since the popular vote became a thing in the US.
 

yaxomoxay

Site Champ
Aug 13, 2020
471
632
@Scepticalscribe for the record, Italy has similar limitations that were upheld by the EU. I guess other EU countries do the same. (However, I assume that many of the gray areas differ quite much)
 

Alli

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 11, 2020
948
1,340
I no longer wonder about whether it is lawful, ethical, or even humane. If it works in Trump’s favor, he will try to make it happen. If that means disenfranchising voters, he’ll do it. We saw the first attempt by Chris Kobach. Fortunately, that didn’t work. In the meanwhile, although states like Florida soundly returned voting rights to rehabilitated felons, the state somehow denied them a vote.

Anyone who is not scared is either not paying attention, an utter fool, or a tool of the administration.
 

Alli

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 11, 2020
948
1,340
Changing laws reducing voter eligibility should not be allowed close to an election. We need a new voting rights act.
Hell, we need a new government that doesn’t try to get away with shit like this!
 

lizkat

Site Champ
Aug 15, 2020
492
1,007
Catskill Mountains
Changing laws reducing voter eligibility should not be allowed close to an election. We need a new voting rights act
Yes we do... and I think Mitch McConnell's focus has been on trying to finish packing the courts with right-leaning ideologues while it's still pretty tough to get Congress to make a new federal level voting rights act or to put some teeth back into what's left of the one we have.

McConnell has made no bones about seeing right wing roadblocks to democracy at the level of the federal bench as a perfect solution to inevitable losses in Congress over time.