Today the Roberts Court sided without comment with the Secretary of State and Attorney General of Ohio to stay a decision form a lower court to restore the egregious cutting of early voting in Ohio. As usual it was a 5-4 decision with the liberal justices in the minority.
Following the debacle of Ken Blackwell's vicious mismanagement of Ohio's 2014 election, in 2006 Democrat Jennifer Brunner took the reins as the new Secretary of State. Under her direction and election law revision by the Democrat controlled Legislature the 2008 election was a smoothly run exercise in civics.
Following the Tea Party wave in 2010 when the Tea Party/Republican Party took control of all the statewide offices, thus Jon Husted took over as the new Secretary of State.
So with the prospect of a successful re-election bid by President Obama Ohio moved to severely curtail early voting. Husted further cut hours and days through issuance of rules to the 88 County Boards of Elections in Ohio.
Following these attempts to make Ohio more Mitt Romney friendly Husted was hit with suits in Federal Court to undo these actions. He lost each suit and narrowly avoided a contempt citation for directing the Election Boards to disregard the ruling after he backed down.
Following the re-election of the President Ohio reacted by passing new laws gutting early voting again. Because Ohio sealed the POTUS re-election, (delightfully causing an on air melt down by Karl Rove) and of course Freedom. After all, the wrong kind of people gave Ohio to that Commie, Socialist,Fascist, Dictatorial, Monarchist Kenyan.
Several churches, the NAACP and ACLU filed suit. Federal Judge Economus fount Ohio was in violation of Section 2 of the Voter's Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
As always Ohio appealed. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati refused to stay or overturn the ruling. Ohio appealed to the three Judge panel and was again rebuffed. So, pending a hearing by the full Circuit, Ohio sought an emergency stay from SCOTUS.
Today, the day before voting was to begin, The Roberts Court rode to the rescue of the repressive policies deemed important by the Republican administration of John Kasich. As usual it was a 5/4 split. And they did so without comment.
Ohio's argument was Ohio had plenty of ways to vote and more than many states. The coincidence is that these cuts affected the African American community disproportionately and others who may vote not Republican.
Secretary of State Husted fell back on the old canard that States should set voting rules (State's Rights). It was remedying a vast over reach of judicial power. (Activist Judges). At times he seemed to be channeling Governor George Wallace.
This is what is needed to maintain power when the ruling power is unable to win on policies or issues. If you can't win the vote, tailor the voting pool to your needs.
So voting now starts in a week. we are back to square one with the circumcised voting procedures. The stay by SCOTUS voids the use of the ballot Ohioan's have enjoyed during the last three election cycles.
The only counter to this subversion of the process is turnout. When those who believe in a better life vote, the powers that be are cowed and take notice. Unchecked by the electorate they are emboldened to continue their attack on women, minorities, union workers and the middle class.
they will kowtow to the extremists on the right as they try to make Ohio a theocratic State hoping to join the new Confederacy.
Turn out. Across the country. Ohio is a testing ground for extremist ideas. If we don't stop the radical right the freedoms we take for granted will be eviscerated. America will become a oppressive, Conservative Christian Kingdom rivaling the theocracies we see across the globe.
Vote as if your life depends on it. It does.
Vote as if your future depends on it. It does.