...Chief Justice John Roberts may be both and probably is, but he is most certainly a racist of the second variety. It's all very well, he might say, to treat those people well. But it's not okay to make it as easy for them to vote as it is for whites. Those people vote for the wrong party.
You can almost here Roberts say indignantly that he's not racist. He may really believe he's not... but it's just that... you know...
Garrett Epps writes a convincing piece on John Roberts and on the most recent voting requirements in Texas. An excerpt:
Which brings us to Peasey v. Perry, the voting-rights case in which the Court issued its 5 a.m. order on Saturday. That order allowed Texas’ draconian voter-ID law, known as SB 14, to take effect for the midterm elections next month—the first general election to which it will be applied. It is customary to speak of SB 14 as a “tough” voter-ID law, but it might be better to speak of it as a discriminatory voter-ID law, inspired by the intent to disfranchise black and Latino voters. ...Epps,Atlantic
Intent. That's not a casual use of the word. It actually comes into the judicial history of Peasey v Perry.
... It was the considered factual finding of federal district Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos. (Ramos is an Obama appointee, but one endorsed for the bench by Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn.) Ramos based her conclusion on a nine-day trial in which both the state and the plaintiffs presented evidence about SB 14’s history and effect. That effect is startling—Ramos found that the law might disfranchise as much as 4.5 percent of the state’s eligible voters. But more important is her conclusion about the law’s intent (emphasis added):
The record as a whole (including the relative scarcity of incidences of in-person voter impersonation fraud, the fact that SB 14 addresses no other type of voter fraud, the anti-immigration and anti-Hispanic sentiment permeating the 2011 legislative session, and the legislators' knowledge that SB 14 would clearly impact minorities disproportionately and likely disenfranchise them) shows that SB 14 was racially motivated.
This is a devastating finding. The judge is not saying that the law has a disproportionate effect on minorities; she is saying that it was specifically written to prevent them from voting. Because it was intentional race discrimination, she found, it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the prohibition of racial restrictions on the vote in the 15th Amendment—and also the prohibition of poll taxes in the 24th Amendment.
If true, a sordid business indeed.
And bear in mind that the trial judge is the only one who has examined the evidence. The Fifth Circuit has not—it stayed Ramos’s order immediately, pending briefing and argument later. The plaintiffs then asked the Supreme Court to lift that stay. That would have reinstated Ramos’s order and prevented the state from enforcing the law until the appeal could be heard.
Even silent acquiescence violates the principle he has repeatedly proclaimed.The Supreme Court, in an order issued shortly before dawn Saturday, declined. The high court has not examined the evidence either. ...Epps,Atlantic
When I first moved to Texas to stay (bought house, paid taxes), on numerous occasions I was aware of the difficulties associated with voting. White, sure, but a Democrat. I reported each occasion to the Texas Secretary of State and was also deposed for a federal court hearing in Houston that ultimately came down hard on the state for its discriminatory practices.
Texas continues to be a southern state. A kind of intellectual laziness comes into it as well as a strongly held belief that the way to treat Washington is to raise your middle finger and point east.