“Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Mighty is your name,
Steeped in glory and tradition, Object of acclaim.
Where brave men fought the foe of freedom, Tyranny decried,‘
Til the bell of independence filled the countryside.”
I’m singing your praises Pennsylvania. What needed to be done, has been. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has blocked implementation of the Voter Photo ID Law until after the election. Now, while the move by the court only delays this law until after this years election, we will now see if there was ever any reason beyond preventing President Obama’s reelection for this law to be in place.
We will see if voter fraud was a problem or if this was, simply, a fraudulent attempt to suppress votes. My guess is [it was] the later.
This in fact may be the most telling part of this entire charade. And when I say telling I mean that it was them, the republicans, doing the telling. On June 23, 2012 State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) stated:
- “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done.”
- “First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done.”
- “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Since the 1960’s, there has not been a more blatant attack on America’s civil rights, indeed, an attack of the most basic right of our society, the right to vote.
This is not just about Pennsylvania, though. Their’s was the most restrictive of many such laws passed in more than 30 states over the last few years. Some have been struck down by the Voting Rights Act (that’s come under fire lately), and others by Local and State courts that have determined that the laws were an unnecessary intrusion on our voter franchise.
My guess is, though, this is not just a one shot deal. Most of this talk about in-person voter ID fraud will quietly dissipate, but it won’t disappear. Voter suppression and manipulation is as important down-ticket, at the State and Local level, as it is nationally. What this process has shown us is that State Houses, State Legislatures, and locally elected Judges play as much a part in this scenario as the National ticket. We must be aware, and beware. The war continues.
It is in the local courts where laws are being upheld that are restricting or eliminating more of our basic freedoms. Like freedom of choice for women, freedom to choose who to marry, freedom to bargain collectively. Even the right to be governed by our lawfully elected officials is being challenged. State Legislatures are realigning voting districts to dilute the power of constituency voting.
So the war is not yet won. The battlefield has shifted. Diligence and determination are the weapons with which we must arm ourselves, as we continue moving “Forward.”
So, congratulations Pennsylvania. A battle won, but the war goes on.
“Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, May your future be,
filled with honor everlasting as your history.”