Quantcast
Connect with us

This Tea Party birther is frighteningly close to giving white rural voters even more influence over your life

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments beginning Tuesday in a Tea Party activist’s challenge of fundamental voting rights that could hand Republicans a major advantage in congressional elections.

The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, asks the court to create a uniform national standard for drawing legislative districts based on the number of eligible voters, rather than the total number of people — as they’ve been established in most states throughout history.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, a pair of Texas conservatives — Sue Evenwel and Ed Pfenninger — filed a legal challenge to Texas law directed by Edward Blum, another activist who has been chipping away at the Voting Rights Act and other laws intended to promote civil rights and access to the ballot.

Most analysts agree that a ruling for the plaintiffs would greatly diminish the influence of urban areas — which are more likely to have non-eligible voters such as children, felons and non-citizens.

Latino majority districts, in particular, would become far less likely if a nationwide standard is adopted to conform to the conservative activists’ request.

That would give even greater legislative influence to rural and suburban white voters — who overwhelming tend to vote Republican.

A new analysis shows such a ruling would render every current state legislative map unconstitutional — and about 21 percent of state house districts and nearly 17 percent of state senate districts would likely be redrawn under the new standards.

ADVERTISEMENT

Major changes would be far more likely in states such as Texas and California, which have large Latino populations, but those changes would hit other states, as well.

More than 40 percent of Montana’s house seats are significantly over or underpopulated, as are 37 percent or more in Maryland and Kentucky, according to researchers with the Brennan Center for Justice.

Only Alabama, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia have no high-deviation districts.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition, states must ensure that the variance between the largest and smallest districts does not exceed a 10 percent benchmark — which would cause additional cascade effects as districts are redrawn to comply with that constitutional requirement.

“Even minor changes in the district’s boundaries can have significant political impact, affecting everything from the ability of minority communities to elect their candidates of choice to the result in party primaries,” the researchers found.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s also unclear how states would ensure the reliability of data they used to count the number of eligible voters.

The U.S. Census, which is conducted every 10 years as established in the U.S. Constitution, does not ask questions about citizenship or voter eligibility.

The plaintiffs have suggested that states could use the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey — which is based on annual surveys of 2.5 percent of the American population on a variety of questions, including about citizenship.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, those extrapolated averages sometimes contained a margin of error even higher than the measured differences between data gathered by the Census and those estimated by the survey.

Or, in other words — those districts would be redrawn using somewhat accurate voter counts, at best.

Neither plaintiff sounds like one to obsess over details such as how exactly to implement the radical changes they’re proposing to representative democracy.

Evenwel is a Tea Party activist who has thrown her support behind Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and she helps promote “birther” conspiracy theories at local political meetings in Titus County.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pfenninger is a security guard who has posted dozens of YouTube videos explaining his disdain for Jews, the Catholic Church and short-haired women, and he also believes that unicorns are real and the sun revolves around the earth.

They were recruited as plaintiffs by Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation.

Blum, who is not an attorney, argues that only eligible voters are entitled to legislative representation under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

No court has accepted that argument before, but he’s previously been successful in undermining voting access.

ADVERTISEMENT

Blum spearheaded the successful 2013 challenge in Shelby County v. Holder that struck down portions of the Voting Rights Act.

Watch Pfenninger discuss his views on atheism in this video he posted online:


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

21-year-old Florida man experiences organ failure after recovering from mild COVID-19 case

Published

on

A 21-year-old Florida man thought he had recovered from a mild case of COVID-19, and then he wound up in the hospital as his organs began shutting down.

Spencer Rollyson, of Canaveral Groves, tested positive for the coronavirus in May, but he started getting back to normal life after experiencing mild symptoms and then testing negative after those went away, reported WESH-TV.

"Little bit of a cough, a slight fever of 99.4, I think, for the first couple of days and then after that, I lost smell for about two and a half weeks and that was my only symptom for the entire two weeks," Rollyson said. "On May 21 is the day I got my negative tests results finally."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Was I unmasked?’: Trump appears to admit speaking with foreigners being monitored when he was a candidate

Published

on

President Donald Trump wants to know how many times he was "unmasked" while he was a candidate for the Oval Office. That would mean he appears to know now he was talking to foreign individuals who were being monitored - and some would likely want to know who and why.

Unmasking is the lawful process of identifying a U.S. citizen or legal resident who was speaking to a foreign person or government that U.S. intelligence agents are monitoring. It can be used to determine if they were caught in any illicit activity, or might be a target of illegal activity.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

A conservative group’s push to unseat incumbent GOP senators is infuriating Trump and his allies: report

Published

on

Although The Lincoln Project is a right-wing group, it is not only hoping for former Vice President Joe Biden to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but also, is trying to help Democrats achieve a majority in the U.S. Senate. The group’s viewpoint is that Trump has been so toxic for the Republican Party and the conservative movement that a Democratic tsunami is needed in order to rid the GOP of Trumpism. And reporters Jonathan Easley and Max Greenwood, in an article published by The Hill on August 11, stress that the group’s push for a Democratic Senate is really getting under the skin of Trump and his supporters.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image