A Supreme Court ruling in favor of Shaun McCutcheon would set the stage for totally eliminating remaining campaign-finance laws.
-By Norm Ornstein
September 26, 2013- It is tempting to think that there is only one issue hitting Washington these days: the coming apocalypse over a government shutdown and a possible default. It is, to be sure, the Big One, and it should dominate our discussion and analysis. But there are many other issues looming out there that deserve broader focus and attention. One is the farm bill, a case study in dysfunction and chaos over the past three years which has devastated farmers hit by the most significant drought since the Great Depression and which, if unresolved by the end of the month, could cause milk prices to skyrocket, among other things.
-By Rod Bastanmehr
September 5, 2013- An investigation into the issue of voter registration fraud in the Sunshine State initiated by Florida Repulicans has unearthed no evidence of wrongdoing—except on the part of the GOP. Florida's Secretary of State Ken Detzner, prompted the state's Department of Law Enforcement to research the alleged problem, setting its sights on the Florida New Majority, an established progressive organization know for advocating the spread of democratic participation across the country. The organization was vital in registering scores of minorities last year—something which Republicans generally don't like.
Newly created 'West Virginians for Results' has GOP connection
-By Michael Beckel
September 4, 2013- A newly created super PAC appears to have its sights set on West Virginia, a state where Republicans in 2014 hope to pick up both a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
A group called “West Virginians for Results” submitted paperwork to the Federal Election Commission on August 29, stating it “intends to make independent expenditures,” though it doesn’t specify in which races it plans to be active and the website it lists is not yet functional.
The address used by West Virginians for Results on its FEC filing is the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Clark Hill PLC. The super PAC’s treasurer is listed as James “Jim” Tyrrell III, a Clark Hill attorney who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
-By Tom Kludt
August 26, 2013- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signaled that she is in no hurry to step down from what she described as "one of the most activist courts in history" in a candid interview published Sunday.
Ginsburg told The New York Times that, despite calls from some on the let for her to retire before President Barack Obama leaves office so he can name a liberal replacement, she intends to stay on the court "“as long as I can do the job full steam, and that, at my age, is not predictable.” Appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg has survived cancer twice.
She also opened up the current court under Chief Justice John Roberts, who led the majority in striking down a crucial part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in June. Ginsburg said “if it’s measured in terms of readiness to overturn legislation, this is one of the most activist courts in history.”
-By Adam Liptak
August 24, 2013- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, vowed in an interview to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.”
In wide-ranging remarks in her chambers on Friday that touched on affirmative action, abortion and same-sex marriage, Justice Ginsburg said she had made a mistake in joining a 2009 opinion that laid the groundwork for the court’s decision in June effectively striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The recent decision, she said, was “stunning in terms of activism.”
Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Justice Ginsburg has given several this summer, perhaps in reaction to calls from some liberals that she step down in time for President Obama to name her successor.
-By Pete Williams, NBC News
August 22, 2013- Justice Department officials say they'll launch a few legal fight to block the Texas voter ID law.
Texas lost the first round when the federal government refused to give the state permission to enforce the law, under the preclearance part of the Voting Rights Act. But now that the Supreme Court has taken that power from the government away, the Obama administration is launching a new effort.
"We will not allow the Supreme Court's recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a written statement.
The government will claim that the voter ID law violates a different section of the Voting Rights Act that was left intact by the Supreme Court's decision.
-BY Ian Millhiser
August 19, 2013- North Carolina state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D) announced today that she is resigning her seat in the state legislature after 17 years of service. Instead she will work full time to reverse the blizzard of right-wing legislation enacted by Republicans since they took over the state government last January. In a message posted on her website, Kinnaird wrote that a major focus of her post-legislative work will be “a grass-roots project to make sure everyone in the state has a proper voter ID so that no votes are denied, even though” a recently enacted voter suppression law “is aimed at exactly that – repressing the vote.” Kinnaird’s replacement will effectively be chosen by Democratic officials.
-By Reid Wilson
August 19, 2013- After crying foul over Republican efforts to modify election laws in key states, Democrats are launching their own wide-ranging push to change the way Americans vote, kicking off the latest battles in a fight over voting rights that’s as old as the republic itself.
Last week, operatives tied to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee launched what they call a 50-state initiative to promote voting reforms that would make it easier to cast a ballot. The effort is being run by American Values First, an outside group organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and run by Michael Sargeant, the DLCC’s executive director. Democrats will push legislation similar to a Colorado measure signed into law earlier this year that requires all elections to be conducted by mail.
-By Nicole Flatow
August 13, 2013- When Rosanell Eaton was 21 years old and living in segregated North Carolina, she became one of the first African Americans in her county registered to vote, after successfully completing a literacy test that required her to recite the preamble to the Constitution. But now, at 92 years old, she faces new obstacles under the voter suppression law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) Monday. For one thing, she may not qualify for the voter ID card required under the new law, because the name on her birth certificate is different from the name on her driver’s license and voter registration card. Reconciling this difference will be a costly and time-consuming administrative endeavor. For another, she has participated in early voting since it was instituted in the state. Now, it’s been cut back a week.