Voters Rights and States Rights

I wrote this and sent it to Ed Schultz at MSNBC today.  I thought some of you might be interested in reading it as well.
Ed, you asked on Friday for anything that might help with the Pennsylvania voting outrage. I have been looking up some things in a book I got at the library, and thought I might share some things with you. I want no mention at all, should you decide to use these to help. I will probably try to either copy what I write, minus any reference to this going to you, to my own blog at carolstepp.wordp… I have found pretty much tells me that no state in this country has the right to change anything about the voting rights of their citizens. I have pretty much started to think that states think they have greater rights than this UNITED states, but if that were true, and the Constitution and other documents clearly do not state such, then we are not a united country and would be best known as a continent, with 50 separate countries, and that would never do because while some states might want to separate themselves from the federal government, they don’t want to separate themselves from federal money, or federal highways, or federal buildings, or federal help in any way. Several state governors need to be put in their places by our high courts and the White House.

For anyone reading this, I am going to mention several documents, and their articles – and then I will spell them out (not the whole document itself, just parts of it), which will make this long, but which will perhaps be necessary for those who might not know about them. Pass over the spelling out of them as you wish.

The Articles of Confederation: proposed by Congress November 15, 1777, ratified and effective March 1, 1781. These were a precursor to the Constitution, and were written specifically for the original 13 colonies to be in place until a Constitution was written.

Specifically Artlcle II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

In other words, what the US and Congress take for themselves are NOT a right of the states to use in their own way. Voting is one of those rights.

Constitution, Article 10, the last of the Bill of Rights:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Again, voting rights are a part of the Constitution of the UNITED states, not a states right to choose.

Article 14, section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Article 15, section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Article 19, section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Article 26, section 1: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966). Supreme Court upheld provisions of the Federal Votings Rights Act of 1965 which (a) prohibited subterfuges to evade the Fifteenth Amendment, specifically requirements for tests and devices of literacy, educational attainment, moral character, or voucher by registered voters; and which (b) provided for federal officers to register voters in states or their subdivisions where less than 50 percent of the adult population were registered or voted in the election of 1964. The Court declared that “as against the reserved powers of the states, Congress may use any rational means to effect the constitutional prohibition of racial discrimination in voting.”

Now I know Constitution scholars try to twist words around to mean something other than what they say. As far as I’m concerned, English is English, as it has evolved, in the United States, to say exactly what it says, whether it is the language of the 1780s or today. None of the words I have copied here have double meanings.

Therefore, it is my opinion that in the case of Pennsylvania voters, or voters of any other state, that when a person registers and gets a voters card, they will have had to prove their citizenship in some way. So any voter, if he or she holds a voter’s registration, AND has voted in any previous state or federal election, he or she has the right to vote in any election. As for newly registering voters, they will have to prove their citizenship, and perhaps get a photo ID to go with it, but if a citizen already holds a registration card, they are considered legal, or should be. If they are not, it is the fault of whoever registered them in the first place.

About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
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