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U.S. Court of Appeals dismisses ACLU challenge to Florida voter purge

Democratic U.S. Reps urge Gov. Rick Scott not to renew last year's flawed voter purge

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And even though Congress – under an allowance from the high court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder – is hard at work crafting a new algorithm to more accurately represent the bigotry of the modern age, jerk-states like Texas, North Carolina and (reportedly) Florida are rushing to take advantage of the present ambiguity and wipe out minority voters while the getting’s good.

On July 24, the ACLU raised its hackles in response to the lower court’s dismissal of its case, reminding the media and whoever else would listen that it was only last June when the U.S. Department of Justice came down hard on Florida for its purge tactics, pointing to its “critical imperfections” that led to “unlawful conduct” by the state. “We are in an age when voter suppression is becoming more sophisticated and more widespread, and until Congress re-enacts the formula that triggers the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement, we will need to use other weapons to protect that right to vote in Florida,” ACLU Florida director Howard Simon said in a statement.

On July 25, U.S. reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, released a joint statement (in the form of a letter to Gov. Scott) urging the governor to halt the inevitable return to the flawed original list of 180,000 by Detzner. “We request that you immediately inform the public as to whether your administration is again operating off that error-ridden list and what measures are being taken to ensure that no legitimate Florida voter is included on it,” they wrote.

Thankfully, it appears that the DOJ is already on this. According to the Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. “is expected to announce that the Justice Department is using other sections of the Voting Rights Act to bring lawsuits or take other legal action to prevent states from implementing certain laws, including requirements to present certain kinds of identification in order to vote.”

In fact, it’s already happening. The DOJ is putting its muscle behind a challenge to some unseemly redistricting in Texas, and will likely do the same when a challenge to that state’s voter ID law arises, according to the Post. Holder hinted that he was going to subvert congressional foot-dragging on the Voting Rights Act when he spoke in Orlando at the NAACP conference earlier this month.

“But what about states’ rights?” you will likely hear your redneck brother screaming over the phone in the coming months. Well, there aren’t any when the state is wrong.

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