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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, June 28, 2016
'Green News Report' 6/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly WV flooding, CA fires; World emissions pact undermined by Brexit?; VW to pay $15B in emissions scandal; PLUS: TransCanada demands $15B from U.S. for KXL rejection...
Previous GNRs: 6/23/16 - 6/21/16 - Archives...
Sunday Stay or Go Toons
Some sit in, others find the exit in Pdiddie's latest collection of the week's best political toons from all sides of the pond...
Brexit: If it Could Happen There...: 'BradCast' 6/24/16
Also: NC voter suppression back in court; TX spending millions on unlawful Photo ID law; Did NY voter purge hurt Sanders or Clinton more?; Climate change death toll rising in WV, China...
SCOTUS on Immigration, Aff-Action; Dems End Gun 'Sit-in': 'BradCast' 6/23/16
Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser explains new Court rulings; and we cover far more breaking news than we can even fit here...
'Green News Report' 6/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Last CA nuke plant will close; Judge nixes Obama's fracking rules; Study: Toxic chemicals found in residents near fracking sites; PLUS: Researchers turn carbon emissions into stone...
Previous GNRs: 6/21/16 - 6/16/16 - Archives...
FL Rep.: Dems to 'Sit-In' Until Vote or GOP 'Hauls People Off Floor': 'BradCast' 6/22/16
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) explains House protest, calls GOP shutdown of C-SPAN 'astonishing', lack of vote on guns 'disgusting'...
Was Orlando the 'Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History?': 'BradCast' 6/21/16
Guest: USC historian Ariela J. Gross | ALSO: Trump's disastrous fundraising numbers; New polls; 700th 'GNR'!...
'Green News Report' 6/21/16
OUR 700TH EPISODE!!! Record heat in S.W.; Bernie wants YOU to fight climate change; PLUS: Obama climate change warning for national parks...
About That 'Stolen' Democratic Primary: 'BradCast' 6/20/16
Brad has a few thoughts. Plus: Sanders' call for progressive candidates and GOP/NRA/Trump gun lies, and more evidence elections matter...
Sunday Keepin' Bear Toons
The nation's political cartoonists on Orlando. 'PDiddie' rounds up political cartoonists response to Orlando and the end of Primary season...
Broken Party; Bernie's Message; Hillary Rising: 'BradCast' 6/17/16
A year into Trump. Sanders 'revolution' just starting? 'Red' states could turn 'blue'...
Former CDC Injury Chief on Federal Gun Research 'Ban': 'BradCast' 6/16/16
Dr. Mark Rosenberg on his 1996 'Dickey Amendment' showdown w/ Congress, NRA; Also: Dem 'filibuster' forces gun votes, Obama in Orlando...
'Green News Report' 6/16/16
House GOP to roll back pollution standards; May 2016 hottest on record; Clean Power Plan saves $38b/year; PLUS: Trump for climate action before against it...
Bullets and Ballots: 'BradCast' 6/15/16
Fights over both continue, after Orlando Massacre and Presidential primary voting. We cover the latest on both, take listener calls, and more...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Cruz, Kasich drop after Indiana; Sanders wins and vows to keep going; And Salon's Heather Digby Parton joins us to help make sense of it all...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2016 5:20pm PT  

On today's BradCast, just as we warned you on the day he entered the race back in June of 2015 (when everyone else told you his candidacy was a joke), Donald Trump will now be the 2016 GOP nominee for President of these United States. No joke. And, yes, Bernie Sanders is still both running and winning against the front-runner on the Democratic side.

We cover the reported results from Indiana yesterday, including the GOP dead-enders Ted Cruz and John Kasich who have seen the writing on the wall and both finally dropped out of the race. We also cover the upset victory of Sanders over the corporate media's presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, how he is likely to have more such victories in the weeks ahead, and how the MSM does an amazing job of not noticing.

Then, we're joined by our old friend Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo. She was with us this year for a ton of our debate coverage, but was also with me on the show last year on Day 1 of the Trump campaign. At the time she joined me in my belief that Trump was going to receive huge support among the thoroughly brainwashed and fact-addled Rightwingers that now make up the Republican Party following years of fact-free propaganda passed on to them by wingnut talk radio and corporate "news" outlets.

Now that we know Trump will, barring "an act of God", as Parton says, be the GOP nominee, it seemed a perfect time to talk about what it all means and how the mainstream corporate media was so wrong for so long about Trump (and even about Sanders). As Parton notes: "He is the sort of zenith...He is the id of that conservative 'essence' over the course of the last thirty years. And without the media having prepared people for believing that this was normal, that this represented America, I'm not sure [he would have done this well]."

"Let's not forget," she adds, "this was supposed to be the deepest bench, the most awesomely prepared group of Presidential candidates in American history...and it came down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Out of that entire group, that's what we were left with. And that is a legitimate reflection of the Republican Party."

But does Parton share my concern that Trump could do a helluva lot better in the general election than many gleeful Democrats currently believe? And will the Democratic electorate think twice about selecting Clinton as their nominee, now that Trump will almost certainly be the GOP's? For all of that, you'll have to tune in.

We close out the hour with a few more reminders of how the mainstream corporate media completely misinformed the American electorate about both Trump's rise and his likelihood of securing the Republican nomination. (They told you over and over he'd never win. We warned you over and over otherwise.) And then, finally, we end today's show with a fantastic story about some ballots and a boat and some folks in Rhode Island who helped make democracy possible for a few lucky voters last week...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Plus: Obama's mic drop White House Correspondents Dinner remarks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2016 5:28pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we catch up on a number of stories --- amusing, disturbing and otherwise --- from late last week, over the weekend, and today, in advance of tomorrow's big Primary election in Indiana. [Audio link to the show follows below.]

Among the stories covered on today's program...

  • Satan's minions are offended by the comparison of Lucifer to Ted Cruz;
  • Last week's outbreak of mass shootings around the country surpassed the number killed in similar shootings in all of Europe for the entire year;
  • The GOP promises legal push-back against the VA Democratic Governor's executive order last week allowing some 200,000 former felons the right to register and vote;
  • Dumb Democrats gleeful about a Clinton "landslide" if Trump wins the GOP nomination (Talking to you, Rob Reiner!);
  • Bernie Sanders believes there will be a "contested" Democratic Presidential nominating convention this summer.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's (somewhat encouraging?) order late last week on the TX Republicans' unlawful Photo ID voting law;
  • Senate Democrats call for their Republican counterparts to hold hearings on the Voting Rights Act (before millions of more legal voters are disenfranchised this November), as well as on Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court;
  • And finally, a few words on the White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, which is, on the whole, a dreadful affair, some excerpts from Obama's amusing final speech there, and the fisticuffs that broke out afterward.

Also, my great thanks to the awesome Danielle and Shane-O from the Thom Hartmann Program for expertly filling in for Desi and me on Friday! Thanks, guys!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: Salon's Amanda Marcotte on the latest GOP effort to stop The Donald | PLUS: The landmark Paris Agreement signed; Another mass shooting weekend; And thinking big about progressive policy...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2016 5:53pm PT  

On today's BradCast [audio link below] we return to Republican Presidential politics for the first time in a while, as Ted Cruz and John Kasich announce a plan to team up, sort of, against Donald Trump. (Good luck with that.) But, first, a few stories that haven't received nearly the coverage they deserve from the corporate mainstream media over the weekend.

On Friday, Earth Day, world leaders gathered at the U.N. for the largest-ever first day signing of a worldwide global agreement. The signing of the landmark Paris Agreement to curb global greenhouse gas emissions comes not a moment too soon, as the world smashes heat record after heat record and faces a likely rise in temperatures that will far exceed the targets of the agreement unless further voluntary measures are taken. Desi Doyen joins us to explain it all, and how the Obama Administration plans to get around both ratification by the GOP's denier-controlled U.S. Senate and how the pact was designed to keep the next U.S. President from being able to easily undo it.

Also, another spate of mass shootings took place over the weekend in Republican-controlled states, from OH to GA to AL to WI to AZ, but, as with the Paris Agreement, the corporate mainstream barely noticed as such mass gun deaths have simply become commonplace in these Locked and Loaded States of America.

Then we're joined by Salon political writer Amanda Marcotte to discuss the new alliance between Cruz and Kasich in their desperate bid to take down the GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Marcotte, who describes the plan, much-ballyhooed by the corporate media, as "comically pathetic", explains why the GOP's latest "conspiracy" is unlikely to derail The Donald as hoped.

She says the scheme, which includes Kasich pulling campaign resources out of Indiana in exchange for Cruz pulling resources out of New Mexico and Oregon, doesn't even include telling their own voters to vote for the other guy in those states. "They're not even going that far. That's how dumb this plan is. They're not taking their name off the ballot or doing anything that might actually cause anyone to change their vote. They're just not campaigning in each other's chosen states."

Marcotte believes the move is even likely to help Trump. "For weeks now, Donald Trump has been running around the country claiming that he's a victim of an elite conspiracy to shut him out of his rightful nomination...And here they have come out with great fanfare and announce they are conspiring against him!"

She also tells me about what she sees as "a complete tornado of incompetence" in the Republican Party in general, including from its great white hope in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan. "The Republican Party has a bunch of ideologues, but they don't have anybody who knows how to do anything. Like basic politics, basic governance," Marcotte explains. "Donald Trump is one of the luckiest people alive because he just sort of wandered into this situation where everyone else is so bad he looks good in comparison."

But is all of this GOP dysfunction and a crumbling Republican Party actually good for Democrats and progressives? Tune in for that discussion and more.

Finally, as voters head to the polls on Tuesday in PA, MD, CT, DE and RI, a closing thought on Democrats "thinking big" about progressive policy, as shared by both Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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GUEST: KPFK News Director Ernesto Arce...
By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2015 3:40pm PT  

On today's BradCast, we cover the 'credible threat' of terror said to have been received by Los Angeles school officials out here, leading to today's unprecedented, complete shutdown of the second largest school district in the nation.

I'm joined by Ernesto Arce, News Director at our flagship radio station here in Los Angeles, Pacifica Radio's KPFK, for the latest, including the growing belief that the entire matter was little more than a hoax; that there have been more than 150 reports of hate crimes against Muslims here in Southern California since the San Bernardino shootings two weeks ago; and that today's panic suggests, once again, that you don't have to fire a shot or set off a bomb to terrorize Americans.

Also today, the sentencing of the latest Republican Sec. of State --- New Mexico's Dianna Duran --- to be found guilty of election fraud crimes, even as the GOP still pretends that Democrats are committing massive "voter fraud"; I finally figure out a way that Donald Trump could be knocked off his throne and maybe not win the GOP 2016 nomination after all (maybe); And Desi Doyen joins us for special Green News Report coverage of the historic UN climate agreement that was finalized unanimously by almost 200 nations over the weekend in Paris...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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By Brad Friedman on 7/4/2015 9:35am PT  

Sigh...

[Hat-tip The New Civil Rights Movement...]




GUEST: Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien...
By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2015 5:15pm PT  

On today's BradCast: much more on the 2016 GOP candidates still --- incredibly --- tripping up over Iraq. Over the weekend, once again, it was Marco Rubio's turn after a disastrous appearance on Fox "News" Sunday with Chris Wallace. And no, once again, the Iraq War wasn't "a mistake", it was a crime and should be treated as such.

Then, I was joined for a fascinating conversation with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien as Shell Oil's 400-foot Polar Pioneer offshore oil rig is now docked in the Port of Seattle's Elliot Bay and facing ShellNo.org protesters on both land and sea. They hope to keep the rig from heading into the pristine Arctic waters to drill for oil this summer, after the Obama Administration has granted "conditional approval".

O'Brien says the City Council has determined that Shell is there "in violation of the existing permits," and tells us they are now "working on enforcement actions to get them back into compliance." Unfortunately, he concedes, that may mean, for now, little more than a $500/fine fine. But he also says the city is working hard to see what else they might be able to do to block the rig from moving north this season and, as importantly, keep any more oil rigs from using the port at all in the future.

On why O'Brien, who also took to a kayak himself to protest the rig last week, isn't only fighting Shell from the safety of his City Councilmember's office, but is actually taking to the water along with other "kayaktivists", he says: "For me, because it's happening right here in my city on my waterfront, I, frankly, can't just stay in my chambers and work on this. I felt the need to get out there and join with my fellow citizens to be part of the activity on the water." He adds: "The number of us and the size of us compared to this monstrosity is a monument to the hubris of the oil industry."

Well worth listening to today's interview! Also today: The weekend's deadly biker gang shootout in Waco results in TX legislators calling for more guns; Religious freedom in Indiana? Not so much if your religion is Rastafarianism; And a 10,000 year old ice shelf in Antarctica is about to disappear entirely. But why worry?...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2015 10:58pm PT  

As its reputation goes to pot, it looks like Indiana's new "religious freedom" law has sparked up more trouble than even Gov. Mike Pence (R) expected.

U.S. News reports "Indiana's Church of Cannabis Growing Like a Weed":

A new religion glorifying cannabis is officially incorporated in Indiana, and adherents plan to take full advantage of the state's controversial religious freedom law.

That law - the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - generally bans state officials from burdening a person's exercise of religion, "even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."

Opponents say the law blesses discrimination by business owners against people they dislike, with most news coverage focused on the possible effects on sexual minorities.

Bill Levin, founder of the First Church of Cannabis, believes his religion will help restore the state's reputation after an intense bout of bad press.

"I created the fastest-growing religion in America last week," Levin tells U.S. News. "I've got to cork the leak up that [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence caused with love."

Levin says he and other church members "all smoke religiously" and says supportive attorneys are advising him. He's working to find a facility with a large sanctuary.

"We have people who will be pilgriming in from California, from Maine, from Florida," he says. "I planned this to be a small church of three to five hundred, but the numbers have staggeringly grown."
...
"Of course I'm going to test this law. I'm not going to test it, I'm going to beat it," Levin says. "We're building a church with the cornerstone of love, the way religions are supposed to be built."




By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2015 6:51pm PT  

We covered a lot of ground on this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

From today's breaking news on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); to today's breaking news on mandatory water restrictions in CA; to a shockingly good act of MSM journalism helping to force Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) to do the right thing; to our latest exclusive on U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller's "wife-beating" case; to callers' opinions (lots of 'em!) on the one condition I'd agree to in exchange for mandatory voting (a very popular condition, it seems!)

PLUS, one caller surprises me with a song that seems to be about me (it actually has my name in it!) and Desi Doyen joins us for a very amusing Green News Report!...

Told ya we covered a lot of ground. Please enjoy it! I know I did!

Download MP3 or listen online below...




By Ernest A. Canning on 1/5/2015 7:05am PT  

- with Brad Friedman

[An earlier version of this article was originally published by Truthout...]

Both election integrity advocates and dissembling GOP proponents of Photo ID voting restrictions were taken by surprise in late 2013 when 7th Circuit Court Judge Richard A. Posner said, during an interview with HuffPo Live, that the landmark 2008 Supreme Court decision on the matter "would have been decided differently" if the Court had known then "about the abuse of voter identification laws."

That, in and of itself, was a remarkable turn of events. What was ultimately to come was even more so.

Crawford v. Marion County Election Board is the case which Republican proponents of strict Photo ID voting laws now (incorrectly and often disingenuously) cite as giving them carte blanche to enact similar laws in other states, irrespective of the extent to which photo ID laws serve to disenfranchise demographic groups --- minorities, students, the poor, women --- that all tend to vote for Democrats.

Posner is not just any judge. He is a renowned legal scholar and Reagan appointee to the federal bench, who has served on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeal since 1981. More importantly here, Posner was the author of the 7th Circuit's opinion in Crawford. In that case, Posner rejected an allegation that Indiana's polling place photo ID restriction was unconstitutional. That decision was affirmed at the time by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posner, who is, as Yale Law Professor Fred Shapiro notes, the most cited jurist of the 20th Century, was not alone in his view in 2013 year that Crawford "would have been decided differently" if the Court knew then what it knows now.

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the author of the plurality opinion in Crawford --- an opinion that was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy --- told the Wall Street Journal following Posner's remarks at the time, that he "always thought that [dissenting Justice] David Souter got the thing correct, but my own problem with the case was that I didn't think the record [before the Court in 2008] supported everything he said in his opinion." Souter would have struck down the Indiana law as unconstitutional because, as he argued at the time, it "threatens to impose nontrivial burdens" upon the right to vote.

Joined by four other 7th Circuit jurists last October, Posner penned an extraordinarily powerful and compelling dissent [PDF] in Wisconsin's photo ID voting case. The previously missing evidence is now in, as the judge meticulously detailed in the opinion. GOP claims that photo ID restrictions are needed to combat "voter fraud", he wrote, are "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government"...

There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.

Posner's carefully crafted dissent does more than establish why the U.S. Supreme Court should ultimately sustain the District Court's finding that Wisconsin's photo ID law is both unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act --- a finding later echoed by a federal District Court in Texas as well. Posner's dissent obliterates the factual premise that had served as a pillar upon which his, and subsequently the Supreme Court's, decisions in Crawford were based.

Polling place photo ID laws do not promote voter confidence in the integrity of elections, as Posner and the Crawford Supreme Court plurality had erroneously assumed. The assertion that they do was a "mistake" --- Posner's mistake! --- and he now admits as much, with the support of devastating new data from recent studies to back him up.

His powerful dissent amounts to more than just a response to the Wisconsin GOP's new Photo ID voting law. It is an elegant plea that the U.S. Supreme Court finally right a grievous wrong that he was personally responsible for. Posner presents an astonishing, air-tight case for ruling that all "strict Photo ID laws," which, as he demonstrates, have only been enacted in states sporting GOP-controlled legislatures, must now be struck-down as unconstitutional...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2014 1:39pm PT  

It was a very long night here last night (just scroll down the marquee at right to get an idea), and now I'm scrambling to try and make enough sense of things to coherently put together today's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio. Wish me luck.

So, for the moment, I just want to re-re-re-remind that, historically, many problems from Election Day and, more specifically, in the tabulation of results, don't come to light until the days (or even longer) after Election Day. I'm already getting buried with various tips about various problems that folks had voting yesterday and, perhaps more disturbingly, issues and failures at the polls themselves. Trying to look through as much as I can, confirm what I can, debunk what I can and/or and make sense of it for you as best as possible.

For now then, I'll just drop this fun paragraph from a poster at Slashdot, as it points to a few issues we've covered over the past 24 hours, as well as a few that we have not...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2014 11:15pm PT  

Well, KPFK/Pacifica Radio is still on fund drive this week, but there is just too much going on to not do a new BradCast for my network affiliate stations and for you.

So, instead of live from the KPFK studios this week, we are once again "live" from BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters once again for this week's show. (If you heard last week's episode/primal scream, you'll be happy to know that the news this week is considerably more encouraging!)

Having trouble keeping up with the very latest on all of the on again/off again GOP voter suppression laws across the country just over two weeks before Election Day? Me too! So, if you missed any of our roller coaster coverage here at the blog, on all the fine messes over the past week or so, I try to get you all caught up on what you need to know about the latest in the court battles over the unconstitutional Republican Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin, Arkansas and Texas...and on the one devastating appellate court opinion that might ultimately kill them all once and for all.

Buckle up (and please feel free to drop something in the BRAD BLOG Tip Jar while you're listening!)...

Download MP3 or listen online below...




Judge Richard Posner: 'If the WI legislature says witches are a problem, shall WI courts be permitted to conduct witch trials?'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2014 3:04pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

If you read just one top-to-bottom dismantling of every supposed premise in support of disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions laws in your lifetime, let it be this one [PDF]!

It is a dissent, released on Friday, written by Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was the one who approved the first such Photo ID law in the country (Indiana's) back in 2008, in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County case which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Posner's ruling was affirmed.

If there was ever evidence that a jurist could change their mind upon review of additional subsequent evidence, this is it. If there was ever a concise and airtight case made against Photo ID laws and the threat they pose to our most basic right to vote, this is it. If there was ever a treatise revealing such laws for the blatantly partisan shell games that they are, this is it.

His dissent includes a devastating response to virtually every false and/or disingenuous rightwing argument/talking point ever put forth in support of Photo ID voting restrictions, describing them as "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government."

Posner is, by far, the most widely cited legal scholar of the 20th century, according to The Journal of Legal Studies. His opinions are closely read by the Supreme Court, where the battle over the legality and Constitutionality of Photo ID voting laws will almost certainly wind up at some point in the not too distant future. That's just one of the reasons why this opinion is so important.

This opinion, written on behalf of five judges on the 7th Circuit, thoroughly disabuses such notions such as: these laws are meant to deal with a phantom voter fraud concern ("Out of 146 million registered voters, this is a ratio of one case of voter fraud for every 14.6 million eligible voters"); that evidence shows them to be little more than baldly partisan attempts to keep Democratic voters from voting ("conservative states try to make it difficult for people who are outside the mainstream...to vote"); that rightwing partisan outfits like True the Vote, which support such laws, present "evidence" of impersonation fraud that is "downright goofy, if not paranoid"; and the notion that even though there is virtually zero fraud that could even possibly be deterred by Photo ID restrictions, the fact that the public thinks there is, is a lousy reason to disenfranchise voters since there is no evidence that such laws actually increase public confidence in elections and, as new studies now reveal, such laws have indeed served to suppress turnout in states where they have been enacted.

There is far too much in it to appropriately encapsulate here for now. Ya just really need to take some time to read it in full. But it was written, largely, in response to the Appellate Court ruling last week by rightwing Judge Frank Easterbrook which contained one embarrassing falsehood and error after another, including the canards about Photo ID being required to board airplanes, open bank accounts, buy beer and guns, etc. We took apart just that one paragraph of Easterbrook's ruling last week here, but Posner takes apart his colleague's entire, error-riddled mess of a ruling in this response.

Amongst my favorite passages (and there are so many), this one [emphasis added]...

The panel is not troubled by the absence of evidence. It deems the supposed beneficial effect of photo ID requirements on public confidence in the electoral system "'a legislative fact'-a proposition about the state of the world," and asserts that "on matters of legislative fact, courts accept the findings of legislatures and judges of the lower courts must accept findings by the Supreme Court." In so saying, the panel conjures up a fact-free cocoon in which to lodge the federal judiciary. As there is no evidence that voter impersonation fraud is a problem, how can the fact that a legislature says it's a problem turn it into one? If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials? If the Supreme Court once thought that requiring photo identification increases public confidence in elections, and experience and academic study since shows that the Court was mistaken, do we do a favor to the Court-do we increase public confidence in elections-by making the mistake a premise of our decision? Pressed to its logical extreme the panel's interpretation of and deference to legislative facts would require upholding a photo ID voter law even if it were uncontested that the law eliminated no fraud but did depress turnout significantly.

And this one...

There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.

And remember, once again, this is written by Richard Posner, the conservative Republican icon of a federal appellate court judge --- the judge who wrote the opinion on behalf of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals approving of the first such Photo ID law in the country in 2008, the very case that rightwingers from Texas to Wisconsin now cite over and over (almost always incorrectly) in support of similar such laws --- now, clearly admitting that he got the entire thing wrong.

One last point (for now): Our legal analyst Ernie Canning, who (along with me) will undoubtedly have much more to say on this dissent in upcoming days, suggests we award The BRAD BLOG's almost-never-anymore-bestowed Intellectually Honest Conservative Award to Judge Posner. And so it shall be.

Now go read Posner's dissent...

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Election law expert describes ruling in advance of SCOTUS decision as 'Horrendous'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2014 7:59pm PT  

Let me say this up front, so you don't miss it this time: No, a Photo ID is not required to board an airplane. Period.

Last week, the ACLU filed an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of having the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling --- which overturned a lower court's injunction on Wisconsin's new Photo ID voting restriction --- stayed in advance of next month's election.

Today (Monday) a rather remarkable new opinion was issued by the 7th Circuit which seems designed to serve as a last-minute assist to the Republican defendants in Wisconsin in their response to the ACLU appeal, as Justice Elena Kagan has required the state's response no later than 5pm on Tuesday. The ruling is littered with blatant falsehoods.

To recap very briefly, how we got to this point, and the astonishing claims in the 7th Circuit's opinion today: the GOP law requiring very specific types of state-issued Photo IDs for voting in Wisconsin was struck down earlier this year after it was found, by U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman, to be both a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. His thorough, 70-page ruling [PDF] found that some 300,000 legally registered voters in Wisconsin (nearly 10% of them) lacked the specific type of Photo ID that would now be needed vote under the new restriction. Adelman also determined that the law amounts to a "unique burden [which] disproportionately impacts Black and Latino voters" (who just happen to lean towards Democratic candidates), and that the new restriction on voting would "prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes."

In mid-September, on appeal, a panel of three Republican-appointed judges on the 7th Circuit tossed out Adelman's permanent injunction with little comment. Amidst ensuing "electoral chaos", as election officials and voters in the state scrambled to make sense of the stunning last minute change to the law, just weeks before the mid-term election, the ACLU appealed for a rehearing before the full 7th Circuit. That hearing resulted in a deadlocked 5 to 5 vote by the judges (one seat on the court has been vacant since 2010), which meant that the partisan 3-judge panel's ruling, restoring the Photo ID restriction after it had been struck down by the lower court, now remains in place.

That brings us to the ACLU's emergency appeal to SCOTUS last week, and Monday's remarkable new opinion issued by the 7th Circuit at the last minute, clearly made to justify the original opinion issued last week which seems to have otherwise landed with a thud. (The court had attempted to compare a "need" to restore new voting restrictions at the last minute to the U.S. Supreme Court's stay placed on the overturning of same-sex marriage bans in several states last year. The dissenters called the court's legal theories "brazen", "shocking" and on its central thesis comparing the WI law to a 2008 landmark case in Indiana, "dead wrong.")

University of California-Irvine's election law professor Rick Hasen described the new opinion issued on Monday as "a nice assist from the 7th Circuit panel to the state of Wisconsin," just in time for the SCOTUS deadline.

In a more detailed follow-up item, however, Hasen, who is usually quite conservative when it comes to concerns about Photo ID voting restrictions, went somewhat ballistic. He uncharacteristically upbraided the 7th Circuit's newly issued ruling --- apparently written by the very rightwing Federalist Society member Judge Frank Easterbrook --- as "Horrendous".

"I rarely just rant in my blog posts," he tweeted, along with a link to his follow-up, "But Judge Easterbrook caused me to blow a gasket."

I know the feeling. I felt the exact same way while reading the new opinion today, particularly the part in which the court offers blatant --- and long-ago debunked --- falsehoods about where and when they claim Photo ID to be "essential", such as when boarding an airplane.

Trouble is, that is a blatant lie. A Photo ID is absolutely not required to board an airplane, no matter how many times proponents of these sorts of laws repeat the false claim. And it's simply remarkable that such a lie (and others akin to it) would be included in a last-minute opinion meant to justify an Appellate Court ruling that is about to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




States also likely effected include CO, KS, NC, SC, WV and WY, for a total of 30 states where freedom and Constitution win the day...
By Brad Friedman on 10/6/2014 12:35pm PT  

Well, that was cowardly. But I suppose it's better than hearing the cases and churning out another twisted, activist justification for discrimination.

Rather than hear appeals from cases in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin where marriage equality bans were struck down, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked court watchers today by deciding to avoid the issue of marriage equality as a Constitutional right entirely for the time being. Effectively, that means the lower-court rulings stand in each of those states, so freedom, liberty and the conservative Constitutional value of equal justice for all wins the day in each of them.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a national organization dedicated to the fight for equality in all fifty states, said after today's Supreme Court punt: "This decision by the Court is a huge step forward --- and a clear green light for full-speed ahead --- but it needlessly postpones the national resolution that together we've been working so hard for. Freedom to Marry is committed to finishing the job."

Couples in six other states where the Circuit Court of Appeals' decisions will likely also apply include Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

With the addition of those 11 states, the list of states where marriage equality for all will soon be recognized will jump to 30, continuing to beg the question of which state will disgrace the Union as the very last one to allow equality, in this measure, for all of its citizens.




Case is larger than Wisconsin, presenting a moment of truth for American democracy and at least two Justices on the high court...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/2/2014 6:06pm PT  

On Thursday morning, the ACLU filed an Emergency Application to Vacate [PDF] with the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a Sept. 14, 2014 stay of a U.S. District Court ruling that had, before the stay, permanently blocked enforcement of a Republican-enacted, Wisconsin photo ID voting law.

The civil rights organization argues that the emergency ruling is needed to prevent mass disenfranchisement and electoral chaos during the upcoming Nov. 4 election. It asks that the Court "leave that injunction in force pending the Seventh Circuit's issuance of a decision on the merits."

As the District Court judge had found, before his decision was overturned by a partisan ruling at the Appellate Court level, Wisconsin's attempted restriction on the voting rights of legally registered voters poses a real and present danger that some 10% of the Badger State's duly registered electorate will likely be prevented from voting in the rapidly approaching November 4 election.

The District Court's injunction had been stayed as a result of a deadlocked court, in which five bipartisan members of the ten-judge U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeal described in a Sept. 29 Opinion [PDF] as a "brazen" and "shocking" disregard of both precedent and the right of the minority to vote. That "shocking" position had been advanced by the attorneys representing Republican Gov. Scott Walker and first accepted by an all-GOP, three-judge panel that had issued an extraordinary, 11th hour decision to vacate the lower court's injunction.

The case now poses an enormous test for at least two key Justices on the high court. Will Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy adhere to the very principles they signed on to when they joined the plurality opinion authored by former Justice John Paul Stevens in the landmark 2008 SCOTUS decision in Crawford v. Marion County Board of Elections? That case upheld Indiana's Photo ID law against a "facial" challenge solely because, in the words of the plurality opinion, there was no evidence before the court at the time to prove anyone would be disenfranchised or that their right to vote would be unduly burdened by the law.

In signing onto Steven's lead opinion, both Roberts and Kennedy agreed that election laws, including photo ID voting restrictions, are subject to the Anderson/Burdick test. That test mandates that courts, on a case-by-case basis, measure a law's potential damage to voters' right to vote against the specific claims made by the state as to why such additional burdens and restrictions are necessary. Given that the state has offered no legitimate reason for potentially disenfranchising as much as 10% of Wisconsin's lawfully registered voters, Roberts and Kennedy cannot refuse to lift the stay without a total abandonment of principle...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




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