We weren't going to bother with the John Roberts nomination at all. After all, if the Dems had given a damn about it, they should have thought of that last November and December and January when their leadership didn't feel that the Presidential Election --- which they had most likely won --- was worth fighting for. They knew that anywhere from two to four seats on the Supreme Court would be opening up this Presidential term, but they and Senator No Surrender were apparently too chickenshit to fight for what was likely rightfully theirs.
So this Supreme Court nomination battle now was just a little too little, a little to late as far as we were concerned.
But now, it's being reported today that Roberts was a foe of the Voting Rights Act. Whoops, he's just ticked us off too, in that case!
According to today's New York Times, Roberts was ardently against Congressional plans "to extend - and strengthen" the Voting Rights Act of 1965 back in the 80's when he worked for the Reagan Administration. That extension eventually passed in the House by a 389 to 24 margin in 1981.
We'd suggest folks listen to Lewis. He was there on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 and still has the dents in his skull to show for it. (And actually you can listen to both Lewis himself and Congressional Aide Burton Wides, who helped write much of the VRA legislation from 1970 on up through today --- on this Saturday's Special Edition of The BRAD SHOW to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the VRA on August 6th.)
The Times piece goes on to note:
Richard L. Hasen, an election law specialist at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, noted that views could change over time, but added..."I certainly think that had the Roberts view prevailed, we would have many fewer minority elected representatives in Congress and in state and local government."
In response, DNC Chair Howard Dean issued the following statement today:
"On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, it is deeply troubling that someone with these opinions would be nominated to the Supreme Court to be entrusted with protecting the individual rights and freedoms of every American. This is particularly significant because, as the DNC's report on the 2004 election in Ohio clearly illustrated, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the right to vote - and to have that vote counted - is guaranteed for every eligible American. Now is not the time for a court to be rolling back the right to vote."
So will the Dems really show up to fight this time? For some reason, we're not holding our breath.
As mentioned, this Saturday is the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Rainbow/PUSH is holding a huge march and rally in Atlanta. If you're anywhere near, please get there. We hope to have a live report from the rally on this Saturday's show from BRAD BLOG perennial, Kira! But we'd also love to hear from anybody else who attends!