Sunday, March 11, 2012

Swiss Miss, or, We Need All the Alp We Can Get

We see that the NAACP has decided to take its battle against voter ID laws to the United Nations.

WASHINGTON — Taking a page from its past, the NAACP will go before a United Nations panel in Switzerland next week to argue that new voting laws approved by some U.S. states violate civil and human rights by suppressing the votes of minorities and others. (“NAACP to challenge state voting laws before U.N. panel in Geneva”).

Nobody’s kidding anyone that the UN has any jurisdiction over state election law. But on the verge of Obama’s re-election bid, any stink is good stink.

Jealous acknowledged that the Human Rights Council has no direct authority over American states, but he hopes that it can exert influence through public pressure.

"The power of the U.N. on state governments historically is to shame them and to put pressure on the U.S. government to bring them into line with global standards for democracy, best practices for democracy, that's where we are," he said. "There are plenty of examples — segregation of the U.S. to apartheid in South Africa to the death penalty here in the U.S. — of global outrage having an impact."

You may recall that “apartheid” is the Afrikaans word for, ‘You have to confirm your identity to vote.” And we all know that best practices to prevent voter fraud is to require that people can vote without having to identify themselves.

This is my favorite part:

[NAACP president Benjamin Todd] Jealous said the U.N. panel will hear Wednesday from two Americans impacted by the new laws: a convicted felon who served her time and a University of Texas student who might not be able to vote this year because of a law approved by the state legislature requiring voters to show government-approved photo identification.

You can always tell the quality of the argument by the seriousness of the victims.  The convicted felon (who didn’t serve her time, she was granted clemency by Bill Clinton in 2001), is prevented from voting in Virginia by a law that’s been on the books there since 1901. Like it or not, this can hardly be blamed on the Tea Party.

Then the UN will hear from the “University of Texas student who might not be able to vote this year” for lack of government-approved photo identification. I hope the UN panel asks the witness this fair question, “You needed a passport to travel here to Geneva. Can’t you use that?” (Yes, under the Texas law, you can).

3 comments:

Reality Check said...

The overwhelming majority of countries that vote require identification. So they are saying that 'felons' should have the right to vote. Now in Europe they are trying to pass suffrage rights for immigrants, here in the US also, at least at the city level. It's all ridiculous to me. You have to have ID to buy a beer, or a pack of cigarettes.

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