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  • just a conservative girl 10:12 AM on 06/18/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , motor voter law, scalia, , voter registration   

    Federal Law, State Law, and the Constitution 

    I have seen much going around on social media on the SCOTUS ruling on Arizona and the motor voter laws.  Yesterday, the court came out with a 7-2 ruling that Arizona couldn’t add additional requirements to the federal forms for voter registration.  Arizona wanted to require additional paperwork proving American citizenship.

    On the face it seems silly that the court would come out against this.  But it isn’t silly.  It is completely Constitutional.  The federal government gives states money to cover the costs of all seats that are held in the federal government.  The Constitution says:

    The Elections Clause, Art. I, §4, cl. 1, provides:

    “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections
    for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed
    in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the
    Congress may at any time by Law make or alter
    such Regulations, except as to the places of chusing
    Senators.”

    Now that sentence about Senators is no longer valid since the 17th amendment made senators also subject to direct elections.  But the point is the federal government absolutely has the right to decide how registration is done for federal elections.

    The court also has given Arizona a pathway to make changes to the Motor Voter form.  Arizona can, if they so choose, go to the Elections Assistance Commission and ask them to make changes to the federal form.  While that is highly unlikely under the current administration, if they don’t like the result, they then can take it to court.

    The Court did not rule on anything other than could a state require additional information on a mail in federal form for registration.  Arizona is free to require additional information on state forms.  Those registration rolls can be cross checked if they so choose to do it.

    The main point of this ruling is that the court did exactly what it was supposed to do, follow the constitution.  You may not necessarily like the outcome, but the federal government has the right and the responsibility to set rules for how federal elections are set up.  If we want changes made to include more safeguards for proof of citizenship, the avenue to do that is there.  The State of Arizona doesn’t seem to be shy about pursuing their options, so let them lead the charge to put more safeguards into place.

    If you don’t like judicial activism, then this ruling is exactly what you want.

    You can read Scalia’s opinion here.

     

     
  • just a conservative girl 12:31 PM on 06/03/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dna, , , scalia,   

    Government Now Allowed to Take DNA without Warrant 

    The Supreme Court today ruled that it is perfectly acceptable for the police to take your DNA without a warrant.  Oh my.  

     In 2009 a man named Alonzo King was taken under arrest and charged with assault, during this arrest the police took a swab and matched his DNA to an unsolved rape.  Mr. King was not taken under arrest for the rape, nor was he believed to be involved at the time of the arrest.  He was charged, prosecuted, and found guilty of the rape.  His attorney’s filed an appeal under the fourth amendment of illegal search and seizure.  

     The court has decided that DNA swabs are no different than taking a photograph and fingerprints.  It is only a source of identification.  Really?  Giving the government bodily fluids is just another source of making an ID?  

     Scalia joined with the more liberal wing of the court and said this in his dissent:

     “The Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence,” Scalia said. “That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment.”

    But my favorite has to be:

    “I hope that the Maryland officials who read the Court’s opinion do not take it seriously,”

    Doesn’t those on the court understand how this can be abused?  Now, it seems pretty obvious that King is indeed a rapist.  I have zero sympathy for him, zero.  But he isn’t really the point.  These cases are always about something bigger than person who brought the case.  When he was arrested, there doesn’t seem to be that there was evidence he was guilty of committing this rape.  So why would they have right to take his DNA?  The entire point of our justice system is the presumption of innocence.  By automatically taking DNA swabs of every person who is arrested we have forgone that presumption and walking towards something that will no longer resemble our justice system.  

     What is so odd is that it seems that the deciding vote came from Justice Stephen Breyer.  Strange bed fellows indeed.  

     But sadly we have gotten to the point in this country that the government’s desires and needs are now over taking our rights.  This government was built on the rights of the individual being paramount.  That seems to no longer exist.  

     

     
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