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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Illegal immigrants at center of ‘one person, one vote’ SCOTUS case

    Illegal immigrants at center of ‘one person, one vote’ SCOTUS case

    Chance Seales, Media General National Correspondent
    Published: December 8, 2015,

    Scott Keller, Texas Solicitor General, debriefs media on "one person, one vote" SCOTUS arguments. (Credit: Chance Seales)

    WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – The United States Supreme Court will hammer out who is covered by the federally-backed “one person, one vote” rule.
    On Tuesday, SCOTUS justices grappled with arguments over the constitutionality of counting all residents equally when states carve up electoral districts, like in Arizona and Texas, instead of by eligible voters.

    The core disagreement is whether the inclusion of illegal immigrants and felons in urban districts gives more power to minority voters, since voter eligibility is much lower in those areas than in rural districts.

    It’s called “vote dilution.”

    “Texas did not engage in discrimination… and Texans are not being denied fair representation,” demanded Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller after arguing theEvenwel v. Abbott case before the high court.

    Texas, like most states, uses federal census data to create districts, counting all residents equally.

    Keller declared that Texas provided “fair representation by ensuring that equal number of residents were in each district” in compliance with federal requirements.

    But that argument is unlikely to satisfy critics — and some SCOTUS justices — who might feel conservative votes are being undermined.

    Chief Justice John Roberts challenged state lawyers during oral arguments, saying, “It is called ‘one person one vote’… that does seem designed to protect voters,” The New York Times reported.

    Under the current system, the U.S. Census counts the country’s population every 10 years, and Congress’ 435 districts are divided up according to its findings.
    For instance, if Florida’s population grows but Ohio shrinks, the Sunshine State gains another representative as the Buckeyes lose a representative.
    The same goes for state-level government.

    After losing previous appeals, voters unhappy with the inclusion of ineligible individuals petitioned the nation’s highest court to mandate a major change, arguing the current “one person, one vote” definition disadvantages them personally.

    Although the state districts in question have roughly the same total population on paper, their voting-eligible numbers vary widely, critics argue.

    The Texas and Arizona plaintiffs claim their votes are diluted when state leaders pack them and other eligible voters into the same — often rural — districts, which results in their vote becoming less potent.

    These “packed” district tend to lean Republican.

    On the flip side, litigants argue that voters in traditionally Democratic areas are given undue power since a large portion of residents in their districts are ineligible to cast ballots. This, they say, bolsters the power of left-leaning minority voters.

    The political ramifications didn’t the escape the court on Tuesday, but Texas’ solicitor general was steadfast in defending the fairness of existing “one person, one voice” policies.
    On the Supreme Court steps, Keller insisted that if his and other states are forced to “get into the mathematical weeds” of equalizing districts’ total population and eligible voters “there would be significant problems, because we wouldn’t be able to take typical criteria into account. We wouldn’t be able to have communities. We wouldn’t be able to have compactness of our districts.”

    The court didn’t tip its hand, but if states are ordered to consider voting eligibility when creating districts, it would lead to significant electoral and administration changes nationwide.
    Justices will hand down a ruling in the next few months, with a decision expected to be split between the conservative and liberal wings.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    This is a very complicated and dangerous issue, one to which I wish the States had not undertaken. The purpose of having Congressional representation based on population is so that all people in our country are counted and that forms the population of the nation based on the number of Congressional representatives of the people including felons. Felons have every right to be counted in Census data, every person is to be counted in Census data to form the districts. Most of these felons are US citizens and should not only have the right to be counted but the right to vote as well. States who have elected to take voting rights away from felons have made a huge mistake.

    In addition, illegal aliens and immigrants are to be counted in the Census, because this is what the Constitution says. The Census has nothing to do with voting rights of citizens, only the number of members of Congress to be elected.

    What states like Arizona and Texas should pursue is whether the federal government has the authority under the US Constitution to admit immigrants, which it clearly does not have, under Article 1, Section 9. Only states for the plethora of obvious reasons have the right to admit immigrants, balanced by the federal government's clear authority to prohibit it.

    If Republicans, and I am one, so it's more than fair for me to say it, had been doing their jobs all the years that citizen voters had empowered them to fix our country, properly govern our nation, and uphold the US Constitution, Republicans would have stopped this disaster decades ago. We would not have trade agreements that provide for open borders and free flow of persons which applies to immigrants between the nations. We would not have discussions or past grants of amnesty that have legalized illegal aliens. We would not have hundreds of thousands of worker visa workers and millions of green cards issued to immigrants every year in the country. We would not have all the problems we're presently dealing with if Republicans had done their job through the years to protect our jobs, our government benefits, our states and communities, and most importantly our citizens of the United States.

    That said, the situation would be far worse if we didn't have those Republicans who consistently fight against it, but there are Republicans who won't say "no more". There are Republicans in Congress, Republicans who have served in the White House, and Republicans appointed to the US Supreme Court who have refused for their own personal reasons to cast votes and take or not take actions that have deliberately and full knowledge harmed the American People, bankrupted our nation and threatened the sovereignty of the United States.

    This brings me to my final point. Republicans who file the wrong cases like this one, Republicans who want to see relief through the Courts so they don't have to man-up in a Congressional vote, or Republicans who want to try to "win" elections on votes from minority groups who advocate for more immigration, are not serving our nation at the end of the day. A case that goes all the way to the US Supreme Court and fails, is a permanent defeat, not one you can change in 2 years with Congressional elections, or every 4 years with a change in the White House, it is permanent.

    So with rare exception, Republican States must stop looking to the US Supreme Court for court-based solutions and come up with actual on-the ground solutions such as STOP handing out state certified birth certificates to children of illegal aliens, STOP allowing your hospitals many of which are non-profit 501 C 3 tax fraud "charities" funded in part with state appropriations from signing up illegal aliens for Medicaid based on phony birth certificates, STOP handing out drivers licenses to any illegal alien for any phony reason, STOP sanctuary of any illegal alien in your state whether by law enforcement or a church, STOP in-state tuition for illegal aliens to steal seats from your citizens and legal immigrants in your colleges and universities, STOP releasing illegal aliens into your communities when you catch them committing immigration or other crimes, whether serious felonies or misdemeanors, STOP handing our restaurant and other licenses to establishments that are hiring illegal aliens or owned by illegal aliens, after all, these are health and safety issues in the work place when illegal aliens haven't undergone health checks like legal immigrants or background checks and can't speak a word of English, so how can this work place be safe to work or trade in when they pose by definition clear threats to the health and public safety of the American people?

    There are so many on-the-ground solutions for States, but yes, they are harder and more tedious than filing briefs with the federal court system. I understand that. But at the end of the day based on more than 200 years of US Supreme Court Rulings, you will not win, you will lose, and when you do, the loss becomes permanent and the harm to our nation irreversible.

    The US Supreme Court is not there to do your jobs for you or to make your jobs easier. The US Supreme Court is there to protect the civil rights of the American People. It is your job with rare exception to define who becomes part of "we, the people of the United States", by whom you allow into your state, allow to remain in your state, and what benefits or privileges they enjoy while they are in your state, and any State that can't figure out how to run illegal aliens out of its state territory or make it so uncomfortable they have no desire to enter it to begin with, is not going to be able to argue its federal court case successfully before the US Supreme Court, which is why so far, they have never succeeded in doing so.

    Furthermore, if you were really interested in States Rights to control who enters your State from other countries, you would have already filed the one case you could actually win, which is to stop federal admission of immigrants, an action for which the federal government has no authority to do, under Article 1, Section 9. The only authority the federal government has under the US Constitution with respect to immigration is to prohibit it after the year 1808, it has no authority to admit migration or the importation of persons, this is a States Right, Authority and Power, that has rested with the States which is where it still is, under the US Constitution.

    If you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.

    If you don't read the US Constitution, you are unable to enforce it.
    Last edited by Judy; 12-13-2015 at 11:40 PM.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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