Saturday, October 16, 2004

Election fraud 2004: Winger "Judge" Posner: "No constitutional right to vote" 

You remember Richard "Yet Another Dick" Posner—he's the guy who rushed a book into print that pronounced Clinton guilty of various felonies, before Clinton had been tried for anything, and while he was a sitting judge, thereby violating the canons of judicial ethics (takedowns here and here).

Hey, love the neutrality! I say, let's put Posner on the Supreme Court right away, so he can be the wind beneath Inerrant Boy's wings for Kerry v. Bush!

Anyhow, Posner's handed down a decision, Phyllis Griffin, et al., v. Elaine Roupas, et al. (PDF here) that has to do with the rights of working mothers to file absentee ballots. Lot of legal technicalities here (and Posner is right that Illinois has a "gamey" history of electoral shenanigans, particularly downstate) but there's one sentence in Posner's really rather snarky opinion—he seems to work out his "social tension" by putting the boot into working women—that jumped off the page for me:

The Constitution does not in so many words confer a right to vote, though it has been held to do so implicitly. ... Rather, it confers on the states broad authority to regulate the conduct of elections, including federal ones.

Hmmm.... So the right to vote is one of those "penumbra"-type rights, like privacy, that the wingers would like to do away with.

It's a little frightening to think what this decision could mean in the hands of one of those strictly Republican constructionists, isn't it? Yikes!

Here's a copy of the decision. And here are the briefs (type 03 in first bank, 3770 in second) and the oral argument.

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