We still have no constitutional right to vote. Surely, that is the next step toward the dream.
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 21, 2013
Haven’t Democrats been pushing that one doesn’t need an ID to vote because voting is a constitutional right?
Everyone knows that since gun ownership is a constitutional right, you don’t need ID to purchase one.
So for Giggles, we have posted a portion of the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Op-ed, but first a word from Twitchy:
More than 126 million Americans of all races, colors, and creeds voted in the last presidential election.
Turnout among black Americans was higher than turnout among whites. If there is a conspiracy to suppress the African American vote, it’s failing miserably.
That Jackson thinks an unnecessary constitutional amendment is “the next step toward the dream” shows how out of touch he has become with the concerns of ordinary citizens.
Enshrine Voting Right in the Constitution
By Jesse Jackson, Sr.
On this day, 48 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, announcing, “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, as individuals, control over their own destinies.” With Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks at his side, he pledged that the act would be enforced. No longer would anyone be excluded from exercising the right to vote because of the color of his or her skin.
This February, in his fourth State of the Union address, a newly re-elected President Obama earned fierce applause when he declared: “We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy: the right to vote.”
Most Americans take this right for granted. Yet, as Justice Antonin Scalia emphasized in the Supreme Court’s shameful decision in Bush v. Gore, as it cut off counting the votes in Florida in the 2000 presidential election, the U.S. Constitution contains no right to vote for American citizens. The right to vote may be “God-given” and “fundamental,” as the president stated, but it is not protected in the U.S. Constitution.
Instead of a national standard, states determine the conditions of voting in federal as well as state elections. The result is a hodge-podge of conflicting and varying laws, some very restrictive, some more open. And instead of protected and guaranteed, the right to vote is a political battleground.
A recent summary by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law reported that in 2013 (as of May 1), 82 bills that would restrict voting rights were introduced in 31 states. Seven states had already passed restrictive laws. After the conservative five-person majority in the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, another flurry of restrictive legislation was introduced from Texas to North Carolina.
Like Father Like Son… We found that Jackson the lesser (now Inmate Jackson) also pushed the Right to vote amendment.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Most Americans believe the legal right to vote in our democracy is explicit (not just implicit) in our Constitution and laws. However, our Constitution only provides for nondiscrimination in voting on the basis of race, sex, and age in the 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments respectively. The U.S. Constitution contains no explicit right to vote!
Even though the right to vote is the supreme right in a democracy, the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore constantly reminded lawyers there is no explicit or fundamental right to suffrage in the Constitution. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia besieged Gore’s lawyer with inquiries premised on the assumption there is no constitutional right of suffrage in the election of a president, and state legislatures have the legal power to choose presidential electors without recourse to a popular vote. Only a Voting Rights Amendment can fix these flaws.
If Bush had lost in the Supreme Court, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature was prepared to ignore the 6 million popular votes cast in Florida and elect their own “Bush presidential electors” and send them to Congress for certification. Thus, even if all votes had been counted and Gore had won Florida’s popular vote, and his electors had been sent to Congress; under our current Constitution the Florida legislature could have sent their slate of Bush electors to Congress and it would have been perfectly legal, and a necessary constitutional interpretation, for Congress to have recognized the Bush electors.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the State, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since the word “vote” appears in the Constitution only with respect to non-discrimination, the right to vote is a “state right.” Only a constitutional amendment gives every American the affirmative right to vote. Congress can pass voting rights legislation, but it can only use financial and other incentives to get states to comply.
Our “states’ rights” voting system is structured to be “separate and unequal.” As we saw in the 2000 election, there are 50 states, 3,067 counties, tens of thousands of cities, and many different machines and methods of voting – all “separate and unequal.” There’s ONLY ONE WAY to legally guarantee “the right to vote” to every American – add a Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution!
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. – believing in democracy and that VOTING IS A HUMAN RIGHT – has proposed to add a voting rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution based on the individual RIGHT of all Americans to vote. It was introduced in the U.S. House as H.J. Res. 28: