The Watering Hole, Wednesday, January 7, 2015: Scalia – There is no Constitutional Right to Vote

In a speech before the Republican Justice League for a More Just America, Justice Scalia revealed some of the thinking in overturning key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The right to vote is not Constitutional Right,” Justice Scalia proclaimed. “Take a look at the original document – nowhere does it grant the right to vote. And when you look at the Bill of Rights, it’s not there either, although the right to bear arms is.”

“It’s not until we get to the Civil War amendments that the Constitution even mentions the right to vote. And there, it just says that the right to vote shall not be abridged on the account of former servitude.”

Scalia continued, “Now this is way, way after the founding fathers were long gone. If they truly felt so strong about the right to vote, they would have put it into the Constitution. But they didn’t. In fact, many of them felt that only white men who owned property should have the right to vote. That’s the founding fathers. That’s the original intent.”

“But now, what do we have? We cannot abridge the right to vote on account of race, color, sex, or anyone over the age of eighteen. And we can’t charge a pole tax. But we do take away the right to vote if you’ve been convicted of a felony.” Scalia paused to give one of his famous gestures. “And why can we do that? Because the right to vote is not guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Scalia went on to describe a host of ways the right to vote can be modified by statute. “It can be restricted to those who own property, like the founding fathers wanted. It can be based on having a Government approved ID. It could even be extended to Corporate Personhood. In fact, any legal entity created by statutes could be given the right to vote.”

In the Q & A that followed, Scalia indicated the Supreme Court might not even strike down giving Corporations the right to vote, but not Unions, as nothing in the Constitution prohibited discrimination on those grounds. Likewise, the Justice added, Churches could be given the right to vote, since to prohibit them from voting might be seen as an affront to the First Amendment.



62 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, January 7, 2015: Scalia – There is no Constitutional Right to Vote

  1. The intention of the founding fathers in regards to the absolute nature of the Constitution was made clear by the process of amendments that they included. Their intention was that the Constitution was a living document, to be amended to accommodate changing times and even the changing nature of the population itself.

    And by including a process to amend the constitution they themselves implicitly admitted that they did not believe the document was absolutely perfect with no need for correction.

    Jefferson went into this a bit in the (in)famous letter where he made the comment (oft touted by conservatives in the many recent years), “The tree of liberty…. with the blood of patriots and tyrants….”, where he explained that it was his belief that the Constitution should undergo, basically, a rewrite with each new generation of Americans (and to him “a generation” was 20-30 years), so that it was up to date with the changing times and the changing beliefs of the “national consciousness”.

    The religious fanaticism behind the whole “It’s not in the Constitution” crowd is quite unsettling to me. Such people are nutz.

    —folks, the American Constitution is not part of your bible.

  2. I’m glad we don’t charge a pole tax?
    How would you expect those girls to make a living?
    You know a lot of them are putting themselves through college or are single moms.
    It’s not like the drinks in there are a bargain and it’s not easy explaining the stripper glitter that gets stuck to everything.
    We’re talking about a skill set that not every girl has.
    When poles are taxed, only strippers will have poles.
    Let’s not tax it.

  3. I checked. The word/name “Scalia” is NOT in the Constitution’s main body and it is NOT in any of the amendments, nor are his other names “Antonin” and “Gregory” mentioned anywhere. The words “fat” and “shithead” aren’t in there either, so just who the hell does he think he is?

  4. Time capsule buried by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams is opened

    …Two decades later, the war hero tucked two dozen silver coins and a silver plate engraved with a date — July 4, 1795 — into a leather pouch. That day, Revere and Massachusetts Gov. Samuel Adams placed the pouch under a cornerstone at the Massachusetts State House…


      Its funny, Paul Revere gets this “war hero” legacy which appears to be far in excess of his actual deeds…. he’s only one of a number of riders and he was captured early on. His service as a major of artillery doesn’t seem that stellar – he was part of the disastrous mission to attack a fort in Maine…. covered in fiction today by Cornwell’s “The Fort”. In Cornwell’s depiction, Revere is a self-promoting, incompetent jackass.

    • And Samuel Adams comes over more as the Ted Cruz of his day if you read Howard Zinn.

        • Didn’t say I didn’t like his brew 😉 – actually Jim Koch’s brew …. I salute Jim’s success and thank him for his part in saving America from the ‘bellywash’ that passed for beer (‘passed’ that’s funny isn’t it?) before Sam Adams Boston Lager.

  5. Crude Bomb Explodes Outside NAACP Office In Colorado Springs

    The FBI said it is looking for a person of interest, described as a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty, 2000 or older model, white pick-up truck with paneling, an open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.

    That happened roughly an hour’s drive north of here, so I’ll do my duty and note that the description of the “person of interest” matches somewhere around 98% of all “balding white men in [their] forties” along the front range from the Wyoming to New Mexico state lines, including all the plains that touch Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, resp. Unless they can refine the description, the search may take as many as four lifetimes.

    Pickuppistan is a really big place.

        • I have a friend in Trinidad and he tells me some scary stuff about the ignorance of people in that region.
          I surprised more houses don’t blow up in that area from basement chemistry experiments.

          • Yes, with few exceptions the Front Range south of Denver makes the red in ketchup seem kind of pale in comparison. We’ve lived here more than six years and already have found four other people that can actually THINK. Hard for many to imagine how much of a delight that little tidbit actually is.

    • This is terrorism too, of course. And the MSM has totally ignored it. Apparently, someone objects to the NAACP filing suit to have a new grand jury seated in the Ferguson case.

      No. TV. Coverage. This morning, it’s all about Paris, because Islamist extremists are so much more newsworthy than American hate groups.

      • I’ve been suspecting for a long time that “terrorism” in the current US vernacular only refers to incidents where people of dark skin and/or non-Christian upbringing do something — anything, really — that white Christians might not like. Such has long been the case, pretty much affirmed in the Declaration of Independence where it says:

        . . . the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

        Granted it only mentions ‘merciless Indian Savages’, but I’m pretty sure that was the line in the sand that set white people above and apart. Today, of course, the word “Savages” has a much greater context, one that’s mostly melanin-related with a dose of ‘God’ tossed in for good measure.

        Almost 250 years have passed and we still have that same LONG way to go.

  6. Today’s post doesn’t feel like satire….. I could easily see Big Tony saying that verbatim.

    • He’s a Repub and will be forgiven.

      Old habits are hard to break:

      In Carson’s book, he writes about being caught plagiarizing in college and being given the chance to rewrite the paper after it was discovered.

  7. “The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.

    As the JMA graph shows, there has been no “hiatus” or “pause” in warming. In fact, there has not even been a slowdown. Yes, in JMA’s ranking of hottest years, 1998 is in (a distant) second place — but 1998 was an outlier as the graph shows. In fact, 1998 was boosted above the trendline by an unusual super-El Niño. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.”

    • Are you sure it wasn’t de Blasio that was going to ban doughnuts? That would better explain the animosity toward him shown by the NYPD.

      • I think almost all Communists want to ban doughnuts. Muslims too prolly. And Fox wants to ban Muslims and Communists, and therefore doughnuts too?

        Life is so tricky. If only Louie Gohmert had some asparagus. Etc.

  8. “But now, what do we have? We cannot abridge the right to vote on account of race, color, sex, or anyone over the age of eighteen. And we can’t charge a pole tax. But we do take away the right to vote if you’ve been convicted of a felony.” Scalia paused to give one of his famous gestures. “And why can we do that? Because the right to vote is not guaranteed by the Constitution.”

    I think he’s completely wrong in his interpretation. They can abridge the right to vote for felons because the 14th Amendment specifically says it can be done. In fact, it says they CAN’T take away the right to vote except for participation in rebellion or crime. Which means we DO have that right.

    Here’s Sec 2 of the 14th:

    But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    See the part I put in boldface? It’s pretty plain to me when I read it that the Constitution says we have a right to vote, unless we’ve done something seriously wrong. Where am I wrong?

    • I think it’s that the founders didn’t write the fourteenth, it was written by liberal democrat socialist commie Marxist Nazi fascists who felt so good about themselves after the Civil War that they began plotting the means to get Obama elected in order to guarantee the destruction of America and to turn it Muslim.

      Whew. Actually I kinda hope nobody from Fox news or the RNC stops by here today.

      • One of the most frightening things about the rightwhiners is that they have become so omnipresent that it has become easy for sane people to predict how they will “think” about any issue. The trick is to make it sound like you regret feeling like the entire human race, except my immediate family and a few select drinking buddies, should be enslaved and/or liquidated just because they don’t agree with me about every little thing.

      • Yes, I did, but I thought I’ve heard Scalia say many of the things in the beginning of this. Such as there being no right to vote in the Constitution. It’s certainly implied if not outright stated. And he’s used up his “original intent” arguments. They just aren’t persuasive when you consider the same Founders who wrote it added a mechanism to amend it. Otherwise, he should show up for work every day wearing a powdered wig.

    • For eff sake. I’d love to live in the no reality world of the GoOPs.
      Imagine that, the economy turning around in just two months, according to Mitch the mook.

    • I think we all took some hits in 2014.
      I feel no longing desire to repeat the last year.

      • you know I had good bits and bad bits…..

        I spent a day with a friend online in Kyev while she was in fear of a dreadful military crackdown in Kyev on Feb 19th…. she is now in love and hoping for her new life for her and her son in France….

        I made new and good friends in Luxembourg, Germany and Romania at work…. some of whom I know I will be friends for life….

        Things changed for me and for my friends …. I am glad for 2014…. in some ways.

  9. It’s 10 degrees here. I wasn’t sure my car would start, but it did, and I got home OK. The woodstove still had good coals to get it going again! All my faucets still run, so nothing has frozen, unless the outside spigot has.

    • Can’t even imagine that freeze!
      Glad you made it home safely. Nice of the coals to keep it going!
      Did Ms G find a blanket to crawl under until you got home?

      • Dude saved me from breaking my new years rez. not to punch someone in the nuts.

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