|Fulton County (GA) Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher|
Earlier today the Republican-appointed Superior Court Judge of Fulton County, Christoper Brasher denied a petition brought by the NAACP and the New Georgia Project that sought to compel Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to immediately process thousands of voter registration forms that were submitted over the summer but do not appear on the state's official voter registration rolls just days before the critical November elections.
The bulk of the missing forms are from newly registered young voters and minorities from three counties in Georgia that are critical to the upcoming Governor's and Senate races; Fulton, Muscogee and Clayton Counties.
It was only last June when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the1965 Voter Rights Act (Section 4) that mandated that districts with a proven history of racial discrimination against voters must first obtain pre-approval from the courts for any changes in voting laws that could impact minority votes.
Writing for the majority opinion in the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, Chief Justice John Roberts stated:
"...voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that. The question is whether the Act’s extraordinary measures, including its disparate treatment of the States, continue to satisfy constitutional requirements. As we put it a short time ago, “the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.""
One can only wonder what Justice Roberts thinks of the "constitutional requirements" of the state of Georgia to allow almost 50,000 newly registered (and mostly black) voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote in next week's gubernatorial and Senate elections.
By the arcane logic of the Roberts Court, the abstract issue of "disparate treatment of the States" trumps the very real issue of the denial of basic voting rights of marginalized citizens seeking to have a say in the electoral process.
What's next in Georgia, a poll tax? Guys in hoods standing at polling places with clubs?
America isn't the only nation in the midst of critical elections. In Ukraine, parliamentary election results seem to have favored pro-European leaning candidates as Ukrainian citizens began heading to the polls last week; unfortunately the political voice of Crimea was not heard as President Putin ordered it annexed in violation of international law.
As the world knows by now, opposition political parties are a definite no-no for Mr. Putin.
On a lighter note, an electrician named Victor Shevchenko was denied the chance to vote in the Ukrainian elections, but for far different reasons than the sickening voter repression tactics being employed by the Republican party here in the states.
The gravity and seriousness of the Ukrainian elections received a highly-publicized respite when the mischievous Shevchenko showed up to vote last Sunday dressed as Darth Vader.
Shevchenko, who actually ran under the name Darth Vader, milked his fifteen minutes of fame for all it was worth by pulling up to the polling site atop a dark colored van blaring composer John Williams' imposing 'Imperial March'.
He was denied the chance to cast his ballot when he refused to remove his mask.
At least Ukrainians have logical reasons for denying their citizens the right to vote.