George Will @ Washington Post: The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying — starchier ethicists might call it bribing — people to vote. Some ideas are so loopy that they could only be conceived by governments, which are insulated from marketplace competition that is a constant reminder of reality. And governments are generally confident that their constituents need to be improved by spending the constituents’ money. The supposed problem for which the “pay the voters” idea purports to be a solution is this: Few Los Angeles residents are voting.
Will concludes: Although the ethics commission is sad that so few Angelenos are expressing their political opinions, the commission should cheer up. Not voting is an expression of opinion. Democracy is a market: Political products are offered; people examine them and decide whether to purchase this one or that one. Or neither, which is often a sensible decision after careful scrutiny of progressive Tweedledum and progressive Tweedledee.
Wall Street Journal: Republicans are trying to boost their early-voting efforts after lagging behind Democrats in the past two election cycles, spending unprecedented sums at the state level and launching a national campaign to get GOP voters to cast ballots before Election Day. With early voting beginning Friday in three states, the GOP’s efforts have the potential to affect the outcome of close races. Campaigns that bank early votes can then spend their resources chasing supporters with less reliable voting histories, who may need a push to the polls. Thirty-five states allow some voting before Election Day, with Oregon and Washington conducting their elections entirely by mail starting in early October. An immediate focus of Republicans’ campaign is Iowa, where early voting begins next Thursday. The state party has gone from investing nothing in its 2010 early-voting push to more than $1 million this year, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. At the same time, the Republican National Committee on Friday is launching an effort to get GOP voters to commit to casting ballots early, with a campaign that mimics the social-media-driven “ice bucket challenge” that raised money for disease research.
Among the contentious issues covered in the debate were voter ID laws, and the management of a border crisis that in recent months saw thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America crossing into Texas from Mexico, thrusting the Rio Grande Valley into the national spotlight. “I’m in favor of requiring voter IDs,” said Abbott. “Voter fraud is real and the voter IDs is the only way to stop it.” Link to story.
As I explained in an NRO article in May, the district court judge, Lynn Adelman, a Clinton appointee and former Democratic state senator, had issued an injunction claiming the Wisconsin ID law violated the Voting Rights Act as well as the Fourteenth Amendment. Adelman made the startling claim in his opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law as constitutional was “not binding precedent,” so Adelman could essentially ignore it.
However, that was too much for the Seventh Circuit. It pointed out, in what most lawyers would consider a rebuke, that Adelman had held Wisconsin’s law invalid “even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).”
…there was no justification for striking down a state voter-ID law that was identical to one that had been previously upheld by both the Supreme Court of the United States and that state’s highest court.
Link to the Heritage Signal.
Link to more at National Review: However, almost immediately after the Kansas supreme court issued this order, the same Democratic voter who had filed an amicus brief in the original mandamus action, David Orel, filed his own writ of mandamus seeking an order from the court requiring the Kansas Democratic Party to name a replacement for Taylor on the ballot. Under K.S.A. 25-3905(a), “when a vacancy occurs after a primary election in a party candidacy, such vacancy shall be filled by the party committee of the congressional district, county or state, as the case may be.”
….Obviously, the Kansas Democratic Party doesn’t want to answer his letter or lose this second mandamus action because the whole point of this political manipulation of the nomination process was to clear the field for the supposed “Independent” in the race, Greg Orman, a contributor to Barack Obama and the DSCC. Orman and Taylor were splitting the Democratic vote against the incumbent Republican senator, Pat Roberts. In fact, as Orel notes, Joan Wagnon, the chairwoman of the Kansas Democratic Party, told the Associated Press that the party had no intention of naming a replacement for Taylor unless “the court tells me to do something.”
“The Wisconsin state Supreme Court upheld the law and clearly defined what was expected of us. We followed through on essentially what they pointed out to make sure photo ID is available upon request. The panel of the Court of Appeals upheld that same approach. We expect in the end that any decision as to whether the larger panel would look at it or not would reach the same conclusion,” Link to story with statement of Governor Walker.
Minutes after the Kansas Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision overturning Kobach’s decision to keep Taylor on the ballot, Kobach declared that the state’s Democratic Party must convene its state committee and choose another nominee by Sept. 26. Democratic leaders did not have an immediate response to that, though party chair Joan Wagnon said earlier in the week that “until the court tells me to do something, I’m not going to do anything.”
…The Kansas Republican Party issued a statement blasting the court’s decision, pointing out that Taylor had been urged to withdraw by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and that his legal team included Marc Elias, who has represented several high-profile Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “It is depressing to see the state Supreme Court condone political gamesmanship and a national power play to deceive and disenfranchise Kansas voters,” Kelly Arnold, the group’s chairman, said in the statement. “It is pathetic that the Kansas Democrats are celebrating that their own candidate, elected by their own voters, quit.” The statement also contended that if Taylor is incapable of serving in the Senate, he also is incapable of serving as Shawnee County district attorney, the position he holds now. The Roberts campaign issued a statement decrying the ruling. “Today, the Kansas Supreme Court deliberately, and for political purposes, disenfranchised over 65,000 voters,” said campaign manager Corry Bliss.
Link to the Wichita Eagle and KHSB Kansas City
…lawyers for the Advancement Project and the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday’s decision by a panel of judges from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was a “radical, last-minute change to procedures for conducting an election that is already underway.” ..If the appeals court doesn’t stop the law, attorney John Ullin said, the plaintiffs may ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case, Link
The lifting of the illegal stay was 7 weeks prior to the election, not last minute.
Heritage event on First Amendment litigation at the Supreme Court. Link to video, streaming video here. The event is titled: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: The New Assaults on Campaign Speech. Floyd Abrams co-argued the Citizens United case.
Anything but elections here, but this picture taken in Berlin is worth a few thousand words. Moral clarity are but two. West Germans stare down East Germans after she made it across the line.