In baseball, no one wants to hear the umpire scream at them, “You are out!“, but that is basically what the Supreme Court just did. When I saw the words “By a 5-4 vote” and I thought that there are Democrats saying this right now:
Here’s why.(From the Wall Street Journal) By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld a recent Ohio court ruling (Husted v. Randolph Institute) that held that it is ok to remove voters from their voting roster…and remove their voting rights, if they have failed to vote for more than four years, and failed to respond to a voter card that is sent to them to confirm their living address. Does that sound reasonable?
I use the word “reasonable” because federal law requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove names” of voters who are not eligible to vote because of death or change of residence. Basically, to also make sure that voters are not registered in more than one state.
The Supreme Court then interpreted Ohio’s ruling and said that they complied. But here’s why it has made the blog. It’s that 5-4 vote.
When I went to law school, there was a whole lot of talk about “precedence“. For instance, every first-year law student heard about the hairy hand case (Hawkins v. McGee) where a man in Massachusetts was scarred from contact with an electrical wire. Unfortunately his skin graft was unsuccessful in that it gave him a hairy hand.
In 1926, he sued under a contract action for damages from the operation. The court determined that Hawkins was entitled to receive the value of what he was promised, versus what he received. A simple formula. Something that courts could follow. I graduated from law school thinking that I had a handle on damages because of that case. Hahahahahahaha!
Then, I grew up (being interpreted, that I graduated and started practicing) and realized that “precedence” is a good legal theory. But in the end, can any of us rise above our own personal beliefs? That’s why 5 Republicans voted to allow Ohio to eliminate voters and 4 Democrats voted against it. The Democrats saw it as a way to eliminate Democrat voters. And that is real life. Precedence was seen in light of bias.
Even though it’s not National High Five Day… sometimes it’s just nice to agree!