American  Civil Libbb... Blibbb...uh...  It’s Time for a Nap!


Where is the ACLU, once great champion of the First Amendment? The venerable, once proud organization, afflicted with Alzheimer's Dementia in its 91st year, carelessly championed bribes to politicians as freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, in their sloppy and ill conceived broadside and naive attack on the sacred position of free speech in our society, they forgot to cover their flank.  To all but the seriously mentally challenged and/ or right wing autocrats, it should be obvious that if paying a candidate is an expression of freedom of speech, then voting for one is even more of an expression of that freedom!  As such, interfering with the freedom to vote by some thirty four Republican state legislatures represents a serious violation, not only of the voter franchise, but of the First Amendment!


I am not claiming that the Federal government does not have the right to require, at some time, that every voter be required to have some sort of special picture identification.  However, the various attempts by criminal state legislatures to rush through voter restrictions that affect only certain people, in fact, that target specific people in an attempt to keep them from voting, are violations of equal protection, the voter franchise and the now trashed First Amendment. 


I am not an attorney, however, I do have a fair memory.  During the 2000 presidential election, the infamous state ruled illegal and invalid Palm Beach butterfly ballot was determined by the Republican Supreme Court to be valid under federal guidelines because there was no prohibition in their rules against alternating the position of the check mark from one side of one candidate to the opposite side of the next. (Clearly illegal under Florida law!).  They further asserted that federal jurisdiction prevails in a national election.  Despite possible arguments that anything not specifically designated by the Constitution to the Federal Government reverts to the states and that the federal rules probably don’t even mention “butterfly ballots” or on which side the voters mark must be made, the ballots were deemed valid.  Unfortunately, there is no appeal to the Supreme Court when they choose to render political decisions instead of legal decisions.


Whether or not the disputed butterfly ballots should have been validated is not clear, however, the argument that validated them is clear!  In a national election, states cannot mandate special voter I.D.’s unless the federal government does so!  Unless the venerable, but apparently confused and bumbling ACLU wants to see more than ninety years of defending our Constitution wasted by one huge hiccup, I would recommend reading the Constitution this time and repairing some of the damage they have done.  Meanwhile, they might want to remind Mr. Obama and his heretofore worthless Attorney General to start recognizing civil rights violators instead of consistently defending them.  My message to the current amateurs in the Obama Administration: Despite the erosion of morality and justice in the previous administration, it will be on your watch that the American People will have lost not only their right to freedom of speech, but the right to vote and, with Eric Holder’s help, even the right to a fair trial! *


*In the case of 2 men in Iowa, claiming to be framed for murder “by the state,” Holder and the Department of “Justice” defended the state's right to frame them.[1] [2]


Allen Finkelstein,   10/6/11

[1] “When Is It Legal To Frame a Man For Murder,” Time U.S. 11/5/09,,8599,1934836,00.html

[2] “Prosecutor Conduct Case Before Supreme Court is Settled,” LA Times 1/5/10,