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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Papers!

June 20, 2013 by  

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Papers!

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, struck down the State of Arizona’s voter-ID law known as “prop 200.” Across the Nation, a hue and cry rose from conservatives. From their perspective, the Supremes had just shredded not only the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, but the sanctity and security of elections to come. And let no doubt furrow your brow. An electoral system that has been breached by wire-pulling and shady political deals is, at best, in dire jeopardy and, at worst, a sham that makes the Castro boys down Cuba way green with envy. And anyone who catches one of James O’Keefe’s videos exposing ACORN and its ilk knows: America might not have fallen to Cuba levels, but we’re definitely wandering awfully close to Venezuela.

In writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia noted the Arizona law’s conflict with the pre-existing 1993 National Voter Registration Act (aka the “motor-voter” law), which “forbids states to demand that an applicant submit additional information beyond that required by the federal form.” Let you think someone replaced Scalia with an evil twin, he also added a cautionary note to the Feds, pointing out the decision “does not prevent states from denying registration based on any information in their possession establishing the applicant’s ineligibility.” Scalia might not be a “wise Latina”; but along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, he may well be one of the modern era’s most redoubtable defenders of the Constitution.

Moreover, Scalia is absolutely correct. Before you break out the tar, feathers and/or low-yield nuclear devices, allow me to explain. Voting is a Constitutionally affirmed right. With the exceptions of those who forfeit those rights by behaving in a manner frowned upon outside Chicago, every American citizen is entitled to and even charged with participation in his government through the exercise of the ballot.

And much like the right to worship the Almighty, the right to vote shouldn’t require additional paperwork. Indeed, the idea of requiring identification to attend Sunday Mass is ridiculous; or at least, it used to be. And my sense of liberty is assaulted every time I check my wallet for my concealed carry permit before leaving the house. So you’ll pardon me if I’m a bit worn out over showing government functionaries “my papers.”

I would go so far as to suggest the liberties assured by the Constitution die a little every time government steps a little farther into our lives. We edge closer to tyranny every time a decent, hard-working American is ordered to kneel before the altar of the fraudulent Obamacare; every time the Internal Revenue Service asks for “the content” of a citizens’ group’s prayers; and every time some Transportation Security Administration thug who couldn’t cut it at the police academy asks an 8-year-old to step out of line at the airport check-in. And so should it be with voting. Beyond Scalia’s “federal form,” I don’t have to prove to some hanging-chad-counting hack that I am who I say I am.

To be sure, electoral fraud is a problem. Hell, President Barack Obama’s whole career is a study in the effectiveness of vote-rigging — even beyond the ballot box. Were it not for a couple of rather fortuitously leaked sealed documents (with which David Axelrod had nothing to do, of course), Obama would probably be working as Bill Ayers’ teaching assistant at the Weather Underground School of Bombs. But I shouldn’t suffer just because the Democrats can’t keep their hands out of the electoral cookie jar. To place additional restrictions on the overwhelming majority of those who abide by voting laws is no different than stomping on the 2nd Amendment just because those same Democrats (or at least, their base) can’t play nice.

Despite the Democrats’ best-laid plans, we don’t punish law-abiding gun owners when some nutjob steals his mom’s firearms. And despite the Democrats’ best-laid plans, we don’t punish law-abiding voters when some nutjob steals the White House.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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