I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Judge Posner on the Voting Rights Act case: “There is no doctrine of equal sovereignty. The opinion rests on air.”

Richard Posner is not impressed with either the reasoning or intellectual honesty demonstrated in the Voting Rights Act opinion.

Shelby County v. Holder, decided Tuesday, struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (the part requiring certain states with a history of racial discrimination in voting to obtain federal permission in advance […]

Two observations about the preclearance case

1.  Are all those laws denied preclearance since the last reauthorization now the walking dead, zombie laws brought back from dead and wandering among us?  Seriously:  Does this mean that laws that weren’t precleared now take effect?

2.  I just want to use this post to correct CRS’s mistaken belief that he agrees with […]

Here comes voter id…

“[V]oting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that.” -Majority opinion in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, quoted in Justice Ginzburg’s dissent.

The question then, I suppose, is whether we care to do anything about it.

I am reading the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, which makes depressing reading.  It overturns […]

Linda Greenhouse is horrified by what she thinks the Supreme Court is about to do.

Her latest starts with a bang:

Years from now, when the Supreme Court has come to its senses, justices then sitting will look back on the spring of 2013 in bewilderment. On what basis, they will wonder, did five conservative justices, professed believers in judicial restraint, reach out to grab the authority that the […]

Does the Constitution say that Congress’s powers don’t extend to the kind of question Justice Scalia doesn’t think Congress is good at?

Today, the Supreme Court heard argument in Shelby County v. Holder.  The transcript is very much worth reading.

(Note to lay readers:  I attempt to explain the act at issue here about midway down the post if you want some help following the last block quote).

One part is pretty breathtaking.  Recall that Justice Scalia […]

The Civil Rights Division of DoJ does not plan to make it easy on Mississippi VoterID

Yesterday, the Justice Department demanded more information from the State on VoterID.

Cottonmouth has the actual letter, which is pretty fascinating reading.  I’ve attached it at the end of this post.

Just as an aside:  When and if some parts of the more paranoid precincts of the conservative movement see the list of things […]

Notes on the Justice Department decision not to preclear South Carolina’s voter id requirement

Under the Voting Rights Act, any change in voting requirements by a “covered” jurisdiction (places that have been found by the Justice Department to have discriminated in voting in a way that bears watching) must be “precleared,” that is, approved by the Justice Department before it is placed into effect.  To get Justice Department […]

US Supreme Court upholds preclearance requirement (barely)

In an opinion by Roberts, with Thomas in dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the preclearance requirement in the Voting Rights Act.

The preclearance requirement imposes on “covered jurisdictions”– those that had problems with racial discrimination in voting.  From the Roberts opinion:

Such preclearance is granted only if the change neither “has the […]