Sunday, June 10, 2007

Why Didn't I Notice This Before?

It's amazing what you find when you Google your name. Neal Boortz felt the need to respond on his website to the letter to the editor from little ole moi:

RIGHT TO VOTE? SORRY ... IT JUST ISN'T THERE

"(My name here), Michael J. Breaux, Ron Gooden, Randy Jent and Debra Stephens. Sorry ... but every single one of you are dead wrong.
OK .. .so who are those people. All five of them had letters published in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating adamantly that there is actually a right to vote engrained in the U.S. Constitution. These letter writers were responding to an earlier letter from someone who was proposing restrictions on who can and cannot vote, a position I support.
Let's look at some of the claims made by the fantastic five:
"The question is not whether voting is a privilege or a right. That fact has been established." (My name here)
"A letter writer tries to make a case for limiting the ability of citizens to vote. But one can't make that case, based on the 15th Amendment to the Constitution." Michael J. Breaux
"But what of the essential right of each citizen to be secure in the one-man, one-vote principle?" Ron Gooden
"Even if one ignores the fact that the phrases "right to vote" (Amendment 14) and "right of the citizens of the United States to vote" (Amendments 15 and 19) appear in the Constitution, the letter writer's logic is flawed." Debra Stephens
"Nowhere does the Constitution say that voting is a 'privilege.' It states that there is a right to vote, and it is sacred." Randy Jent
Well, as luck would have it, this is one of the very issues I've addressed in my next book "Somebody's Gotta Say It!" I hate to be the one to break this to you (My name here), Ron, Mike, Randy and Debra. But you're all wrong. There is no right to vote, at least not in a federal election..
Oh, it may be true that your state's constitution contains some sort of a guarantee of your right to vote in an election, but that's really as far as it goes.
Now I'm not going to give this entire chapter away right here. I'll just give you enough to whet your appetite for the publication of the book come next Spring.
In December of 2000 a law professor by the name of Michael C. Dorf wrote a column entitled "We Need a Constitutional Right to Vote in Presidential Elections." Professor Dorf, a law professor at Columbia University, by the way, was bitterly upset with the results of the 2000 election and the puddin' storm that erupted in Florida after the vote.
Here: Let me just share one paragraph from Dorf's column. Now (My name here), Mike, Ron, Randy and Debra ... I want all of you in particular to read this. Remember .. .this is a learned law professor writing this, not just someone sitting down to write a letter to the editor:
"Amidst the divisiveness of the United States Supreme Court's second foray into the 2000 Presidential election, it is easy to overlook the significance of the Court's earlier, unanimous ruling of December 4, 2000. A close reading of the decision in that case, Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, reveals a clear consensus for what will strike many Americans as an outrageous proposition: there is no constitutional right to vote in a Presidential election. The fact that the state in which you reside even permits you to vote for electors is purely a matter of legislative grace."
So ... there you have it. There's that, and more. I'm not going to give away this entire chapter here, but my research clearly shows that the founding fathers in no way intended to grant a universal right to vote in federal elections in the Constitution. As for the states ... well, it's pretty much up to them. What the Constitution does do, by virtue of the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments, is set forth some parameters upon which a state cannot limit the voting franchise IF that state decides to offer a right to vote in its state constitution. In other words, a state can't formulate a constitution which says you can vote in a state or local election unless you're black, or a woman, etc. The same rule would apply to any federal elections as well.
It would seem that the evil "letter write" had a valid point after all, and our letter-writing gang of five needs to do just a bit more research.
Oh well ... back to the ole drawing board!"

Did I mention I hate Neal Boortz! Another stupid and specious argument.

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