Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Supremes Decline to Hear Coffield vs. Kemp

Add another effort to the list.

Ballot access in Georgia got another slap in the face yesterday when the US Supreme Court backed out of hearing Coffield vs. Kemp so the two party system in Georgia is safe for a while longer as a result. The readership might remember some of the work that's been presented here at Bludgeon & Skewer concerning the tortuous path that Ms. Coffield's case has taken since her attempt to gain ballot access wayback in the wayback in 2008 in an attempt to run against democrat Hank Johnson in Georgia's 4th US congressional district. If you're having difficulty searching here, then head over to Ballot Access News or Independent Political Report for some pretty good recaps.

Her complaint was simple. Georgia's 1943 Jim Crow ballot access laws are so onerous that no one can meet the standard aside from our democrat and republican brothers and sisters who crafted the system and have enjoyed it's blessings for the last 67 years. And that's true. There were 9 independents here in Georgia last year, none of whom survived our state's petitioning requirements and made it on the ballot. The end result for all Georgians was that their choices were limited, competition was squashed and the current market price of this years crop of politicians was artificially inflated.

The failure to hear the case at the national level is good news for the Georgians enmeshed in republican or democrat politics, not so much for the rest of us. If you're one of the 50% of Georgians who are registered to vote but don't bother to participate it's no news at all, not on the radar screen and absolutely not important. There is no reasonable expectation that the half of Georgia that doesn't vote is going to wake up anytime soon and if they did they would only be able to pick between two choices anyway, except in elections that include the 10 statewide offices the Libertarian's can run candidates for.

So a big old hat tip to Georgia's 1943 legislature for passing a restrictive law that has stood the test of time. It's nice to know that the prejudices of the past are alive and well here in 2011.

Are we in the 21st Century?

Not quite yet.

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