Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The cover story in the Minnesota Bar Association’s Bench and Bar magazine this month is “Felony Disenfranchisement, Why 5 Million Americans Can’t Vote This November.” The cover art is a Black man in a jail cell. The authors are two criminal defense lawyers. The article raises all the usual DFL points but with one jarring note. Note this claim:
“Many believe felony disenfranchisement became a popular idea when it was clear the Constitution granted the right to vote to all of its citizens, regardless of race, since this was a method of preventing many blacks from voting. There is strong evidence, arguable rock-solid proof, that the laws were in fact intended to target and ultimately eliminate the black vote.”
And compare it with this complaint:
“Minnesota is not among the states that have made felony disenfranchisement laws less oppressive. In fact, Minnesota has not changed its law since it began disenfranchising felons in 1857.”
Now wait one minute. Minnesota was a territory in 1857, it didn’t become a state until 1858. The 15th Amendment was adopted in 1870, AFTER the North won the War. But felons were disenfranchised in Minnesota 10 years earlier. Early legislators somehow knew that one day the state would send men to fight in a War to gain independence for Blacks and that eventually we would need to lock up those same Blacks to take away their voting rights, so our prescient ancestors quickly adopted this law first!
Since that piece of “rock-solid” proof is obviously false on its face, the rest of the arguments in the article are so suspect as to be unpersuasive. I’d need a lot more convincing before I’d vote to overturn 150 years of unbroken precedent to give convicted felons more rights.
The anti-Voter-ID movement started by pulling ever-growing “cost impacts”, to put it in the classical Latin, de anus. Why would wholesale manufacturing of history be a stretch?