20 September 2023

All Deliberate Torpor

I have a simple, and rather pissed off, response to Alabama's continued defiance.1 As the Supreme Court noted not quite sixty years ago:

The District Court held that "the public schools of Prince Edward County may not be closed to avoid the effect of the law of the land as interpreted by the Supreme Court, while the Commonwealth of Virginia permits other public schools to remain open at the expense of the taxpayers." Allen v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, 207 F.Supp. 349, 355 (D.C.E.D.Va. 1962). At the same time the court gave notice that it would later consider an order to accomplish this purpose if the public schools were not reopened by September 7, 1962. That day has long passed, and the schools are still closed. On remand, therefore, the court may find it necessary to consider further such an order. An order of this kind is within the court's power if required to assure these petitioners that their constitutional rights will no longer be denied them. The time for mere "deliberate speed" has run out, and that phrase can no longer justify denying these Prince Edward County school children their constitutional rights to an education equal to that afforded by the public schools in the other parts of Virginia.

Griffin v. School Bd. of Prince Edward Cty., 377 U.S. 218, 233–34 (1964).

That was "just" education. That was "just" eleven years after Brown declared that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional regarding education. Public education is a coordinate, constitutional necessity, and a predicate condition for recognizing and exercising virtually all constitutional rights. Voting, however, is even more than that: It is the core of a representative democracy, of the half-century-old Voting Rights Act, the three-centuries-old marketing-slogan foundation of secession from the United Kingdom ("No taxation without representation").

The time for all deliberate speed in ensuring the right to vote, and the realistic opportunity to elect one-quarter of one's Congresscritters more likely than random chance to represent one's own interests, has long ago "run out." Not as recently as 05 September, nor 08 June, nor even 1965; it was not later than 1765. Unless, that is, the the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose… and you are truly, absolutely certain who is the devil. "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."2

  1. The disrespect, arrogance, and irony of the state choosing to file its motion on this particular date reveal more about the state of mind of the Alabama government than perhaps it might wish to — especially since the filing could have been made on either the day prior or the day succeeding and it would have been "timely." <SARCASM> Oh, wait, it would be revealing disdain almost entirely for Yankees. Big-city New York City and Beltway Yankees, and maybe a few Pennsylvanians. That must be ok then. </SARCASM>
  2. At least that's an imprecation from one christian — one devout protestant — to a body of other devout christians. The devout christians of the Alabama government (they all, or virtually all, proclaim they are, both in general and in their campaign literature) won't listen to me, though — I'm defiantly nonchristian, proudly descended from non-English-speaking immigrants who never held slaves (notwithstanding their other issues!), contemptuous of college football, and educated almost entirely away from the former (and too often present) Confederacy. That last is obviously the most telling: Education of a JD is based upon citing precedentScripture for devilish purpose. (N.B. All capitalization — and not — in this footnote is entirely intentional and with malice aforethought.)