The U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow Georgia Democrats back in the game

Other than that minor decision on health care due out in the next few hours, the most important ruling made this week by the U.S. Supreme Court is the one that will allow Democrats to resume a competitive — if not dominant — role in Georgia politics. Not today, not tomorrow, but within the lifetimes of most of this state’s current residents.

What? You missed that one?

Without being too cute about it, a Democratic resurgence in Georgia may be the ultimate impact of the court’s ruling on how far states — in this case Arizona — can go in the fight against illegal immigration.

This is about numbers, not philosophy. Last week, Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist, pointed out some interesting statistics on the secretary of state’s website.

In 2001, as the lowering of a segregation-era state flag was about to spark a Republican revolution, whites made up a domineering 72 percent of 4.6 million registered Georgia voters. African-Americans accounted for 26 percent. Hispanics, Asians and “others” were at a mere 2 percent.

By May 2008, with black enthusiasm over Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama yet to peak, white voters shrank to 65 percent of the electorate. This past May, even with Republican-backed voter ID laws firmly in place, the trend continued.

White voters now make up just a hair over 60 percent of registered Georgia voters. African-Americans are up to 29 percent. And “other” has increased fourfold to 10 percent.

Demography, like a glacier, is slow but relentless. Unless Republicans can make more inroads among minorities, their time as rulers of the state Capitol is finite.

“There’s not a magic number,” Abramowitz said. “But I’d say that within the next decade, I’d expect that Democrats will be in a much stronger position in statewide elections.”

Statewide, Hispanics made up 9 percent of Georgia’s population in the 2010 census, but only a small fraction vote — not surprising, since many of them dare not register. But that will change.

Which brings us back to Tuesday’s 5-3 ruling on Arizona’s illegal immigration law.

Yes, Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens praised the court’s acknowledgement that states have a legitimate, though clearly junior, role in immigration enforcement. Five justices agreed that law enforcement officials indeed can be given the power to ascertain the citizenship of individuals stopped for other reasons.

But the philosophy behind Arizona’s law, and that of Georgia’s HB 87, is the creation of a climate so hostile to illegal immigrants that they will leave of their own accord. “Self-deportation” was embraced by Mitt Romney in the Republican primary as he strove to run to the right of both former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

That’s where the Supreme Court drew its line. Justices struck down portions of the Arizona statute that made it a violation of state law for an undocumented worker to apply for a job or walk around without identity papers.

Court challenges to HB 87 will now begin in earnest. Georgia’s law contains its own efforts to deprive illegal immigrants of a social support system. For instance, knowingly transporting or harboring an illegal immigrant — driving one to work or renting one an apartment — in many cases would be a crime.

But criminalizing such association will be hard to reconcile with this line from Tuesday’s decision: “Removal is a civil, not criminal, matter. A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials.” Whether the illegal immigrant has children born here, has strong ties to the community or a distinguished U.S. military record all can be taken into account, the court acknowledged.

Aside from undercutting self-deportation, that language appears to endorse the latitude that President Obama used when he declared earlier this month that illegal immigrants brought here as children would be granted deportation waivers.

Otherwise, the justices pointed to Congress for larger solutions. “Congress has specified which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so,” the court said. So the fate of millions of people who live illegally and paperless in the U.S. lies mostly in the hands of 535 federal lawmakers in Washington, not individual states.

Republicans in Washington will require time to sort themselves out on the issue — if not this year, then the next one or the next one. That means Georgia’s demographic glacier will continue apace as people live, fall in love and have babies.

That delay should give Democrats hope and Republicans heartburn.

By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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67 comments Add your comment

David

June 27th, 2012
6:34 pm

I think he can reach over to the Spanish community to get them to come over to the GA GOP

yuzeyurbrane

June 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

The Republicans have a choice: to try to reach out to Hispanics like W or to do as they have been doing lately. As we know from our own history in the South, those who want to suppress voting can be quite creative and temporarily successful but in the long run will lose. It will first surface in places like Hall and Gwinnett Counties, 2 Tea Party bastions. It will be interesting to see.

sheepdawg

June 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

no way david, the Hispanic community is not so gullible as bubba redneck

Adrianne

June 27th, 2012
7:08 pm

Why don’t the Republicans try to reach everyone? They have long ignored black conservative christians. Also, a person’s race doesn’t necessarily affect their party affiliation. It’s now coming down to treatment. The Republicans have ailenated everyone–Blacks, gays, women, hispanics, asians. They are not inclusive. Everything is dependent on greed. Karl Rove leads this effort by twisting issues. Now, with their effort to demonize this president, I think they are turning people off. Why is it that we can no long have civil debates in this country. The media no longer prints or broadcasts the facts of any situation. Everything is spun. American citizens are too lazy to research anything. Instead of all of us focusing on the presidency, we should focus on the immobile Congress. Their the ones who make and pass laws. They, democrat and republican could have already worked on immigration, the economy, student loans, gun control, trade with foreign nations. They only work a third of the year but Americans are too blinded to even care. That’s why we’re in the situation that we’re in.

James

June 27th, 2012
7:10 pm

So Jim, the real Democrat goal is to stimulate illegal immigation to help support its votes. I always thought that it was over the top to accuse the dems of driving illegal immigration to prop up their failing elecoral hopes.

It seems I was too optimistic.

Adrianne

June 27th, 2012
7:12 pm

Correction: They’re the ones who make and pass laws.

Dawgs88

June 27th, 2012
7:18 pm

Hate to burst your bubble Jim but the demographic shift towards minority growth is swinging back the other way. As of 2011, Hispanic birth rates have fallen drastically and black birth rates have flattened. Only non-Hispanic whites have had an increase in birth rates over the last three years. In fact our birth rates have been steadily climbing back since 2007 actually. I don’t know why the whites of Generation X had such few children, but the whites that make up generation Y, like myself, are having a lot more kids and the numbers are starting to show that. Also out of that 9% of the population that Hispanics make up, I would bet well over half of that is comprised of illegal aliens. The Census counts everybody legal or not. However, being a descendant of family that’s been in Georgia since the 1740’s, I’ll be darned if I ever se habla to a governor of this state.

Adrianne

June 27th, 2012
7:25 pm

Jim, why aren’t you writing about how the NRA is running America? I’m appalled that the NRA is keeping score on who isn’t voting to hold Eric Holder in contempt. It is widely reported that he didn’t have knowledge of this gun situation with the Fast and Furious operation. This lends itself to bribing public officials. Why isnt anyone asking why its so easy for criminals to buy guns in Arizona? If anyone is complicit in the law enforcement agent’s murder, its the State of Arizona and the NRA. Talk about spinning a story. Why isn’t Congress doing the real work of getting this country back on its feet? Whimps.

GT GRAD

June 27th, 2012
7:26 pm

Why can’t people simply vote for the person who is best qualified for the position and whom is most committed to what is best for the people they represent.

The whole white/black/hispanic/etc. voting block nonsense is getting old. America would be soooooo much better IF everyone was a little mix of all races. If everyone had to choose the “other” box………………….politicians, judges, school acceptance boards and potential employers would be forced and ALLOWED to treat everyone in a fair and just manner.

As far as the implication in the AJC post above that some of these groups will definitely vote Democratic: It is a crying shame that the Democrats know going into an election that these groups will vote for them………this is why the Democrats constantly talk about helping these various groups but never actually pass any bills to significantly impact the lives of the actual people.

Look around at you friends and co-workers: Most people who are 40+ years old that follow politics and truly think things through are Independent, Libertarian or Republican………………..over time smart people realize the truth about Democrats (a huge percentage of the Democratic politicians are more interested in voting blocks, personal power and becoming rich than the interests/needs of the people they are supposed to represent). The ignorant masses are typically staunch Democrats.

Wake up people!

Related comment: Union workers are another blind voting block for Dems (unions should be strictly against Federal Law!).

Adrianne

June 27th, 2012
7:32 pm

Dawgs88—Many Hispanic people are said to be conservative because of their religious beliefs. But you’ve offended them with your racist reference. This is exactly what I mean about the Republican party–they scare people away with their racism, sexism, and intolerance. Race continues to divide this country. We will never get to the point to actually discussing any real issues. Thanks a lot!

Native Georgian

June 27th, 2012
7:38 pm

The Republicans have NOT alienated everyone – Wall Street robber barons and the super-rich are quite happy with the repubs. And it is average hard working Americans who suffer the consequences.

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
7:42 pm

One of Galloway’s more inventive wishful thinking stretches. As the Democratic party moves further and further left, fewer Georgia voters stomach it. The state has consistently moved Republican in every category – Governor, House, Senate, Attorney General, U.S. Senators, and the U.S. Congressional Representatives. As minority voters gain in education levels and move up the economic ladder, they become more conservative and rely less on government subsidies (lean closer to Republican philosophy).

My father was a staunch conservative and voted straight line Republican until the day he died. Now, for some reason, he votes Democrat. Voter ID, more sophistication in catching voter fraud (other dead also tend to vote for Democrats), and the ILLEGAL immigration law that passed and is intact will limit current and future “votes” for Democrats.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
7:49 pm

The irony is that the ruling class Republicans (the upper 1%), not to be confused with “Joe the Plumber” Republicans (who are at best, nouveau riche middle class), opened the flood gates. In Dalton, the town with the highest percentage of illegal alien residents in the Georgia, the principals of the carpet industry, who are to the man Republicans, are admittedly and proud of it, 100 percent responsible.

Greed drives short term solutions based soley on profit, without any regard to the consequences. It is unlikely that the “Joe the Plumber” Republicans will ever wake up to the fact that they are being played like fiddles by the 1%, because they are under the illusion that they have common interests.

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
7:59 pm

Good grief, Hiram – one percenters are in Hollywood and other entertainment venues who are 95% liberal Democrats. There are many CEO’s, independently wealthy folks donating, campaigning, and showing up at these Obama fundraiser events. The majority of the one percenter U.S. Senators are Democrats. This small group is certainly not exclusive inside the Republican party.

But I will give you that a majority of productive workers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and stockholders are probably Republican – they are the top thirty percenters. The electoral battle is in the middle – and many of them aspire to move-up with “Joe the plumber”.

shady

June 27th, 2012
8:03 pm

First, Vote out all Repukers at every level. What jobs program have they put forward. Instead they waste all their time just being mean spirited in trying to force Women back to the dark ages with respect to controlling their own bodies. Not one Repuker has spoken out against the Intimidation practices Currently going on against their reporductive doctors. Hold them accountable. Instead of offering Tax Cuts to any business that Relocates Jobs back to Georgia they twindle their thumbs cooking up ways to control people. They have cut Education, now trying to push forward their Charter Schools that will completely destroy public education for all, especially in the Rural Areas of Georgia and in Inner City Schools. With money only going to Rich and Well connected. So, get out there and VOTE OUT, against all Repukers. Now at the National Level: Vote out: Jack Kingston, who wants to DRUG TEST for breathing, and make it so you cannot get a job, or help in getting any kind of Benefits. Westmoreland, who has done nothing at all. Tom Graves, Scott, and any other Congressperson in your Congressional District. As far as the State House VOTE against all the Repukers. Get rid of them. They are all bought and sold by Grover Norquist and the Flithy Rich who only care about a Tax Cut for themselves, and nothing for Working People!

hiram

June 27th, 2012
8:22 pm

@centrist
I wish that I was half as intelligent as your think you are. The 1% is relative – in Dalton the principals of the Carpet Industry are the top .001 percent, and would fall in the top 1% state wide. I assure you that they had no intention of increasing the percentage of Democratic voters in the state. All they were interested in was taking advantage of a cheap labor force, and nothing else mattered.

BehindEnemyLines

June 27th, 2012
8:28 pm

Maybe the first/more important removal are elements within SCOTUS.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
8:40 pm

@centrist
I don’t think any informed person would argue with the fact that most of the illegal aliens in our country today are here at the behest of Republicans, who politically drove the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws – whether it be Vidalia onion farmers, chicken processors, the hospitality industry, the carpet cartel or the good old boy contractors, they are all Republicans who couldn’t, and still can’t see beyond the ends of their noses – not the hard working geniuses that you portray in your rosey scenarios.

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
8:44 pm

@ hiram – So are you saying the carpet industry principals in Dalton are upset with the Republicans who passed and limited their use of ILLEGAL cheap labor? You probably noticed it was Democrats and the liberal AJC that fought the issue, and still hoping to sidestep it. Aren’t you confirming my point?

Burroughston Broch

June 27th, 2012
8:46 pm

@ hiram
Before you start patting yourself on the back, check your math. 0.001 percent of the Dalton population is 0.33 people – let me make it easy, 1/3 of a person.

The tufted textile industry started around Dalton in the 1930s and really began to grow in the 1960s. No companies moved in to take advantage of cheap labor – the companies started locally and used the labor that was available. If all the companies wanted was cheap labor, they would have moved elsewhere long ago.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
8:48 pm

@centrist
One more point. The Republicans, who are totally responsible for increasing the “immigrant” portion of the Democratic base, are now trying to shift the blame to Democrats – they didn’t do it. The Republicans did it to themselves.

Weetamoe

June 27th, 2012
8:50 pm

What about the law-abiding applicants who as the popular complaint goes *did everything right* and filled out the neverending forms and got in line for entry into the US and have been waiting and waiting for their turn? Do you remember the scorn expressed for those who cut in line? Obama’s goody bag of waivers is turning this country into outlaw territory. There is a nasty implied racism in the comments by Professor Abramowicz and the others who comment here who seem so so preoccupied with the skin color of republicans.

Kris

June 27th, 2012
8:52 pm

@ hiram
You are so right. Next time anyone is up near Dalton Stop at connector 3 and see the GOP’s handy work.

“All they were interested in was taking advantage of a cheap labor force, and nothing else mattered.”
I leave with this thought.
“A DEAL came down to Dalton looking for a roll of carpet to buy, Sadly for DEAL since he AND HIS KIND THEY trash the economy, most all the carpet mills closed and the people left that manufactured carpet.”

As or the Latino Community .The Gov of Alabama we will not profile immigrants.
If your are Latino You will be profiled in Dalton.
Wonder if double dip DEAL can say the same…No some one else has to think for him.
OBAMA 2012

Buckhead Boy

June 27th, 2012
8:59 pm

Don’t be so sure, Jim; the five corporatists on the Supreme Court are doing aplenty to offset the importance of natural persons in the electoral process. Remember, now corporations are people too.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
8:59 pm

@ Burroughston Broch

I didn’t do the math, but I was close. They would all fit comfortably in a compact car.

Your Dalton history isn’t even close. Tufted textiles includes handmade and machined bedspreads, and other chenilles, like bath sets. Tufted carpet evolved from the machined chenille industry, and I’ve forgotten more about Dalton’s history than you will ever know.

The companies openly recruited illegal alien labor, and there are numerous documents to support that, including national publications and court documents. Just Google illegal aliens(immigrants) and Dalton. It will take you all night to read the returns.

Doug

June 27th, 2012
9:01 pm

These changing demographics are precisely the reason why there is a white backlash in Georgia against the Democrats and the President, in particular. But this lily white 60 year old male loves the fact that soon the toothless morons throughout rural Georgia will be a minority and white urban voters will join with our brethren of a different complexion to restore this state to sanity.

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
9:10 pm

I admit I never understood reverse and circular logic, or a those who refused to let facts get in the way of their opinions.

Tomorrow should be interesting. No doubt Galloway will spin the gutting of Obamacare’s forced (mandated) health insurance for the healthy to further subsidize others as a win for Obama. This blog is a course in reverse/ circular logic – and I am certainly flunking it.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
9:21 pm

@centrist
“@ hiram – So are you saying the carpet industry principals in Dalton are upset with the Republicans who passed and limited their use of ILLEGAL cheap labor?”

You are misinformed. The law is a joke, or Deal wouldn’t have signed it. And besides that, a large percentage of the Hispanics in Dalton are from the West Coast – the result of Reagan’s disastorous amnesty. They follow the illegals whereever they go to take advantage of the jobs created by the language barrier. More of Dalton’s English speaking citizens are discriminated against than the illegal aliens. Dalton’s native citizens have paid a tremendous cost at the hand of Republicans.

rubber necker

June 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

the supremes have accepted their marching orders from their corporate overlords.

td

June 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

I have yet to see a Republican in this state say a bad thing about a legal immigrant. The Dems have done a good job at spreading the word that a vote for the rule of law is a vote against all immigrants and it is not true.

As far as reaching out to conservative blacks, Sonny appointed more black leadership to key executive blank department/division heads then any other governor and what was the results? Conservatives have been reaching out to blacks but they just do not respond.

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

Back to Galloway’s current blog – little doubt that next year Georgia will follow Florida’s lead in purging voter rolls of non-citizens. This is going to hurt Galloway’s pipe dream of getting “Georgia Democrats getting back in the game”, and if you read this in the MSM, it will be buried pretty deep:

“Federal judge rejects Justice Department challenge to Florida voter purge”

td

June 27th, 2012
9:27 pm

This is a test

td

June 27th, 2012
9:28 pm

I have yet to see a Republican in this state say a bad thing about a legal immigrant. The Dems have done a good job at spreading the word that a vote for the rule of law is a vote against all immigrants and it is not true.

As far as reaching out to conservative blacks, Sonny appointed more black leadership to key executive blank department/division heads then any other governor and what was the results? Conservatives have been reaching out to blacks but they just do not respond.

Wesley T.

June 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

@GT GRAD – I almost vomited I laughed so hard at this statement: “The ignorant masses are typically staunch Democrats.” So…you mean all those anti-science, birther-loving, Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists are voting Dem? I wish it were so, because if the GOP got rid of all its ignorant voters, it would probably be drawing only 20% of the vote at best.

td

June 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

After the purge next year, the new drivers license requirements of proving citizenship with original birth certificates and voter id requirements, I think illegals voting will be taken care of in upcoming elections.

td

June 27th, 2012
9:33 pm

Wesley T.

June 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

What % of HS dropouts and welfare recipients in Georgia do you think votes Democrat?

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

June 27th, 2012
9:35 pm

The Republican party and their offspring the Tea Party is the party of hatred and division. By rallying their base with code words and fear, they have pretty much excluded…..well almost everybody. Enjoy it while you can pubs, the ride is almost over.

td

June 27th, 2012
9:36 pm

Jim,

Do you think the Dems will attempt to have the original birth certificate requirement for getting a DL will be challenged since I believe it was part of HB 87?

Centrist

June 27th, 2012
9:45 pm

@ td – liberals like Galloway and posters here simply do not understand that the decades long unilateral control of government policies that helped keep them in office is long gone. They scream only to themselves about re-districting, and the removal of blind eye voter registration. They dream of days gone by.

That is not to say Republicans might go overboard and attempt illegal/immoral tactics of their own to maintain power and push things voters don’t support.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
9:45 pm

The parties are interchangeable – they are both worthless. The party faithful are just as delusional(brainwashed) as the snake handling Pentecostals. Did anyone notice that the Republican propaganda machine gave Jamie Dimon, a Democrat, and CEO and Chairman of JP Morgan Chase, and board member of the NY Fed, who bailed out JP Morgan Chase, a free pass. He got a free pass, even though he’s Obama’s main man on Wall Street. Why?

Larry

June 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

It will be interesting to see how many stick with the GOP, when their big plan to broaden the tax base, and lower the rates, to the disproportionate advantage of the most wealthy, by eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. This deduction, alone, provides this country a middle class.

.

Kris

June 27th, 2012
9:52 pm

As I recall I have had a Ga drivers license for 50yrs+ which I showed a birth certificate to obtain as well as a US passport which I provided a GA license and same birth certificate…So GA GOP says I have to prove that I was born IN the USA….Again….Who they trying to weed out USA citizens.

Stop the insanity vote the GOP scum Out

OBAMA 2012

td

June 27th, 2012
9:58 pm

Kris

June 27th, 2012
9:52 pm

Yes, the next time you go to get a GA DL you will have to provide an original BC or your passport. Now it is a pain in the butt but I think it will be well worth the effort to ensure only legal immigrants and citizens are allowed to vote in GA.

Chris

June 27th, 2012
10:02 pm

I hope the Democrats get back in the game, but if they do, I suspect it won’t be due to demographic wishful thinking. Lots of illegals left the state between 2010 and 2012.

What would really help the Democrats would be to stand up for the middle class again. Running against the crony capitalism and corruption (as exemplified by the TSPLOST with it’s payoffs to the moochers and rent seekers in big business) would be a winning formula, in my opinion.

hiram

June 27th, 2012
10:05 pm

td,
The same guys that brought all of those illegal immigrant prospective voters here to start with are now pandering for your vote, and it looks like they succeeded. Do you really not realize that?

rubber necker

June 27th, 2012
10:06 pm

i’ve moon-walked, but never gun-walked

Kris

June 27th, 2012
10:16 pm

td..”.legal immigrants and citizens are allowed to vote in GA.”

They let you vote…..hum mm

I fooled them back then and If that becomes necessary I will do it again!

It would appear that a DL from Ga’s den of thieves (GOP)…is not worth the plastic its printed on.

OBAMA 2012

td

June 27th, 2012
10:18 pm

hiram

June 27th, 2012
10:05 pm

Yes, the country club Republicans did bring illegals here for cheap wages purposes but Dems are just as complicit in this as the Republicans, Do you remember that Reagan amnesty deal back in the 80’s? Was it not the Dems that promised to secure the boarders and not allow any more illegals into the country but then did not take the necessary funding steps to make it happen? Is it not the Dems that are now telling AZ that they will no longer take their calls when they catch illegals?

rubber necker

June 27th, 2012
10:34 pm

if reagan and tip could hold hands, obama and boner should be able to dance.

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