The October full-court press is steaming into endorsements for the November election, but last week's output was particularly interesting for the fractured response to the Republican-dominated U.S.Supreme Court's ruling to delay the new early-voting plan in Ohio.
Of four urban dailies, the Plain Dealer and Toledo Blade both disputed the Supremes' action; the Beacon Journal, a reverential supporter of Secretary of State Jon Husted, joined the right-wing Columbus Dispatch in praising the ruling. Brief excerpts:
Toledo Blade: "The 11th-hour Supreme Court ruling has created confusion and hardship among some Ohio voters. The fact that the order was the initial decision of the high court's new term offers little reason for optimism about what will follow."
Beacon Journal: (Praising the Supremes) "It has been dismaying to watch federal judge Peter Economus, who was upheld by a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals take a misguided path in his insistence on no cutbacks to early voting."
Plain Dealer: "Highly disappointing, even grotesque...The high court has done both the law and the voters of Ohio a grave disservice with its stay."
Columbus Dispatch: "Monday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Ohio to follow its own election laws in the Nov. 4 election is a victory for common sense in a legal battle that has seen lower federal courts turn common sense inside out."
Grumpy Abe: Can't resist casting my lot with the Plain Dealer and Blade to tip the balance of this group in favor of the lower courts. Question: After dispelling the original claims that a new system would protect us from voter fraud which doesn't exist, why did the Husted Hustle continue to boast of increasing voter ease as Republicans took up their cause during the Obama era. Must we remind ourselves that published reports from some Republican officials conceded that they had wanted to help Mitt Romney win?