Wins And Losses As Courts Look At New Voter ID Laws

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Hopefully the Justice Department can effectively block this stuff and disappoint the ALEC-stacked state legislatures, because it's obviously aimed at suppressing Democratic voter turnout:

(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday blocked a new law in Texas requiring voters to show photo identification before they can cast a ballot, citing a concern that it could harm Hispanic voters who lacked such documents.

The law, which was approved in May 2011, required voters to show government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, military identification card, birth certificate with a photo, current U.S. passport, or concealed handgun permit.

The Justice Department said that data from Texas showed that almost 11 percent of Hispanic voters, or more than 300,000, did not have a driver's license or state-issued identification card, and that plans to mitigate those concerns were incomplete.

And in the meantime, a Wisconsin county judge has issued a permanent injunction against the state's new photo ID law:

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess has issued a permanent injunction against Wisconsin's new photo ID law. In doing so, Niess became the second judge in less than a week to strike the new law, but the first one did so on a temporary basis.

Four lawsuits have been filed against the law requiring people to present a valid government-issued photo identification card in order to receive a ballot. Monday's ruling was in response to the suit the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin filed. It contends the provision violates Wisconsin's constitutional protections for voters.

[...] Voters had to follow the law during February's primary and no major problems were reported. Election officials were making preparations for Wisconsin's April 3 presidential primary when a much bigger turnout is expected.

The Supreme Court turned away a challenge to the Indiana voter ID law:

The 65 page PDF file, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the main opinion said " Valid neutral justifications for a nondiscriminatory law, such as SEA 483, should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators."

JUSTICE SCALIA, joined by JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO, was of the view that petitioners’ premise that the voter-identification law might have imposed a special burden on some voters is irrelevant. The law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified.

In related news:

  • In Ohio, an 86-year-old World War II veteran with a government issued ID was unable to vote.
  • In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett says he'll sign a voter ID bill expected to pass the state House.


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