|No vote for you!|
The four GOP justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court may overturn a century of precedent and Article III of the Wisconsin Constitution but the press continues to dumb-down its reporting to he-said, she-said processes, missing critical constitutional issues in the coverage.
After reporting that two appellate courts are sending the Voter ID law to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, AP writer Scott Bauer reports the, "law's opponents say it will disenfranchise minority groups, the poor, students and senior citizens who lack photo identification."
Bauer might have noted the empirical case demonstrating this fact of disenfranchisement, but reading the legal briefs and Judge Flanagan and Niess' opinions appears a bridge too far for Bauer's piece. C'mon, it's right there in the State Journal links.
Bauer continues: "Supporters say it's needed to stop any potential voter fraud, while opponents counter the potential for wrongdoing is overblown because so few cases have been reported."
Actually Bauer could have noted the number of voter impersonation cases prosecuted going back decades is zero, a fact that would place the GOP effort at obstruction in its accurate context.
And for giggles, he could have thrown into his report the fact that you have to register to vote before you can vote; see Wisconsin Voter Registration Application, a rigorous process in which a voter must attest to accurate information under penality of state and federal law.
The last presidential election also featured a major GOP voter obstruction effort, widely ridiculed on its lack of merit, worth 15 words.
The effect of Bauer's reporting, like that of most of the press, makes it seem like voter impersonation is common and easily achievable. So Scott Walker and the GOP can ignore history, ignore the Wisconsin Constitution, ignore over a century of case law, and repeat the talking point of "common sense" which the stenographers in the press will repeat without futher factual analysis.
Ben Adler in The Nation quotes Sam Munger, a researcher at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy who says the GOP justices will rule 4-3 to overturn the Wisconsin Constitution.
Two cases remain in federal court, and observers are cautiously optimistic because of the mountain of empirical evidence of voter disenfranchisement—that Bauer fails to even mention—will be the basis of the two federal lawsuits—
- Frank v. Walker, (Case 11cv1128), U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- Jones et al v. Jones v. Deininger et al (Case 2:12-cv-00185), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Walker (Case 11CV4669)
- Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker (Case 11CV5492)
As we have written here before: This one decision will determine if Wisconsin is a lawless, unconstitutional state; or a democracy where the rule of law and the rights of citizens guaranteed in the Wisconsin Constitution hold sway over nihilistic politics.
Wisconsin Constitution, Article III, Section 1
"Every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district."