Sep 26, 2014

Seventh Circuit Denies Wisc Voter ID En Banc Motion Five-to-Five

Next step is a likely Emergency Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for the right to vote.

Desperate Scott Walker will of course oppose petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the more Wisconsin voters casting their preference the more likely Scott Walker loses.

Writes Rick Hasen: "... this is a really egregious order changing the rules midstream in violation of the Supreme Court’s own admonition in the Purcell v. Gonzalez case; and (b) now that the Court has before it the Ohio case, presenting a similar section 2 Voting Rights Act issue but with much worse facts for voting rights advocates, it would be better for this to be up there at the same time.  So there’s not much to lose to get this case before the Court at the same time."

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit writes: "On September 12, 2014, a panel of this court stayed the injunction that the district court had issued. Plaintiffs have filed a motion for reconsideration, asking the court to vacate the stay and reinstate the injunction. The panel that issued the stay has voted to deny the motion for reconsideration. A judge called for a vote on the request for a hearing en banc. That request is denied by an equally divided court. Chief Judge Wood and Judges Posner, Rovner, Williams, and Hamilton voted to hear this matter en banc. In the coming days, members of the court may file opinions explaining their votes."

The ludicrous rulings piling up, around the world press is starting to take notice.

The ACLU released the following comment:

CHICAGO — The full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today declined to rehear a three-judge panel's order reinstating Wisconsin's voter ID law prior to the midterm election. The vote was split evenly, 5-5, meaning the panel's order stands. Neither the panel nor the full court has yet ruled on the actual merits of the law, which was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in April. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the law, and petitioned for a full appeals court review following the panel's order on September 12 allowing the law to take effect. The ACLU presented oral arguments to the panel that day asking the court to uphold the April decision striking down the law as unconstitutional and in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The following is a statement from Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project:

"Allowing this law to take effect so close to the midterm election is a recipe for chaos, voter confusion, and disenfranchisement. The court could have avoided this pandemonium and given Wisconsin voters a chance to cast their ballots free of obstruction. It failed to do so, and we are evaluating our next step."

The ACLU, the ACLU of Wisconsin, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and Dechert LLP are co-counsel in this case, Frank v. Walker, challenging Wisconsin's voter ID law.

At trial last November, the groups presented evidence showing that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters lacked ID; that African-American and Latino voters, who have been subjected to historical and continuing segregation and discrimination in Wisconsin, were far more likely to lack ID and the documents needed to get ID than whites; that there are significant burdens imposed on voters trying to get ID; and that the government lacks strong enough reason to impose these burdens. A federal court agreed and struck down the law on April 29, prompting the state's appeal.

A copy of today's ruling is at:

More information about this case is at:

Meahwhile, named co-plaintiff, Ruthelle Frank writes in The Guardian: "I’ve been registered to vote since 1948. But once Republicans passed the [Voter ID] law, I was asked to prove I’m not an ‘illegal alien.'"

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