Sep 12, 2014
Seventh Circuit Reinstates Wisconsin's Photo Voter ID Law 53 Days from Election Day
Updated - Scott Walker is trying to steal this election, and Republicans on the judiciary are happy to help.
A three-judge panel has stayed the federal court injunction against mandatory photo voter ID in Wisconsin, reinstating the photo voter ID law in a spectacular ruling.
"The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November's elections. The appeals remain under advisement, and an opinion on the merits will issue in due course," the three Republican-appointed judges ordered.
Republicans do so wish.
Reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Marley and Stein):
The appellate court said Friday that it was satisfied by changes imposed on the law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a separate decision earlier this year.
"This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state's probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court," the order reads.
The head of the state's election agency said Friday he would do everything possible to get the law back in place in time for the election — something agency officials previously said would be a challenge.
Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin citizens do not have a photo voter ID, and the ruling will result in a sprint to the local DMV to obtain an ID.
Huge lines will also likely be a consequence of the ruling, due to Scott Walker and the GOP's shortening of the early voting period.
Politically, the judicial ruling is an active (dynamic) and not a static development, meaning the voter obstruction intent of Wisconsin Act 23 will likely produce a reaction among targeted demographics of the GOP, including minorities, college students, disaffected veterans, the elderly and the homeless.
Confusion, long lines and frustration will be hallmarks of the November 4 Election Day, objective achieved by Scott Walker and the Republican Party.
United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Chicago, Illinois 60604
September 12, 2014
FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge
DIANE S. SYKES, Circuit Judge
JOHN DANIEL TINDER, Circuit Judge
Nos. 14-2058 and 14-2059
RUTHELLE FRANK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
SCOTT WALKER, in his official capacity as Governor of State of Wisconsin, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Nos. 11-CV-01128 and 12-CV-00185 Lynn Adelman, Judge.
LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS OF WISCONSIN, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,
DAVID G. DEININGER, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Case: 14-2059 Document: 65 Filed: 09/12/2014 Pages: 2
Nos. 14-2058 and 14-2059 Page 2
On August 21, 2014, this court issued an order providing that the motion for a stay would be considered by the panel assigned to decide the case on the merits. This order further provided that the state was free, in the interim, to implement the changes to the procedures for obtaining (or excusing reliance on) birth certificates, and similar documents, that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin adopted in Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014).
Having read the briefs and heard oral argument, this court now stays the injunction issued by the district court. The State of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.
The district court held the state law invalid, and enjoined its implementation, even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008). It did this based on findings that it thought showed that Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest, and that persons of lower income (disproportionately minorities) are less likely to have driver’s licenses, other acceptable photo ID, or the birth certificates needed to obtain them, which led the court to hold that the statute violates §2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973.
After the district court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 (July 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.
The appeals remain under advisement, and an opinion on the merits will issue in due course.