Oct 6, 2014

Election Law Expert: Easterbrook's Seventh Circuit Opinion: Horrendous

Rick Hasen rushed out a response to the Seventh Circuit's opinion on the merits of Wisconsin's Voter ID cases.

My fav: "The opinion puts forward the narrowest test yet I’ve seen for deciding when a vote denial type claim (which Easterbrook calls a voter qualification claim) violates section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. He cites statistics showing whites are much, ... more likely than blacks in Milwaukee to have a driver’s license (the easiest form of voter id to use in WI if you have it).  No big deal he says: black voting rates are high enough, and so long as “everyone has the same opportunity to get a qualifying voter ID” in Wisconsin there can be no voting rights violation. Never mind that because of past discrimination African-American voters are on average poorer and will have a harder time coming up with the money for the underlying documents for a voter id. The rich and poor can both sleep under bridges. To Easterbrook, one just “scrounges” the money to get the birth certificate—there is no sensitivity that not everyone is as rich as a federal judge."

Easterbrook wants Judge Kagen to throw the case to the full Court.

Kagen will likely at least partially vacate the Seventh Circuit's stay.

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