Oct 9, 2014

US Supreme Court Halts Wisconsin Voter ID Law

Ruthelle Frank of Brokaw, Wisconsin fights for
her right to vote against Scott Walker and
the Republican Party
In a victory of civil rights advocate, the US Supreme Court has ordered that Wisconsin's restrictive photo voter ID law is not to be enforced in the November election.

This means photo voter ID is not necessary for registered Wisconsin voters to cast votes.

The order is a defeat for Wisconsin Republicans who targeted the disabled, minorities, classes of the elderly and young voters who have trended heavily Democratic in their voting patterns.

These voters are more apt to not have the restrictive range of IDs Republicans crafted in their legislation, Act 23.

The case is Ruthelle Frank, et al., Applicants v. Scott Walker et al (No. 14A352).

Here is the opinion (from Rick Hasen's Election Law Blog); Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

The state of Texas' restrictive Voter ID law was also struck down this evening by a U.S. District Court judge.

The Advancement Project celebrates voting rights victory.
Earlier today, attorney Katherine Culliton-González of the Advancement Project expressed confidence, saying, voting rights advocates have an "exceedingly strong case on the facts and the law" to vacate or nullify the stay by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The Opinions read:

No. 14A352
[October 9, 2014]
The application to vacate the September 12, 2014 order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is granted and the Seventh Circuit’s stay of the district court’s permanent injunction is vacated pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari respecting case Nos. 14-2058 & 14-2059. Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this order shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the order shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court

JUSTICE ALITO, with whom JUSTICE SCALIA and JUSTICE THOMAS join, dissenting.
There is a colorable basis for the Court’s decision due to the proximity of the upcoming general election. It is particularly troubling that absentee ballots have been sent out without any notation that proof of photo identification must be submitted. But this Court “may not vacate a stay entered by a court of appeals unless that court clearly and ‘demonstrably’ erred in its application of ‘accepted standards.’”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Tex. Surgical Health Servs. v. Abbott, 571 U. S. ___, ___ (2013) (slip op.,at 1)
(SCALIA, J., concurring in denial of application to vacate stay) (quoting Western Airlines, Inc. v. Teamsters,480 U. S. 1301, 1305 (1987) (O’Connor, J., in chambers); some internal quotation marks omitted). Under that test, the application in this case should be denied.

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