Oct 8, 2014

Waiting for Kagan

Updated - Hundreds of thousands of voters and those who care about them are waiting on the Emergency application now before US Supreme Court Justice Kagan to restore the status quo, and rid Wisconsin of its restrictive Photo Voter ID law while the election is ongoing and adjudication continues.

Republicans hope for a favorable ruling from Kagan to block as many young and minority voters as possible. Other Wisconsin citizens caught in the voter obstruction net are a price the Republican Party is willing to inflict.

Election experts say a ruling could come at any time.

So we wait, and wait.

Check at Election Law Blog and Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker for updates.

The ACLU, one of a host of civil liberties groups fighting voter obstruction law, released a press release blasting the opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay Monday's ruling from a Seventh Circuit appeals panel that concluded Wisconsin's voter ID law is constitutional and does not violate the Voting Rights Act. 

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

 "Permitting this law to go into effect so close to the election is fueling voter confusion and election chaos in Wisconsin, particularly for the many voters who have already cast their ballots. Voters deserve a fair shake, and this last-minute disruption changes the rules of the game in an election that is already underway, and risks locking out thousands of voters. The stakes are extremely high."

 The motion filed today also notes factual inaccuracies in the appeals panel's ruling, including:

- "The Seventh Circuit also could not fathom that so many registered Wisconsin voters lack a photo ID 'in a world in which photo ID is essential to board an airplane, . . . pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open a bank account or cash a check at a currency exchange, buy a gun, or enter a courthouse to serve as a juror or watch the argument of this appeal.' Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Wisconsin fliers, patients, bank customers, gun owners, and court watchers do not need photo IDs. Only Wisconsin voters."
- "The panel inexplicably stated that key voter witnesses 'did not testify that they had tried to get [a copy of their birth certificate], let alone that they had tried but failed.' But numerous witnesses testified that they tried and failed to get a birth certificate so they could get a voter ID."
The ACLU, the ACLU of Wisconsin, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, and Dechert LLP are co-counsel in this case, Frank v. Walker.

 A copy of the full motion is available here.

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