Jul 20, 2016

Fed Judge Gives Wisconsin Voting Rights Win, Hits Republican Voter Obstruction Project

Ruthelle Frank of Brokaw, Wisconsin
fights for her right to vote against Scott Walker
and Republican efforts to obstruct non-GOP
voting Wisconsin citizens in Frank v. Walker
A prominent tool used by Wisconsin Republicans to obstruct non-Republicans from voting was held unconstitutional yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman.

Adelman held citizens' right to vote conditioned on obtaining and presenting photo voter IDs needs to include the option of a signed affidavit for voters unable to get approved identification that accords to the narrowly drawn range of acceptable IDs, (Stern, Slate), (NYT), (Ferral, The Capital Times).

The case is Frank v. Walker, (MoritzLaw).

This is the second time a court has ordered major revisions to Wisconsin Act 23 (2011), passed by Republicans and only Republicans as a means of protecting elected Republicans from the voters' will.

The Republican-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the law in July 2014, holding that to pass state Constitutional muster, the state of Wisconsin must offer free photo voter IDs, in an activist opinion written to save the unconstitutional law, (Mal Contends),(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Judge Adelman is a judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

He ruled yesterday the voter obstruction law is unconstitutional under the federal Constitution, violative of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Writes Adelman: "... I conclude that the plaintiffs are very likely to succeed on their claim that Act 23 is unconstitutional as applied to those who cannot obtain ID with reasonable effort, and that the appropriate remedy is to allow those voters to present an affidavit in lieu of photo identification," (p. 36), referencing his previous ruling, in which Adelman found Wisconisn Act 23 (2011) unconstitutional in April 2104 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Another voting rights case against Wisconsin voter obstruction laws, One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol, continues in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Republican voting obstruction efforts continue. Since 2011 Wisconsin Republicans have made some 34 changes to Wisconsin election law to keep Republicans in political power, (Ferral, The Capital Times)

The Republican-dominated Wisconsin Dept. of Justice issued a statement saying the Dept. is "disappointed" in the ruling. Of course, they are.

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