Aug 12, 2016

US Dist. Judge: Wisconsin Voter Obstruction Laws Remain Halted, Injunction Against Voter ID Is Delayed

Update: Ernest A. Canning has the story and analysis of an emergency appeal before the full court of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Writes Canning, "The plaintiffs in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen, one of several long-running court challenges to Wisconsin Republicans' strict Photo ID voting restriction, have filed an emergency petition with the full en banc U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that it overturn its previous photo ID decision in Frank v. Walker.
The still pending Frank case as well as the One Wisconsin challenge have, to say the least, undergone a circuitous recent history in a number of federal courts that oversee Badger State election law," (Brad Blog).
In a victory for voting rights, numerous Republican-enacted voter obstruction laws remain halted from enforcement, and one aspect of a July 29 order against the Republican-enacted voter ID law will take effect after the November 8 presidential election, ordered U.S. District Judge James Peterson yesterday in One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen.

The status of two Wisconsin federal voting rights cases, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen and Frank v. Walker, is fluid and the September 22 date at which the Wisconsin Elections Commission will begin mailing absentee ballots is approaching.

On or after Sept. 22, it is unlikely the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will change the status quo of the amassed injunctions, stays and motions to vacate as voting rights advocates continue the fight against Republican laws to obstruct Wisconsin voters.

It is a judicial doctrine, the Purcell Principle, that federal courts will not change election laws after the voting process has begun.

"District Court in Other WI Case Mostly Denies WI Request for Stay of Ruling," reads an Election Law piece by Rick Hasen, referring to two federal voting rights Wisconsin cases now likely facing scrutiny soon in federal appellate court.

Notes Hasen:

The State of Wisconsin tries to spin this as a win.

I assume the next step will be a request for a stay at the 7th Circuit, and one question is whether this goes to the same panel that just stayed the affidavit softening in the first WI voter id case. 

The plain language of the Peterson order puts the lie to the Republican spin-doctors at the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice. Writes Hasen, noting:

IT IS ORDERED that defendants’ motion to stay the court’s permanent injunction pending appeal, Dkt. 241, is DENIED in substantial part. As explained above, only the provisions of the injunction requiring the state to reform its IDPP within 30 days of the date of the court’s opinion on the merits are STAYED pending the outcome of the parties’ appeals. The rest of the injunction remains in effect, [p. 12, August 11, 2016 order].

Wisconsin corporate media without exception has brought the Republican spin.

Why is the DoJ spinning instead of informing and reporting? Because the Wisconsin DoJ is a Republican operation.

The Republican effort took a new turn at the polling place last Tuesday, as Republicans are using control of the polling place to obstruct voters, in violation of Wisconsin statutes and administrative rules, to obstruct voters.

This points to potential trouble at the polling place, and one hopes placement of U.S. DoJ officials in Dane, Racine and Milwaukee counties, as Republicans look to obstruct on a larger scope in November.

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