A Wisconsin judge has denied a request to stay a ruling strking down voter ID.
Opponents of Wisconsin’s voter ID laws won a small victory yesterday when U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman denied the state of Wisconsin’s request for a stay of his decision forbidding the enforcement of voter ID laws. Judge Adelman rejected the petition because he felt that the state was unlikely to overturn on appeal his original ruling blocking the requirements from going into effect.
Wisconsin’s voter ID laws are currently under fire in both state and federal courts. Last month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the laws as constitutional, but this did not convince the District Court to set aside its original ruling.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, however, is optimistic about his chances on appeal. He has already filed a petition with the U.S. Seventh Circuit asking the Court to allow Wisconsin’s voter ID provisions to go into effect for the November 2014 elections.
[Judge Adelman] clearly made a ruling that is contradictory to the law. The United States Supreme Court has already held that voter ID in some forms can be constitutional…this judge has essentially said that it can’t be constitutional, period, because it makes it harder for Latinos and African Americans to be able to get a photo ID and therefore to vote. That’s just not what the law is.
Judge Adelman went so far in his decision as to say if the state amends this law, come back to me, because I’m going to strike it down again. I think it’s tremendously important that you and I when we go to the polls know that our vote is going to count…and right now WI voting laws are so loose that just about anyone can show up to vote, purport to be somebody else, and get away with it. And it’s almost impossible for us in Wisconsin, as law enforcers, to prove that it’s been done.
Judge Adelman has gone completely against the verbiage in the Voting Rights Act, he’s gone completely against what our Supreme Court has already ruled, and I’m extremely confident that we’ll prevail.
The federal courts are split on the issue of voter ID. The fact that there is no clear mandate on the issue means that this is a fantastic opportunity for conservatives to drive the narrative away from race and age and toward solutions to the problems most commonly touted by those opposed to ID requirements.
General Van Hollen indicated that lawmakers in Wisconsin are open to amending current law as a way of addressing the complaints of organizations like LULAC and the League of Women Voters; this is what we should be talking about. Ideological arguments tend to get lost in the chatter, but if we commit to doing everything we can to give the people what they need to actually make their vote count, public pressure may just shift away from the courts and onto states—or even the DoJ—that don’t work as hard to protect the integrity of the vote.
You can read General Van Hollen’s appeal to the Seventh Circuit here.DONATE
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