The legal challenges surrounding Wisconsin’s contentious voter ID law just got a little more complicated.

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union, League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin and Advancement Project asked for a full-court hearing to reconsider September 12th’s ruling allowing the State to implement voter ID requirements in time for the midterm elections.

Via Bloomberg:

Contending last week’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago came too close to the election date and will sow confusion among voters and polling place officials, the American Civil Liberties Union, League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin and Advancement Project asked for a rehearing by a full 10-judge panel.

The groups submitted their request yesterday. The court today gave Wisconsin officials until Sept. 23 to respond.

“No court has permitted a voter ID law to go into effect this close to an election based on last-minute changes to the law,” the opponents of the measure said in yesterday’s filing.

September 12’s ruling allowed the provisions to go into effect only because the State eliminated barriers to acquiring a valid ID. This countered arguments that the requirements could cause irreparable harm to voters:

The district court held the state law invalid, and enjoined its implementation, even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008). It did this based on findings that it thought showed that Wisconsin did not need this law to promote an important governmental interest, and that persons of lower income (disproportionately minorities) are less likely to have driver’s licenses, other acceptable photo ID, or the birth certificates needed to obtain them, which led the court to hold that the statute violates §2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973.

After the district court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revised the procedures to make it easier for persons who have difficulty affording any fees to obtain the birth certificates or other documentation needed under the law, or to have the need for documentation waived. Milwaukee Branch of NAACP v. Walker, 2014 WI 98 Guly 31, 2014). This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court.

If the court agrees to reconsider the interim ruling, the full (Republican-led panel) will hear the case.


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