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Wisconsin Voter ID upheld once again by Appeals Court

Wisconsin Voter ID upheld once again by Appeals Court

After initial ruling last month, 7th Circuit issues full opinion that ID law in effect for November election.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Wisconsin’s new voter ID laws are constitutional, meaning that those heading to the polls in November will need to show ID before casting a vote.

Via ABC News:

State elections officials are preparing for the photo ID law to be in effect for the Nov. 4 election, even as opponents continue their legal fight. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to take emergency action and block the law.

A lower court judge, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, struck the law down as unconstitutional in April, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters who may lack such identification. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the 7th Circuit to overturn that ruling.

The three-judge panel agreed with Van Hollen. The judges said Wisconsin’s law is substantially similar to one in Indiana that the U.S Supreme Court declared was constitutional.

Last month, the same panel of the 7th Circuit issued a short Order vacating the district court injunction staying enforcement of the law, and instead held that the voter ID laws would indeed be in effect for this November’s election. The court indicated that a full decision on the merits would be forthcoming.

Progressive activists in Wisconsin and across the country had a meltdown following the ruling:

“You’re gonna have confusion. You’re gonna have to chaos — and the best thing to do is for the Supreme Court to step in and say ‘let’s take a deep breath here,’” ACLU of Wisconsin Director, Chris Ahmuty said.

The ACLU argues one month isn’t enough time for some voters without photo IDs to get one. Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who supports the law, says she’s open to extending hours at DMV locations.

“Let’s see how it goes in the next couple of weeks in terms of the demand, and see what we need to do. I think that could be an option if there’s a rush on the DMVs,” Senator Darling said.

“Let’s see how this goes for a couple of weeks?! That’s really incredible. The election will practically be here,” Ahmuty said.

This would still be a persuasive argument if Wisconsin officials hadn’t been preparing for this exact moment since they found out that the Court would most likely hold in favor of the new voter ID laws, but that’s not stopping some from doing everything they can to try to convince Wisconsin voters that they’re being victimized:

Walker’s supporters are more likely than Burke’s to show up at the polls in the first place. According to Marquette University’s latest polls, Walker leads by a five-point margin among those who say they are certain to vote. But, among those who aren’t as certain they’ll make it to the polls, Burke leads by an eleven-point margin. This gap is common in midterm elections, since Republican voters—usually white, wealthy, and older—have more time and resources to make it to polling stations for the elections that get less hype. The voter ID law might deepen this disparity, since it creates one more barrier to vote for those already on the fence.

There it is: Scott Walker might win because of this law, ergo, DOOM.

The legal challenges will continue after November, but at least for now, Wisconsin’s laws are backed by the Courts.

You can read the opinion here.

Wisconsin Voter ID Merits Opinion – 7th Circuit


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If you run a business, you know that even the smallest actions require myriads of permits, studies, fees, licenses and agency approvals. People believe in a characterization of business owners that portrays them as wealthy and conniving, so those restraints are widely accepted. Flip that around even to the slightest degree, and people are outraged.

Very interesting opinion.

The district judge found that in Milwaukee County, 97.6% of eligible white voters had photo ID (or the underlying documentation necessary to obtain the photo ID), and that 95.5% of eligible black voters and 94.1% of eligible Hispanic voters did.

As the opinoin notes, photo ID is necessary to board a plane, enter Canada, drive a car, buy a beer, purchase pseudoephedrine for a stuffy nose or pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, open a bank account or cash a check, buy a gun, or enter a courthouse.

Thank you, thank you, Judge Easterbrook!

    chessy in reply to Mike45. | October 7, 2014 at 1:32 am

    The opinion is not only interesting; it’s also an overt smackdown of the district court. Appellate courts are usually a bit more subtle in telling the underlying court that it screwed up, but not in this case. Between its criticisms of all the things the district court failed to find/do, and the sneering references to “the evidence” of “marketing consultants,” the opinion is quite entertaining.

An id isn’t a barrier to anyone except an illegal alien or someone intent on committing voter fraud. If those two groups are inconvenienced, it’s a good thing.

This seems straightforward, purely from the standpoint of public hygiene.

Which begs the question of why they were so damned intent on avoiding an auditable system.

    Rab in reply to Valerie. | October 7, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Make that “Which raises the question…”

    Sorry, but I just feel compelled to point out that the term “beg the question” has a very specific meaning and is very rarely used correctly these days.

“The ACLU argues one month isn’t enough time for some voters without photo IDs to get one.”
Just have the NAACP use the same CHURCH vans they use to get people to the polls to take them to DMV.

To normal people it may seem odd that Democrats are so crazy over this, since nearly everyone already has a photo ID – including the 93 year old lady in NC who they had saying it would be an inconvenience to get one.

But there are lots of registered Democrats who rarely or never show up, thanks to all the voter drives over the years. So the local precinct captains get their lists, and when those people don’t show, they send in ringers to vote for them. It’s easy – unless you require ID.

Then even the poll workers who might be inclined to ignore abnormalities by Democrats get nervous.

It does intimidate some would-be voters – the frauds.

So you can see why Democrats are throwing fits.

“The ACLU argues one month isn’t enough time for some voters without photo IDs to get one.”

Well, it’s not like this law was just passed yesterday. IIRC, it was passed three years ago, providing those inclined to get an ID in order to vote legally plenty of time to do so. Indeed, it’s been so long that a fair number of those who had drivers’ licenses issued before the law will have had to renew them since.

The people who promised to get the law overturned overstated their case’s legal merits, but it’s the people who listened to them that will pay the price. Besides which, didn’t the Wisconsin law provide for free ID cards for low-income voters?