Thursday, April 26, 2012

Appeals court ruling ensures no voter ID for recall elections

State justice department fails to provide evidence that lifting indefinite injunction was necessary

A three-judge court of appeals ruling has basically stated that there won't be voter ID requirements within the recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker or any of the four GOP senatorial candidates facing challenges.

The court granted a motion to expedite the appeal, but said elsewhere in its decision that there is no realistic possibility that it would issue a decision before the June 5 recall elections. And even if it did, the decision would not take effect until at least 31 days after it was issued and would be subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Emphasis added.

Besides failing to provide a rationale reason why the injunction should be lifted immediately (as well as the disenfranchisement of minority and elderly voters as a result of requiring ID's to vote), there is yet another reason to consider disallowing recently passed voter ID rules from being enforced: Walker and his Republican allies weren't elected using them. If things are to be consistent, it makes sense that the same rules for electing Walker should also be used in either reaffirming or removing him from office.

The voter ID law is also, without a doubt, unconstitutional according to Wisconsin's own governing document. As Judge Richard Niess pointed out in his ruling last month (which forced the indefinite injunction of the law in the first place) the voter ID law was in direct conflict (PDF) with the state's strict mandates for who is and isn't a qualified voter.

Of course, upon hearing this Gov. Walker could only call Judge Niess just another Dane County activist judge. Weighing those arguments against one another -- common law precedent that's over 180 years old vs. partisan bickering -- and it's clear to see why the injunction will last beyond the recall election dates.

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