Thursday, March 15, 2012

Injunction of Unconstitutional Voter Suppression Upheld

Last week, the far-right Republican Voter Suppression Law that adds the unjustified requirement of showing only certain types of photo ID to vote was stopped by a temporary injunction ordered from one Wisconsin judge, and then later in the week another Wisconsin judge issued a permanent injunction against the law. Both judges found the law to be unconstitutional, because the law goes "steps beyond the proper authority of the Legislature" to restrict voting by specific groups. Judge Richard Niess, the second judge said in his order, "The government may not disqualify an elector who possesses those qualifications not contained in Article III, such as a photo ID."

Walker and the Republican leadership lit a fire under the normally slow-moving Attorney General Van Hollen's butt to appeal the decisions. Remember, Van Hollen refused to help the FBI in their criminal investigation of Walker and his aides as well as the election debacle in Waukesha last spring. However, today, the first judge, David T. Flanagan in Waukesha, struck down the motion, finding that "based on careful scrutiny" the law "is in violation of the Wisconsin Constitution," and there doesn't seem to be any argument otherwise.

So, no more IDs to vote, and it doesn't sound like any judge would have a leg to stand on in support of the constitutionality of the law. Judge Niess said that would be a clear case of judicial activism. So, we likely will never need IDs to vote, as should have always been the case. Otherwise, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where Van Hollen is trying to send both cases, is more than FUBAR.

For those of you worried about increased voter fraud, the Voter Suppression Law wouldn't stop any of Wisconsin's previous cases of voter fraud. So, our elections are protected as well with and without the Voter Suppression Law. This is one of the reasons it's unjustified and unconstitutional, it doesn't make any practical effort towards stopping voter fraud, but it makes great strides to limit the voting of certain groups.

No more IDs and no more asking for IDs to vote. Make sure everyone knows so they can save money by not purchasing one. The halting of free photo IDs is one reason the permanent injunction won't be lifted unless the Republicans can prove the law is constitutional.

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