Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Permanent Injunction of Unconstitutional Voter Suppression Upheld

Two weeks ago, the Voter Suppression Law requiring an ID to vote that was passed by the far-right Republicans in Wisconsin was found unconstitutional by two judges, one from conservative Waukesha and one from liberal Dane. 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." The unconstitutional law was then halted by a temporary and a permanent injunction from the respective judges.

However, Governor Scott Walker, by demanding the injunctions be stayed, continued to insist upon suppressing the votes of the poor, the elderly, and minorities. 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. Fortunately for the people of Wisconsin, our judges will have none of that.

Last week, Judge David T. Flanagan denied Walker's request to stay his temporary injunction, and yesterday, Judge Niess denied Walker's request to stay his permanent injunction. Niess said, "It is no law at all."

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 Walker 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 somehow prove the law is constitutional.

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