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Friday, January 05, 2007

Ind. Decisions - More on the voter ID ruling by the 7th Circuit

Theodore Kim of the Indianapolis Star has this story today. Some quotes:

A federal appeals court on Thursday found little evidence that Indiana's photo ID law has posed a problem for voters at the polls, a decision that could help shape similar laws in other states.

Passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2005, the law requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID before they can vote.

In its 2-1 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the plaintiffs, who included Indiana Democrats and civil liberties activists, failed to demonstrate that the law hindered voting. The court also concluded the law protects the state against voter fraud, an argument made by Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

"There is not a single plaintiff who intends not to vote because of the new law," Judge Richard Posner wrote for the three-judge panel that heard the case. * * *

An April ruling by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker had upheld the Indiana law.

Kenneth Falk, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, one of the plaintiffs, said they soon would decide whether to ask the court for a rehearing. They have 14 days to do so.

"We believe the justices certainly had evidence that there were quantifiable instances of impingement," Falk said.

Rokita characterized the decision as "a victory for Hoosier voters and for election reform across the country."

Falk predicted the decision could have a ripple effect in states such as Arizona, Georgia and Missouri, where lower courts have rejected comparable laws as unconstitutional.

Deanna Martin of the AP has a report in the LCJ that concludes: "Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, said he will recommend his clients request a rehearing before the entire 7th Circuit."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 5, 2007 10:58 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions