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Friday, August 10, 2007

Ind. Decisions - More coverage of the appeal of Indiana voter ID case to U.S. Supreme Court

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's Washington reporter, Sylvia A. Smith, who reported June 30th on the cert petitions filed in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, reports today on the State of Indiana's response. Some quotes from today's story:

WASHINGTON – The 2008 presidential primaries would be thrown into flux if the Supreme Court agrees to weigh in on Indiana’s voter ID law, Attorney General Steve Carter told the justices. * * *

Last month the state Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana asked the Supreme Court to review the legal fight over Indiana’s law. The state’s voter ID requirement has operated in two primaries and a fall election.

“Despite the hue and cry about the supposed burdens of this law, and despite all of the politicians, political-party apparatus and political-interest groups in the case, no plaintiff could identify a single actual voter who could not or would not vote because of the voter ID law,” Carter said in the brief filed Monday with the Supreme Court. “This fact succinctly demonstrates why this case is unworthy of the court’s attention: It proves the law is benign.”

Besides that, Carter wrote, “granting review of the issue now would likely prompt a raft of last-minute voter-identification challenges that would disrupt the 10 2008 presidential primaries.”

The court will either agree to hear the case – ultimately choosing between the Indiana Democratic Party’s view and the state law – or refuse to consider it, which would be a victory for backers of the law. The justices have not yet said whether they will accept or reject the case.

Carter told the justices that if they are tempted to consider the case, they ought to wait until after the 2008 elections, when it would “not precipitate emergency, election-eve challenges” and when there would be a record of voter ID law enforcement to take into account.

He pointed out that by the end of February 2008, “well before this case would be decided,” 24 states and the District of Columbia will already have held presidential primaries.

“Fourteen of those states require some form of identification for all voters,” and agreeing to hear the case but not deciding the outcome before those people vote “would create new uncertainty as to the validity of all voter identification requirements, far more uncertainty than exists now,” Carter argued.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 10, 2007 08:35 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions