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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Voter ID to be argued Wed., Jan. 9th

The Washington Post today has a good overview of the "Partisan Fissures Over Voter ID". Robert Barnes writes in a lengthy report:

The Supreme Court will open the new year with its most politically divisive case since Bush v. Gore decided the 2000 presidential election, and its decision could force a major reinterpretation of the rules of the 2008 contest.

The case presents what seems to be a straightforward and even unremarkable question: Does a state requirement that voters show a specific kind of photo identification before casting a ballot violate the Constitution?

The answer so far has depended greatly on whether you are a Democratic or Republican politician -- or even, some believe, judge.

"It is exceedingly difficult to maneuver in today's America without a photo ID (try flying, or even entering a tall building such as the courthouse in which we sit, without one)," Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote in deciding that Indiana's strictest-in-the-nation law is not burdensome enough to violate constitutional protections.

His colleague on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Bill Clinton appointee Terence T. Evans, was equally frank in dissent. "Let's not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic," Evans wrote. * * *

The state's Republican-led legislature passed the law in 2005 requiring voters to have ID, even though the state had never prosecuted a case of voter impersonation.

Democrats there challenged the requirement as unconstitutional, although they have not produced a person who wanted to vote but was unable to do so because of the law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 25, 2007 08:58 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions