« Ind. Gov't. - More on: Attorney General Opinions, and Golf Carts | Main | Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 10 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decision(s)) »

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ind. Courts - 7th Cir. "to hear Wisconsin's voter ID, early voting cases today"

Patrick Marley reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a long story that begins:

CHICAGO – Wisconsin’s voter ID and early voting laws return to the limelight Friday.

A panel of three federal appeals judges will hear arguments to determine whether to reinstate restrictions on early voting and how to deal with people who have the most difficulty getting identification for voting.

The pair of cases the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing will shape what voting rules are in place next year, when Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin are up for re-election.

Since 2011, Walker and Republicans who control the Legislature have approved the voter ID law, eliminated early voting on weekends and tightened other voting regulations. A string of lawsuits followed.

Last year, U.S. District Judge James Peterson in Madison struck down the restrictions on early voting and a prohibition on allowing early voting in more than one place in each municipality. He found those laws discriminated against minorities.

His ruling allowed local officials to decide when and where to allow early voting. Milwaukee and Madison — the state’s Democratic strongholds — conducted early voting at multiple locations, but the results in November were good for Republicans nonetheless. Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

The panel of judges on Friday will hear an appeal from Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel seeking to put the early voting restrictions back in place.

It will also hear a separate appeal from the liberal groups that brought the lawsuit — One Wisconsin Institute and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund — over aspects of the case they lost. For instance, the groups want the courts to overturn Republican-backed laws that ended straight-ticket voting and the use of special registration deputies to help people sign up to vote.

The panel will also hear arguments on aspects of the voter ID law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 24, 2017 08:59 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts