Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Upheld


I'm sad about this . . .

Philadelphia Inquirer Story
Even before Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. released his decision, lawyers on both sides of the case had pledged to appeal the ruling.

A petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected within days, if not hours. More legal briefs and courtroom arguments are expected. Others have been eyeing a parallel challenge in federal court.

Simpson denied a request for a preliminary injunction blocking the state from implementing the law, which requires voters to show state-issued identification before casting ballots.

Opponents complained the new law will unfairly bar as many as 1 million Pennsylvanians from the polls. Supporters say it was necessary to cut down on election fraud.

From Think Progress:
Voting rights advocates plan to appeal the case to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which will likely issue its own ruling before the November election. There is currently an even 3-3 split between Democrats and Republicans on the Court; the 7th Justice, Republican Joan Orie Melvin, is under suspension because of an unrelated corruption scandal.

Since Simpson ruled to uphold the law, Democrats will need one crossover vote to win a majority and strike down the law. Chief Justice Ronald Castille, a moderate Republican from Philadelphia, is most likely to side with the Democrats.

The federal Justice Department is also looking into whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID complies with federal law.

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