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View Diary: BREAKING: PA Supreme Court Vacates Voter ID Law; Sends It Back To Lower Court For Review. Update! (126 comments)

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  •  two dissents urged that the law be enjoined (13+ / 0-)

    There are two dissents--one "statement" and one "opinion.

    From the "statement" by Justice Todd:

    Like the majority, I am not “satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials.” But, unlike the majority, I have heard enough about the Commonwealth's scramble to meet this law's requirements. There is ample evidence of disarray in the record, and I would not allow chaos to beget chaos. The stated underpinnings of Act 18 — election integrity and voter confidence — are undermined, not advanced, by this Court's chosen course. Seven weeks before an election, the voters are entitled to know the rules.
    By remanding to the Commonwealth Court, at this late date, and at this most critical civic moment, in my view, this Court abdicates its duty to emphatically decide a legal controversy vitally important to the citizens of this Commonwealth. The eyes of the nation are upon us, and this Court has chosen to punt rather than to act. I will have no part of it.

    From the opinion by Justice McCaffery:

    I was elected by the people of our Commonwealth, by Republicans, Democrats, Independents and others, as was every single Justice on this esteemed Court. I cannot now be a party to the potential disenfranchisement of even one otherwise qualified elector, including potentially many elderly and possibly disabled veterans who fought for the rights of every American to exercise their fundamental American right to vote. While I have no argument with the requirement that all Pennsylvania voters, at some reasonable point in the future, will have to present photo identification before they may cast their ballots, it is clear to me that the reason for the urgency of implementing Act 18
    prior to the November 2012 election is purely political. That has been made abundantly clear by the House Majority Leader. Exhibit 42 at R.R. 2073a. I cannot in good conscience participate in a decision that so clearly has the effect of allowing politics to trump the solemn oath that I swore to uphold our Constitution. That Constitution has made the right to vote a right verging on the sacred, and that right should never be
    trampled by partisan politics.
    Accordingly, I respectfully dissent from the Per Curiam Order to the extent that it does not direct the Commonwealth Court to grant immediate injunctive relief but, instead, remands to the Commonwealth Court for additional hearings. I would remand to the Commonwealth Court for the express purpose of directing that court to immediately grant a preliminary injunction.

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