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View Diary: SCOTUS Upholds GOP-Pushed Voter ID Laws (315 comments)

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  •  I know its hard to keep the Justices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy

    straight in your head, but it was STEVENS, not Scalia who wrote the opinion.

    •  Two separate opinions on why law was upheld (0+ / 0-)

      From story above: Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito concur separately "on the grounds that petitioners’ premise is irrelevant and that the burden at issue is minimal and justified"

      Weird, but appears to have happened.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 01:15:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not weird at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimpy

        Justices write concurring opinions all the time.  But the controlling opinion is Stevens' not Scalia's.

        •  unclear. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimpy

          What makes one three-justice plurality "the opinion of the Court" over another, exactly?  Neither set of justices signed onto the others' opinion.

          •  It's not an "opinion of the Court" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy

            But it is the controlling opinion.

            Marks rule makes it so.  Under Marks, that opinion is controlling which decided the case on narrowest grounds.  Stevens' opinion is narrower than Scalia's so that's the controlling one.

            •  Forgot about Marks rule ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chimpy, Drgrishka1

              ... and it's my alma mater's Dean who is one of the biggest proponents of it, IIRC.  But that's correct: Stevens holds out for an as-applied challenge; Scalia does not.

              •  Two opinions explained (0+ / 0-)

                From the more southerly of the blogging Froomkin brothers:

                As to charges that the law is the partisan hack job everyone knows it to be, Stevens writes that even if the law is partisan, there are neutral reasons for it, and that suffices to survive a facial challenge:

                ...if a nondiscriminatory law is supported by valid neutral justifications, those justifications should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators. The state interests identified as justifications for SEA 483 are both neutral and sufficiently strong to require us to reject petitioners’ facial attack on the statute. The application of the statute to the vast majority of Indiana voters is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting "the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.

                That, like it or not, is pretty standard doctrine.

                Scalia (writing for Thomas and Alito), isn’t happy that the door is left open to as-applied challenges. He’d close it now, even before the facts are in:

                The lead opinion assumes petitioners’ premise that the voter-identification law "may have imposed a special burden on" some voters, ante, at 16, but holds that petitioners have not assembled evidence to show that the special burden is severe enough to warrant strict scrutiny, ante, at 18–19. That is true enough, but for the sake of clarity and finality (as well as adherence to precedent), I prefer to decide these cases on the grounds that petitioners’ premise is irrelevant and that the burden at issue is minimal and justified.

                The good news is that this view gets only three votes. Not even Roberts would buy it.

                Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

                by chimpy on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 03:19:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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