Gov. Scott Walker caricature by DonkeyHotey
In a clear-cut victory for Wisconsin voters, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman came down on the side of foes of the state's strict photo voter ID law Tuesday.

In the 90-page decision, Adelman takes note of difficulties low-income citizens have in getting an ID, the cost of obtaining background documents to get an ID—such as a birth certificate—the cost of transportation to the DMV and work time lost. He wrote:

"Given the obstacles identified above, it is likely that a substantial number of the 300,000 plus voters who lack a qualifying ID will be deterred from voting," Adelman wrote. "Although not every voter will face all of these obstacles, many voters will face some of them, particularly those who are low income."
But this won't be the end. Gov. Scott Walker has made the law one of his top priorities:
We believe the voter ID law is Constitutional and will ultimately be upheld. We're reviewing decision before deciding on potential action.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that he will appeal the ruling in Frank v. Walker. But even if an appeal were to succeed, the law would almost certainly not be in place by November's election.

Rick Hasen, who operates the much-respected Election Law Blog, had this to say:

1. This is about the best possible opinion that opponents of voter identification laws could have hoped for. It is heavy on both facts and on law. It is thoughtful and well written. It finds that a voter id law serves neither an anti-fraud purposes (because “virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin and it is exceedingly unlikely that voter impersonation will become a problem in Wisconsin in the foreseeable future”) nor voter confidence purposes. It finds that it burdens lots of voters (up to 300,000) voters. It finds these burdens fall especially on Black and Latino voters and that the reason is does is poverty, which is itself the result of prior legal discrimination. It enjoins enforcement of the law for everyone, and expresses considerable doubt that the Wisconsin legislature could amend the law to make it constitutional. It is about as strong a statement as one might imagine as to the problems the voter id law.
Hasen goes on to note that this is the first full ruling on a case in which Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act has been used in a voter ID case. Unless and until the VRA is reworked by Congress to deal with the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Section 4, a key enforcement provision of the act, the U.S. Department of Justice has vowed to use Section 2 to deal with discrimination in voting laws.


Puddytat has a post discussing the ruling here.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Daily Kos.

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