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ACLU wants SCOTUS to hear Indiana voter ID case

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The Supreme Court of the United States is now being asked to weigh in on Indiana's two-year-old voter identification law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Indiana Democratic Party decided separately May 16 to seek certiorari in the case. Petitions are due in mid-July.

Discussion about the Hoosier suit's trek to the nation's highest court has circled since April 5 when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declined to rehear en banc the case Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, et al., No. 06-2218, which challenged the state's voter identification law that went into effect in July 2005.

That ruling was the latest in the legal scuffle initiated by Rep. William Crawford, D-Indianapolis, against Secretary of State Todd Rokita and the Marion County Election Board. The ACLU of Indiana had sued on behalf of those who could be impacted - possibly to the extent of not voting - by the law.

Opponents argued that the law would unfairly target people who might have trouble getting an ID, but U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in April 2006 ruled the law doesn't infringe on anyone's right to cast a ballot. Her ruling said opponents had not produced evidence of a single person who would not be able to vote under the law.

The federal Circuit Court upheld her ruling and the state law Jan. 4, with one of the three panelists - Judge Terrence Evans - disagreeing. In that opinion, Evans wrote in a strongly worded dissent that the state law is a "not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic. ... The potential for mischief with this law is obvious."

He also wrote the court should strictly scrutinize the law and strike it down as an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote.

The Indiana ACLU's legal director Ken Falk has spent the past two months researching similar cases and is aware of court challenges nationwide that are similar to Indiana's, including Georgia, Arizona." Many states are trying to adopt these ID-based requirements, and this is an issue that's being litigated across the country," he said. "It's something that will get up there at some point."

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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