ILNews

AG urges court not to review voter ID law

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The nearing 2008 presidential election is a key reason why the Supreme Court of the United States should not accept a challenge to Indiana's two-year-old voter identification law, the Indiana Attorney General's Office argues in a brief filed with the nation's highest court.

Even while recognizing that the constitutionality of voter identification laws is a significant question that may eventually need review, the 29-page brief filed this week urges the court to deny a petition for certiorari.

This reply follows the July petition by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana asking justices to consider whether the state's law mandating in-person voters to produce a photo identification violates the First or 14th Amendments. In April, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined a rehearing en banc of the case Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, et al., No 06-2218, which challenged the law that took effect in July 2005. The 7th Circuit had previously affirmed a district judge's ruling that the law wasn't unconstitutional. Rep. William Crawford, D-Indianapolis, sued Secretary of State Todd Rokita and the Marion County Election Board, and the ACLU-Indiana had sued on behalf of those who could be impacted by the law, possibly to the extent of not voting.

The ACLU of Indiana points to the nearing 2008 presidential election and unresolved questions as reason to take this case, while the state contends the opposite and attempts to poke holes in the plaintiffs' overall case.

"Unless there is something inherently cert-worthy about all lower court decisions that uphold new voting regulations, there is nothing about this case that justifies this Court's review," the brief states. "No appellate court - state or federal - has ruled that voter identification laws of any sort violate the United States Constitution."

But even if that constitutionality question "were to be of interest generally to this Court," the brief argues this case isn't the right vehicle to address that. Furthermore, granting review now could "prompt a raft of last-minute voter identification challenges that would disrupt presidential primaries."

The AG's brief suggests the court wait until after the next general election to address this issue, as it would then be able to use election information as evidence on how the law's work.

"If voter identification laws are proliferating nationally, the Court should have far better opportunities for reviewing such laws after the 2008 elections when granting review will not precipitate emergency, election-eve challenges, and when an actual record of enforcement experience can inform the Court's decision."
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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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