ILNews

SCOTUS sets Indiana voter ID arguments

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Supreme Court of the United States will consider the constitutionality of Indiana's voter identification law in early 2008.

A calendar published this morning puts the consolidated Hoosier cases on the high court's docket for 10 a.m., Jan. 9. The cases are Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (07-21) and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita (07-25).

Both challenge the law that took effect 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.

Nearly two dozen amicus briefs against the law have been filed this week, representing more than 81 separate groups or individuals in the 23 briefs. The deadline for those parties supporting the law is early December. Amici parties include the League of Women Voters of Indiana and Indianapolis as the only brief to come out of the Hoosier state. Others include a brief from former and current Secretaries of State, who argue that photo ID laws such as this aren't needed to prevent fraud, and dozens of legal scholars voicing their thoughts about the topic. Only one brief is neutral: that of professor Erwin Chemerinsky, a Duke University School of Law professor who's been appointed as founding dean of the University of California-Irvine Donald Bren School of Law for 2009. All of the merit and amicus briefs can be found online at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/meritsbriefs/meritsbriefs.html.
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