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. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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