ILNews

D.C. attorney argues voter I.D. case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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One of the most vocal civil liberties advocates battling Indiana's voter identification law won't make his pitch to the Supreme Court of the United States this week.

When the nation's highest court hears the much-anticipated arguments Wednesday morning, Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher will argue for the state attorney general's office. But Ken Falk, who heads the legal department of American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, won't face the justices, nor will Indianapolis attorney William Groth, who represents the plaintiff, the Indiana Democratic Party.

Both have turned the spot over to Paul M. Smith, a partner at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., who's argued before the high court a dozen times.

"I lost the coin toss," Falk said, who's argued before the court twice. "But I'll be there watching."

The court's nine justices will take up a pair of Indiana cases at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The combined cases are Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, No. 07-21, and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita, No. 07-25, which challenge the state's nearly three-year-old voter photo ID law that has been upheld by both U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The cases are the first arguments scheduled that morning and are expected to last about an hour.

In the days preceding the arguments, multiple parties and organizations are holding news conferences and speaking out about the controversial and highly publicized issue, which takes center stage in a presidential election year. About 40 amicus briefs have been filed for both sides, with 23 filed for the petitioners against the law and 16 supporting the respondents in favor of the state. One brief from a law professor and dean is neutral.

The Supreme Court's arguments are not televised or broadcast live, but coverage can be found online at the Indiana Lawyer Web site, as well as in the Indiana Lawyer Daily and print editions of the newspaper.
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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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