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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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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