ILNews

High court grants transfer to voter ID case

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The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the state's voter identification law violates the Indiana Constitution.

The high court granted transfer today to League of Women Voters of Indiana Inc., et al. v. Todd Rokita, No. 49A02-0901-CV-40, in which the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously found the law "regulates voters in a manner that's not uniform and impartial." The appellate court reversed Marion Superior Judge S.K. Reid's 2008 ruling that the statute didn't violate Indiana Constitution Article 2, Section 2 and Article 1, Section 23.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office filed the petition for transfer in October. The statute has been upheld by the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court in William Crawford, et al. v. Marion County Election Board, 128 S. Ct. 1610 (2008).

The League of Women Voters claimed the voter ID law passed in 2005 violates Article 2, Section 2 of the state constitution that says citizens only need to meet age, citizenship, and residency requirements in order to vote in person. The plaintiffs believed any change must come through a constitutional amendment. The plaintiffs also argued the statute violates the state constitution under the equal privileges and immunities section because it's created disparate treatment of in-person voters because not every photo ID is uniform.

The Court of Appeals found the statute unconstitutional on its face. Indiana's lack of stringent absentee-voter regulations makes it unreasonable for this voter ID statute to put additional burdens only on in-person voters and not the others, the panel held. The judges also found Crawford didn't address the state statute questions at issue in the instant case.

The presidents of League of Women Voters of Indiana and League of Women Voters of Indianapolis released a joint statement today regarding the transfer.

"We are confident that after Indiana's highest court carefully examines the Voter I.D. Law, it will conclude that the burdens it imposes on otherwise qualified voters who vote in person are not justified by, or reasonably related to, its alleged purpose of preventing fraud," the statement said. "It is unjust that in-person voters be required to present government identification if they want their ballot counted. Such a requirement imposes an additional voting qualification not authorized in our state's Constitution."

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita also released a statement saying, "I am fully confident that when the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court review the merits of our exemplary law they, like their counterparts on the U.S. Supreme Court, will allow the law to stand."

Oral arguments haven't been set but will be scheduled by a further order, according to the transfer.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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