Federal Court Strikes Down Voter ID

 In Case Updates, Frank v. Walker, Voter ID Litigation

Today, Judge Adelman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law.  The ruling puts another barrier in the way of the law, as even if the Wisconsin Supreme Court determines that the law is constitutional, the federal court’s injunction will still remain in effect.

Judge Adelman concluded that the law was unconstitutional because it placed impermissible burdens on the “substantial” number of people who did not have proper ID’s and would have difficulty obtaining them.  The judge found that this burden was not justified by Wisconsin’s interests in preventing voter fraud (he remarkably concluded that fraud was “nonexistent”) and preserving confidence in elections.

Judge Adelman also concluded that the voter ID law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it placed impermissible barriers to voting on minorities, who disproportionately lack ID’s and are more likely to have difficulty obtaining the necessary documents to obtain one.

The State has the right to appeal the decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and will make that decision in the coming weeks.

A copy of the decision can be found here.

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