WILL Files Brief in Voter ID Case
WILL has requested permission from the District IV Court of Appeals to file an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief in League of Women Voters v. Walker. In that case, Dane County Judge Richard G. Niess held that requiring voters to show photo identification violated the Wisconsin Constitution because it imposed an impermissible additional “qualification” on voters. Amici argue that photo ID is not an additional qualification, but rather a reasonable method of allowing election officials to determine that the person showing up to vote truly is the qualified voter he or she claims to be. Judge Niess’s holding is at odds with courts in many other states that have considered the same question.
WILL represents a diverse group of individuals as amici. Margaret Farrow is a former Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin and currently chairs the board of directors of Wisconsin Eye Public Affairs Network. George Mitchell is a journalist and policy expert who has worked for both Milwaukee County and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Michael Sandvick is a retired Milwaukee police detective who headed the Milwaukee Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit examination into vote fraud in the 2004 presidential election. Aaron Rodriguez is a prominent blogger and leader in the Milwaukee Latino community. Deborah Haywood writes locally and nationally on African-American blogs.
Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and to consolidate League of Women Voters with NAACP v. Walker, a parallel case in which Dane County Judge David T. Flanagan, III, found that photo ID created a substantial and unjustifiable obstacle to voting. WILL intends to file a brief supporting that request and a brief arguing that producing photo ID is not an undue burden in the near future.
The brief can be read here.