Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Impact of Wisconsin's Unconstitutional Voter ID Defeat, and the Racial Issues Affected.

I finally have enough information to post a few videos and perspectives on the recent Voter ID setback for Scott Walker. Seeing voting rights win based on the testimony of actual witnesses is a welcome change from the predictable activist conservative Supreme Court decisions in D.C.. And of course, the federal court is just where Walker wants this to end up. Here's the latest:
The leader of the state Senate Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said that the Legislature will not go back into session to fix Wisconsin's voter ID law … Tuesday's rejection of the law left little room for lawmakers to act. “It’s not going to be resolved for the November election."

Any new law would have to be approved by Adelman, who not only struck down the voter ID law but also blocked the state from enacting any similar requirement. But Gov. Scott Walker said he's confident the law will be upheld on appeal. Walker said "This was just basically a full-out rejection of the position, and one that we think will not be sustained.” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has vowed to challenge Adelman's ruling.
From WISC Channel3000:

Check out the racial aspects of Voter ID in the video below, following more Voter ID details:
WSJ: Adelman found that Wisconsin's law disproportionately disenfranchises black and Latino voters, who are more likely to lack the required photo ID. The judge also found no evidence of the type of voter fraud that proponents, including the Republican majority in the state Legislature, have used to justify passing voter ID laws. Wisconsin's voter ID law, passed in 2011, has been suspended since 2012 by previous circuit court rulings that found it violates the state Constitution.

Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center said (of voter ID)“This is going to keep more people away from the polls than prevent fraudulent voting because there’s just no evidence that it (fraud) is a real issue,” Schultz said.

Tuesday's federal court decision could be a blueprint for challenging other such laws around the country, advocates said. Adelman's ruling was the first successful challenge to a voter ID requirement under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act … Section 2 prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting ... that results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."
ID supporters continue to point to the Indiana case, but:
7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner has expressed doubts about his 2007 ruling upholding Indiana's voter ID law. In a 2012 book, Posner wrote that the type of law he upheld is "now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.”

The difference between the Wisconsin case and the Indiana case was the powerful testimony of Wisconsin voters who described lengthy and costly ordeals to get photo identification cards after the law was passed. One of the plaintiffs, Bettye Jones, died before the case went to trial in November. Another, Lorene Hutchins, left her hospital bed to testify, but died before the decision was issued. Both had been voting without problem for decades until Wisconsin passed its law.Adelman found that about 9 percent of the state's voters, or roughly 300,000 people, lack photo IDs.
Here's MSNBC tackling the racial issues dealing with Voter ID's impact on policy. The Voter ID case is at around the 2:30 minute mark:

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