Consider what North Carolina did; they decided to give voters a number of years to ready themselves for the 2016 ID law. But not here, and not by the three conservative judges working with Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen. Isn't it odd how Walker, Van Hollen and the Wis. Supreme Court knew their quick work would pay off?
It is difficult to understand the reasoning of the federal appeals court panel that permitted Wisconsin officials to enforce a controversial voter ID lawless than two months before Election Day. That’s partly because the panel’sfive-paragraph order, issued late Friday only hours after oral arguments, offered the barest rationale for lifting the stay that Judge Lynn Adelman of the federal district court had placed on the law in April. Judge Adelman issued a remarkably thorough 70-page opinion finding that the law violated both the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution by making voting harder for a substantial number of Wisconsinites — disproportionately those who are minority and poorer, and who tend to vote Democratic.
Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine, called the panel’s decision “a big, big mistake” on his blog. He added: “It is hard enough to administer an election with set rules — much less to change the rules midstream.” “Virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin,” Judge Adelman found in April.
In short, voter ID laws don’t stop fraud. They stop otherwise-eligible voters from coming to the polls. Richard Posner, a federal appellate judge who sits on the same court as the judges on the ruling panel, made just this point when he said last fall that he was mistaken to have approved a voter ID law in Indiana seven years ago.
That law was upheld by the Supreme Court, which said the challengers had not produced enough evidence of how many voters would be harmed by it, or precisely how the ID requirement would burden them. The opponents of the Wisconsin law have produced reams of evidence on both counts. If that isn’t enough for Judge Posner’s colleagues, it is hard to imagine what would be.
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