As someone who writes a lot about court decisions, I can vouch for the fact that actually reading the opinions can spoil the fun. A court’s rationale is often more complicated and technical than the first takeaway from the decision would suggest. Sometimes, it’s true, the jurisprudential rigmarole is just a rationalization for an outcome-driven discussion, but that happens less often than cynics think. I offer these observations to explain why I’m less outraged than some people about a Pennsylvania judge’s refusal to block implementation of that state’s voter ID law — a law, I think, that is mischievous and politically motivated. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s opinion is closely reasoned, careful (perhaps too careful; see below) and as far as I can see untainted by partisanship, though he was elected as a Republican.
We all know that Pennsylvania’s Republican Legislature approved the voter ID law with no evidence that in-person voter impersonation was a serious problem in my home state. And a lot of us can recite by heart this boast from a Republican politico: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done!” (Simpson termed those comments by House Majority Leader Michael Turzai “disturbing, tendentious.”)
Full Article: A judicious opinion on a silly voter ID law – latimes.com.