With deceptively little fanfare or attention, a federal judge in Wisconsin is poised to preside over the first trial challenging a photo ID law under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On Nov. 4, 2013, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman will hear a challenge brought by Advancement Project and pro bono counsel Arnold & Porter to the state’s 2011 restrictive law. The lawsuit hinges on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars racially discriminatory voting practices. The statute is taking on increased importance in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the court blocked preclearance protections under Section 5 of the law. The Wisconsin trial is noteworthy for several reasons. First, as the leading democracy of the world, the U.S. should work to keep our voting system free, fair, and accessible to all Americans. Yet, Wisconsin is one of dozens of states pursuing restrictive voter laws that block some eligible Americans from voting, denying them the opportunity to participate equally in our democracy. Wisconsin’s photo ID law is one of strictest in the country. If the law is allowed to go back into effect, it stands to turn back the clock on Wisconsin’s historically strong protection of voting rights.Full Article: Wisconsin's Anti-Voting Law Heads to Federal Court | Penda D. Hair.
Sep 19 2013