A federal appeals court in Chicago Friday reinstated for now Wisconsin’s voter ID law hours after the three-judge panel heard arguments on the subject. The move by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for the state to implement the law for the Nov. 4 election, though it does not stop the ongoing appeal over whether the measure is unconstitutional. “The state of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections,” the unsigned two-page order reads. The appellate court said Friday that it was satisfied by changes imposed on the law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a separate decision earlier this year. “This reduces the likelihood of irreparable injury, and it also changes the balance of equities and thus the propriety of federal injunctive relief. The panel has concluded that the state’s probability of success on the merits of this appeal is sufficiently great that the state should be allowed to implement its law, pending further order of this court,” the order reads.
Attorneys representing groups that successfully sued over Wisconsin’s voter ID law came in for tough questioning Friday before a federal appeals panel, with Judge Diane Sykes saying they had won “a whopper” of a remedy at trial and questioning why the law shouldn’t be put in place for the Nov. 4 election. “We are on the eve of an election,” Sykes said.
After the hourlong arguments, attorneys for those suing over the voter ID law told reporters it would be irresponsible for the court to put the law in place for this fall. They said no court had never put a voter ID law into effect so near an election. “A court can do whatever it wants, but I think it would be extremely irresponsible for a court to do something that would so change the landscape not only for the (state Division of Motor Vehicles) but for election officials…,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.
Full Article: Appeals panel reinstates Wisconsin’s voter ID law.