A judge extended the trial over Pennsylvania’s voter-identification law Wednesday into a 12th day after lawyers called a truce in a behind-the-scenes battle and the state filed a motion seeking to dismiss the lawsuit. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley scheduled closing arguments, which lawyers on both sides had expected as early as Wednesday, for Thursday. The March 2012 law was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature without any Democratic votes and signed by GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, but court orders have prevented it from being enforced. Democrats charged that it was a cynical attempt in a presidential election year to discourage voting by minorities, young adults and other groups that tend to vote Democratic. Republicans said it bolsters the security of Pennsylvania’s elections, though state officials have conceded that they are not aware of any cases of voter impersonation.
Most of Wednesday’s truncated court session was consumed by a closed-door hearing that had begun Tuesday.
The hearing involved a dispute over analyses by the plaintiffs that sought to underscore that dozens of voters couldn’t obtain a free, voting-only ID before last year’s election, despite changes made more than a month before the election that were designed to make those IDs readily available to registered voters. State officials objected to the testimony but agreed not to rebut it.
The motion to dismiss the case challenged the standing of three plaintiffs — the NAACP, the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters and Philadelphia’s Homeless Advocacy Project, said Alicia Hickok, a Philadelphia lawyer representing the state. McGinley said he was unlikely to grant the motion, “unless it’s extremely persuasive.”
Full Article: Closing arguments postponed in Pa. voter ID trial.