The Minnesota Supreme Court plans to move quickly in determining whether to change or quash a constitutional amendment on voter ID before it appears on the November ballot. The court has ordered oral arguments for July 17, an expedited schedule that would allow it to order changes to the ballot question before the November election. Opponents have asked the court to strike the ballot question, which would require voters to obtain government-approved photo identification before voting. They say that as worded, the amendment gives short shrift to broader changes the amendment would make. In its scheduling order, the high court has also asked the state for a deadline by which a decision is needed “in order to modify the ballot, if necessary, before the November” election.
Opponents to the amendment asked the court for action last week. On Wednesday, one of those groups, Common Cause, said that the court had scheduled oral arguments. The case puts Minnesota’s high court in the same company as judicial branches across the country that are weighing the pros and cons of partisan voting disputes.
The Minnesota justices will immediately become unwilling participants in what election law professor Rick Hasen calls, “the voting wars.” Unlike most cases, in which justices get to choose, cases related to election law go directly to the high court.