Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court justices on Thursday aggressively questioned whether a politically charged law requiring photo identification from each voter should take effect for the Nov. 6 presidential election and whether it guarantees the right to vote. With the election just 54 days away, the justices did not say when they will decide, although lawyers in the case expected them to rule before the end of September. The high court appeal follows a lower court’s refusal last month to halt the law from taking effect. The law , championed by Republicans over the objections of Democrats , is now part of the heated election-year political rhetoric in the presidential swing state and has inspired protests, warnings of Election Day chaos and voter education drives.
Republicans justified the law as a bulwark against potential election fraud. The tougher rules were already a lightning rod for supporters of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, when a top state Republican lawmaker said in June that the ID requirement “is going to allow (former Massachusetts) Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
The six justices , three Republicans and three Democrats , saved their most aggressive questions for lawyers representing the state and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who signed the law in March. A couple exchanges became testy. In opening statements by a lawyer for the plaintiffs, justices asked whether it would be acceptable for the photo identification requirement to be phased in over a longer period of time , say, a period covering two federal elections.
Full Article: Pa. high court takes hard look at voter ID law.