After winning their first round in Commonwealth Court last week, state officials are in no hurry to hear what the state Supreme Court may have to say about Pennsylvania’s new voter-ID law. The state Attorney General’s Office, defending the law against contentions that it will disenfranchise thousands of voters, filed papers Tuesday suggesting that the Supreme Court consider the case the week of Oct. 15 – barely three weeks before the Nov. 6 general election. Opponents of the law say the dispute should be settled as quickly as possible so voters will have a clear idea of what will be required of them when they go to the polls.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ruled last Wednesday that he was legally obliged to defer to the legislature’s judgment on how to conduct state elections. He found that the state’s interest in protecting public confidence in elections justified the burden – not an onerous one for most voters, he wrote – of asking voters to provide photo identification. In their appeal, opponents of the voter-ID law asked the Supreme Court to expedite briefings and put the case on its calendar for the week of Sept. 10.
The state disagreed. “Scheduling argument for the October 2012 term in Pittsburgh is more realistic than attempting to schedule it for the September term in Philadelphia,” said the state’s motion, filed by Attorney General Linda L. Kelly.
Full Article: Pa. wants later date for voter-ID appeal.