The ruling Friday that struck down Pennsylvania’s voter-identification law is unlikely to be the last word on the case, or the issue. Supporters and detractors conceded that Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley’s 103-page ruling was almost certain to be appealed to the state Supreme Court. And other federal and state courts nationwide are hearing challenges to their voter-ID laws. Every case remains distinct, but experts say each ruling like the one in Pennsylvania could provide ammunition to both sides on the issue. “This is a tremendous PR victory for voter-ID opponents,” said Richard Hasen, an election-law expert and professor at the University of California Irvine.
In the ruling, McGinley concluded the 2012 law created insurmountable obstacles for hundreds of thousands of people to vote, many of them elderly and disabled.
“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the voter ID law does not further this goal,” he wrote.
Michael Rubin of the plantiffs’ law firm, Arnold & Porter, called the ruling “a devastating indictment of Pennsylvania’s voter-ID law.”
But Hasen said there were parts of McGinley’s ruling – such as his charge that the law did not violate the state’s equal protection provision – that “actually work in favor of those who support the constitutionality or legality of voter-ID laws.”
Full Article: Ruling on Pa. voter ID unlikely to be the last word.