A second judge has declared Wisconsin’s voter ID law unconstitutional, further guaranteeing that the ID requirement will not be in place for elections this fall. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan wrote Tuesday that the state’s requirement that all voters show photo ID at the polls creates a “substantial impairment of the right to vote” guaranteed by the state constitution. In March, Flanagan issued an injunction temporarily blocking the law because the plaintiffs – the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera – were likely to succeed in their arguments. Flanagan made that injunction permanent in the 20-page decision he issued Tuesday.
The immediate effect of his ruling is limited because another Dane County judge, Richard Niess, permanently blocked the voter ID law in March in a case brought by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. Having a second ruling against the law makes it all the more difficult for voter ID proponents to get the law reinstated because they would need to get both orders lifted.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the state Supreme Court to take up both cases earlier this year to get a quick resolution to them, but the court declined. The state’s high court is expected to eventually take the cases. Meanwhile, two other challenges to the law have been filed in federal court. Van Hollen has appealed the ruling in the League of Women Voters case to an appeals court in Madison. That court is not expected to rule until after November, meaning photo IDs will not be required at the polls in the Aug. 14 primary and Nov. 6 election. Dana Brueck, a spokeswoman for Van Hollen, said the attorney general was likely also to appeal the decision in the suit brought by the NAACP and Voces. “We’ll make a final decision after we’ve fully reviewed the order,” she said.
Full Article: Second judge rejects state voter ID law – JSOnline.