Arkansas’ highest court on Wednesday said the state can enforce a voter ID law in the May 22 primary election despite a judge declaring the measure unconstitutional. By a vote of 6-1 the Supreme Court put on hold a Pulaski County judge’s decision blocking the law’s enforcement. Early voting for the primary begins Monday. The state Supreme Court did not elaborate on its reasons for the decision in its one-page order. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray last week ruled the law was an unconstitutional effort to reinstate a 2013 voter ID law. That 2013 measure was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 2014. “We now have clear direction from the Court that the law we have been operating under since last August remains in effect for the Primary Election, until further orders from the Supreme Court,” said Chris Powell, a spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin, who had requested the ruling.
The high court’s ruling puts Gray’s decision on hold while justices consider the state’s appeal of her decision against the voter ID measure. Both sides are set to begin filing briefs in the appeal next month.
“We are disappointed for the voters in Arkansas that the Arkansas Secretary of State and the Attorney General continue to want to enforce an unconstitutional Voter ID law,” Jeff Priebe, an attorney for the Little Rock voter who challenged the measure, said in an email. “We look forward to presenting the whole case to the Arkansas Supreme Court.”
Full Article: Arkansas Supreme Court says state can enforce voter ID law.