Voting rights advocates want the Supreme Court to rule on Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law—and if they get their way, the impact could go way beyond the Badger State. Lawyers for the challengers to Wisconsin’s ID measure filed documents Wednesday asking the high court to review a ruling last October by a federal appeals court that upheld the controversial law. “Efforts to restrict access to the ballot demand a full and thorough hearing, which is why we are asking the Supreme Court to review this case and ultimately strike down Wisconsin’s voter ID law,” said Dale Ho of the ACLU, which is representing the challengers. It’s by no means certain that the Supreme Court will take the case. If it says no, the law would stay in effect.
But experts say there’s a good chance the court will take it. That’s because federal courts have lately issued conflicting rulings on whether and under what circumstances the Voting Rights Act (VRA) bars voter ID and the other major statewide voting restrictions that have proliferated since 2010. So the Supreme Court may see a need to clarify things with a broad ruling about the scope of the VRA in advance of the 2016 presidential election.
Rick Hasen, a prominent election law expert, wrote that there’s a “pretty good chance” the justices will weigh in. North Carolina also has asked the Supreme Court to review a ruling striking down parts of that state’s restrictive voting law. But that case hasn’t yet gone to trial, so the Wisconsin case may be the better candidate.
If the high court does take the case, it could affect similar voter ID laws in Texas, North Carolina, and a slew of other mostly southern states. Texas’s voter ID law also is in limbo after being struck down as a racially discriminatory poll tax, then put back into effect for last fall’s election.
Full Article: Supreme Court could rule on Wisconsin voter ID law | MSNBC.