Groups that blocked the state’s new voter ID law in two separate lawsuits are fighting an effort to have the state Supreme Court take over the cases and render a ruling before the Nov. 6 election. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen last month asked the high court to take the cases from two appeals courts, consolidate them and rule before the election. The Supreme Court this spring rejected an earlier effort by Van Hollen to take over the cases. Van Hollen argues it is appropriate to take the cases now that they both have full trial records. On Tuesday, the plaintiffs in both cases made separate filings arguing the high court should not take the cases. “The only thing that has changed since April, when this court last had the opportunity to take up this case, is the political climate,” said a filing from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.Full Article: Groups tell Supreme Court to wait on taking voter ID cases - JSOnline.
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.Full Article: Second judge rejects state voter ID law - JSOnline.
A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s voter identification law won’t be resolved before this spring’s recall elections. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan set a schedule Thursday that will extend the case at least several weeks beyond the June 5 general recall election, saying the matter is complex and he wants to give attorneys ample time to document their arguments. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera filed a lawsuit in Madison in December alleging the ID requirements place an unreasonable burden on voters. But state attorneys argue few people lack photo IDs and say concerns about obtaining IDs are overblown.Full Article: Judge postpones voter ID law decision until after recall election | Wausau Daily Herald | wausaudailyherald.com.
Wisconsin: Voter ID case won’t be resolved for Walker, senate recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern
A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s voter identification law won’t be resolved before this spring’s recall elections. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan set a briefing schedule Thursday that will extend the case at least several weeks beyond the general recall election on June 5, saying the matter is complex and he wants to give attorneys ample time to document their arguments. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and immigrant advocacy group Voces de la Frontera filed a lawsuit in Madison in December alleging the ID requirements create an unreasonable burden on voters. But state attorneys argue that few people lack photo IDs and that concerns about obtaining IDs are overblown.Full Article: Voter ID case won’t be resolved for Walker, senate recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.
The state Supreme Court refused Monday to immediately take up a pair of cases that struck down the state’s new voter ID law, a decision that will likely mean citizens won’t have to show identification when they cast ballots in recall elections in May and June. The court’s terse orders send the cases back to two different appeals panels, though the cases could eventually return to the Supreme Court. The justices issued their orders just three weeks before the May 8 primary for Democrats to pick a candidate to run against Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan in March blocked the voter ID law for the April presidential primary, saying it likely disenfranchised voters, based on testimony that there are more than 220,000 Wisconsin residents who do not have photo IDs but who are otherwise qualified to vote. A trial in that case began Monday, and Flanagan is expected to decide whether to lift his injunction or block the law permanently after it concludes this week. The case was brought by the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.Full Article: Supreme Court refuses to take up voter ID cases - JSOnline.
A trial began Monday in a case challenging Wisconsin’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Also on Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said that it won’t be taking up two cases pertaining to the state’s controversial voter ID law. That means the trial starting Monday in one of the two lawsuits is proceeding. The news came as lawyers made opening arguments in connection to a lawsuit brought by the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera, an immigrants’ rights group. Both groups argue the law disenfranchises voters. NAACP attorney Richard Saks said testimony will show there are hundreds of thousands of voters who don’t have the required ID necessary to vote. “As such, this law needlessly imposes an onerous and unreasonable burden on otherwise qualified voters from participating in elections in the state of Wisconsin,” Saks said.Full Article: Trial in voter ID lawsuit begins | News - Channel3000.com.
Voting Blogs: The War for Wisconsin: As Photo ID Restrictions Hit Constitutional Roadblock, Hard Right Files 29 ‘Ethics Complaints’ | BradBlog
In Wisconsin, two Dane County Circuit Court judges, David Flanagan and Richard Niess both issued injunctions against the state GOP’s polling place photo ID restriction (“Act 23”) — Flanagan’s temporary, Niess’ permanent — after finding that the law was in direct violation of the WI state constitution’s guaranteed right to vote. Immediately after the first of those two injunctions, issued by Judge Flanagan in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker, the WI GOP filed an ethics complaint with the WI Judicial Commission, alleging that the judge had violated the WI Code of Judicial Conduct because he had signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and failed to disclose that fact before issuing his ruling. However, when Flanagan’s temporary injunction was promptly followed not only by Neiss’ permanent injunction one week later, but by a subsequent refusal by an intermediate WI appellate court to stay the temporary injunction, the hard-right, operating under another right-wing billionaire front group, the Landmark Legal Foundation, filed ethics complaints against 29 WI judges who also signed recall petitions. If you can’t beat ’em, hit ’em with ethics violations complaints…Full Article: The BRAD BLOG : The War for Wisconsin: As Photo ID Restrictions Hit Constitutional Roadblock, Hard Right Takes Aim At WI Judiciary, Files 29 'Ethics Complaints'.
The state’s top election official said Tuesday he told the state Department of Justice he did not want to immediately appeal two decisions blocking the state’s new law requiring photo IDs at the polls because voters should have plenty of advance knowledge of what rules will be in place for the April 3 election. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen did not heed that request and on Thursday appealed both decisions. “We advised the attorney general’s office that it would be better if nothing changed before April 3,” said Kevin Kennedy, director of the state Government Accountability Board. “We don’t want the public in a yo-yo type situation.” Dana Brueck, a spokeswoman for Van Hollen’s Department of Justice, said in a statement the best way to prevent voter confusion would be for the appeals courts to quickly reinstate the photo ID requirement.Full Article: Top election official says he did not want immediate appeals of photo ID - JSOnline.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Thursday that his office had filed appeals in two challenges to Wisconsin’s voter photo ID law. “Both of these cases involve novel constitutional challenges to the voter ID law,” Van Hollen said in a news release. ” Due to the important statewide legal and policy issues at stake, defendants are suggesting in their filings today that certification of both cases to the Supreme Court would be appropriate.” Judges in Dane County had ruled against the law in both cases one brought by the NAACP’s MIlwaukee branch and Voces de la Frontera, and the other by the League of Women Voters.Full Article: Van Hollen files appeals in 2 voter ID cases - JSOnline.
A Dane County judge struck down the state’s new voter ID law on Monday – the second judge in a week to block the requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls. “A government that undermines the very foundation of its existence – the people’s inherent, pre-constitutional right to vote – imperils its legitimacy as a government by the people, for the people, and especially of the people,” Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess wrote. “It sows the seeds for its own demise as a democratic institution. This is precisely what 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 does with its photo ID mandates.” Niess’ eight-page ruling goes further than the one issued by another judge last week because it permanently invalidates the law for violating the state constitution. Tuesday’s order by Dane County Judge David Flanagan halted the law for the April 3 presidential primary and local elections, but not beyond that. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen promised to quickly appeal the decision.Full Article: Judge rules Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional - JSOnline.
Last week brought two rare pieces of good news for voting rights advocates. In Wisconsin, Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan granted a temporary injunction, requested by the League of Women Voters, preventing implementation of the state’s photo identification requirement for voting. Meanwhile, the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals reaffirmed a 1982 consent decree preventing the Republican National Committee from intimidating minority voters. Unfortunately, voter intimidation and disenfranchisement will still occur, in Wisconsin and throughout the country.Full Article: Will the Courts Protect Voting Rights? | The Nation.
Wisconsin State Court Judge David Flanagan issued a temporary injunction on Tuesday that will prevent Wisconsin’s controversial Voter ID law from going into effect prior to the state’s April 3 presidential primary. After noting in the order that the Wisconsin State Constitution recognizes voting as a guaranteed right, Judge Flanagan called the bill “the single most restrictive voter eligibility law in the United States.” The challenged provisions of Wisconsin Act 23 would have required that all voters display a drivers license or voter photo identification before being permitted to vote in any federal, state, or local elections. The bill, like the voter ID bills being pushed in Republican-controlled legislatures around the county, was purportedly designed to prevent voter fraud and maintain the accuracy and security of the ballot process. Judge Flanagan noted in his opinion that the Attorney General failed to introduce any evidence of fraud that would justify this interference with Wisconsin voters’ constitutional right to vote.Full Article: A Bad Voter ID Law is Put on Hold in Wisconsin - The Demos Blog - PolicyShop.
Plans to appeal the controversial injunction a Dane County circuit judge placed on the voter ID law have been announced in the days following his decision. Department of Justice spokesperson Dana Brueck said in an email to The Badger Herald that the DOJ plans to appeal Circuit Judge David Flanagan’s decision on grounds the law is constitutional. “Illegal and fraudulent votes dilute and diminish the legitimate votes of qualified electors,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in a statement. “It is proper and legal for the state to require a person appearing at the polls to prove that he or she is, in fact, the eligible, registered elector whose vote is to be cast.”Full Article: The Badger Herald: DOJ plans to appeal controversial voter ID decision.
A Dane County judge has granted a temporary injunction against Wisconsin’s new voter identification law, which he called “the single most restrictive voter eligibility law” in the country. Circuit Judge David Flanagan’s ruling Tuesday means the voter ID requirement would not apply for the April 3 presidential primary and local general election. A spokesman for Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the state likely would appeal, and other state election officials pointed out that other aspects of the law will remain in effect, such as having to sign a poll list.Full Article: Judge bars voter ID law temporarily - JSOnline.
Wisconsin: Judge grants temporary injunction barring enforcement of Wisconsin voter ID law in April election | Wisconsin State Journal
A Dane County judge on Tuesday barred the enforcement of the state photo ID law at polling places during the general election on April 3, calling it an “extremely broad and largely needless” impairment of the right to vote. Circuit Judge David Flanagan said the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera had demonstrated that their lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker and the state Government Accountability Board would probably succeed on its merits and had demonstrated the likelihood of irreparable harm if the photo ID law is allowed to stand. (Read the injunction) But hours after news of Flanagan’s ruling broke, conservative activists began circulating a link that showed that Flanagan had signed a petition to recall Walker. (See the recall petition)Full Article: Judge grants temporary injunction barring enforcement of voter ID law in April election.