Wisconsin: Voter ID issue may not end with State Supreme Court | WXOW

Wisconsin’s Attorney General wants the State Supreme Court to decide the issue of Voter ID once and for all. But they likely won’t have the final say, because of a separate case being heard in federal court. On October 10th in Milwaukee, U.S. Judge Lynn Adelman will hear the American Civil Liberties Union’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. If Judge Adelman grants that injunction, it would make any action by the Supreme Court, moot. Attorney General J.B. Van hollen announced Tuesday that he is asking the Supreme Court to take two separate Voter ID cases out of the state appeals courts, consolidate them, and then reinstate the law for the November general election.

Wisconsin: Attorney General Seeks to Restore Voter-ID Law | Bloomberg

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the state Supreme Court to reinstate a voter identification law before the Nov. 6 elections. The law would require otherwise-eligible voters to present a government-issued photo ID before being allowed to cast ballots. It was declared unconstitutional March 12 by Circuit Judge Richard G. Niess in Madison. A second judge, David T. Flanagan, ruled the law invalid July 17 after a nonjury trial. The attorney general appealed both rulings on the state’s behalf. “While I respect the judicial process and the right to challenge a law in court, it is time for our Supreme Court to take control of these cases,” the Republican attorney general said in a statement.

Wisconsin: Second judge rejects voter ID law | 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.

Wisconsin: RNC chairman alleges rampant voter fraud | JSOnline

The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Wednesday GOP candidates have to perform 1 or 2 percentage points better than they otherwise would to overcome voter fraud — claiming that voter fraud is far more pervasive than what official reports have shown. About 2.1 million votes were cast in the 2010 race for governor, and 1 to 2 percent would equate to 21,000 to 42,000 votes. Some law enforcement officials have raised concerns about isolated incidents of voter fraud, but never suggested it approached a scale like that. “I’m always concerned about voter fraud, you know, being from Kenosha, and quite frankly having lived through seeing some of it happen,” said Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman and former state Republican Party chairman. “Certainly in Milwaukee we have seen some of it and I think it’s been documented. Any notion that’s not the case, it certainly is in Wisconsin. I’m always concerned about it which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be to overcome it.”

Richard Saks, an attorney who has successfully challenged Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, said Priebus can’t back up that claim. “They have zero, zero evidence to substantiate it,” Saks said. “It’s simply demagoguery to whip up fear.” He noted that a 2008 investigation in Milwaukee County by Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm and Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen resulted in 20 prosecutions, mostly for voting by felons who were not qualified to vote. “The notion there’s any kind of large scale fraud is simply not borne out by the facts,” Saks said. “It’s a scare tactic that’s used … to try to claim that primarily vulnerable people shouldn’t have a full opportunity to vote.”

Wisconsin: Van Hollen appeals redistricting ruling to U.S. Supreme Court | JSOnline

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday to overturn a decision by a three-judge panel that found maps of two state Assembly districts violated Latinos’ voting rights. The U.S. Supreme Court is required to take the case and will have the final say on what election maps are in place around the state for the next decade starting this fall. A panel of federal judges in Milwaukee last month ruled that Assembly Districts 8 and 9 on Milwaukee’s south side violated the Voting Rights Act. This month the panel approved new maps for the two districts drawn by Democrats and Latinos who sued the state over the issue. Those who sued, including the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera, contended that a host of maps for other legislative and congressional districts violated the law, but the panel did not side with them on those arguments.

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeals of Both Injunctions on GOP Polling Place Photo ID Law | BradBlog

On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two one-sentence orders declining to hear both appeals filed by Republican state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in two different polling place Photo ID cases. In both, judges in lower courts had blocked the controversial voting rights restrictions passed by Republicans last year, finding that the law violated…

Wisconsin: Voter ID filed with Wisconsin Supreme Court | The Badger Herald

Two Wisconsin Courts of Appeals asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wednesday to take up two separate lawsuits against the voter ID law approved last year for a final ruling on whether the law should be enforced. One of the lawsuits was filed jointly by immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, while the other lawsuit was filed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. Although recent injunctions in Circuit Courts have halted enforcement of the photo ID requirement in the April 3 elections, the groups still claim the law disenfranchises voters in the state. The decision to ask the Supreme Court to take up the cases falls less than a week before the April 3 elections, which include the Republican presidential primary along with a number of local elections.

Wisconsin: Judge Won’t Stay Ruling to Invalidate Voter ID Law | Businessweek

A Wisconsin judge refused to halt enforcement of his ruling that the state’s voter identification law is unconstitutional. Wisconsin Circuit Judge Richard G. Niess in Madison today denied a request by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state agency that administers elections to enforce the ID law while they appeal his March 12 decision that it burdened otherwise qualified voters with a statutory requirement not found in the state’s constitution. “An unconstitutional law is void ab initio,” Niess wrote, using a Latin phrase meaning from the inception. “It is as if it never existed. Therefore there can be no justification for enforcement.”

Wisconsin: Top election official says he did not want immediate appeals of photo ID law | JSOnline

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.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Attorney General Van Hollen files appeals in 2 voter ID cases | 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.