Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist began his political career intimidating blacks and Hispanics waiting in line to vote in his home state of Arizona. It was 1964 and Rehnquist, a practicing lawyer at the time, demanded to see identification and conversed with Hispanics to determine if they spoke sufficient English to vote. He was working as part of “Operation Eagle Eye,” a Republican plan to suppress the vote. In 2012, nearly half a century later, the Kochs and Karl Rove have fueled legislation to require stringent voter identification in states they helped pack with Republican lawmakers and governors in the 2010 Republican sweep. They turned that sweep into a below-the-national-radar campaign to suppress voter turnout in this election cycle, including in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Like cheap paper targets at a carnival shooting gallery, the courts have at least temporarily shot down almost every onerous voter ID law that has passed in the last two years to protect Americans from “voter fraud” that doesn’t appear to exist.
Last week began with a scrambled ruling from Republican Pennsylvania State Judge Robert Simpson saying, in effect, that even though he backed the intent of the law, an insufficient number of voter IDs had been processed. At the time, a total of 11,000 people had been issued voter IDs out of a potential 1.2 million who might have been disenfranchised. In an earlier case, Simpson had ruled that the law be fully implemented. When his decision was appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a majority sent it back to Simpson to determine if the law’s implementation would result in any citizen’s losing their right to vote. The evidence of the state’s ineptitude in providing photo ID to registered voters was overwhelming and forced Simpson’s decision to stay the law.
Full Article: Don Ringe: Voter ID Laws Live On.