Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said he was concerned by the proliferation of state laws tightening voter-identification requirements but believes he ruled correctly in 2008 that an Indiana voter-ID law could stand. Debate over the case was reopened last week when a federal appeals judge in Chicago repudiated his own 2007 opinion upholding the Indiana law. Judge Richard Posner wrote the 2-1 decision of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, upheld the following year. “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo ID—a type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention,” Judge Posner writes in his new book, “Reflections on Judging.”
In an interview this week, Justice Stevens said he isn’t “a fan of voter ID” and wasn’t in 2008. But he said his opinion was correct because the challengers failed to present enough evidence showing the requirement suppressed poor and minority voters. “My opinion should not be taken as authority that voter-ID laws are always OK,” Justice Stevens said. “The decision in the case is state-specific and record-specific.”
Some 34 states have passed voter ID laws of some kind, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Justice Department has filed suits to invalidate such measures in North Carolina and Texas, contending that they violate provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
Full Article: Voter-ID Laws Worry Jurist – WSJ.com.