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.”
Signed into law by Governor Scott K. Walker in May, the measure required voters to present a government-issued photographic form of identification at their polling place such as a driver’s license, passport or military or college ID, before being permitted to vote. Wisconsin is scheduled to hold its spring election and presidential primary on April 3.