Wisconsin has told a U.S. judge that it will appeal his ruling barring the state from enforcing a voter-identification law as litigation over ballot access intensifies in the run-up to November’s elections. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Monday filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee to delay his April ruling blocking the law until the decision is reviewed by an appeals court in Chicago. The measure, signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, would require Wisconsin voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting a ballot. Adelman permanently blocked the measure on April 29, concluding it burdens minorities’ right to vote. Dozens of courtroom battles were fought ahead of the 2012 presidential election over voter-identification requirements passed by Republican-dominated legislatures since President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory. Supporters of the laws say they’re needed to prevent voter fraud. Opponents contend the measures are aimed at suppressing the votes of low-income people and the elderly who may be more inclined to vote for Democrats.
“By entering such an excessively broad injunction, the court aims to give itself the power of a second Wisconsin governor, equipped with the authority to judicially ‘veto’ future voter-ID laws that the Wisconsin Legislature might enact,” according to Van Hollen’s filing.
Similar challenges to voter-ID laws have succeeded elsewhere. Judges in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, rejected their states’ laws on similar grounds. A Texas case is pending.