Skip to comments.Supreme Court upholds voter ID law (4/28/08)
Posted on 03/12/2012 4:02:54 PM PDT by Jean S
The Supreme Court ruled that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.
In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indianas strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to prevent fraud.
It was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. But the voter ID ruling lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.
The law is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process, Justice John Paul Stevens said in an opinion that was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy. Stevens was a dissenter in Bush v. Gore in 2000.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also agreed with the outcome, but wrote separately.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter dissented, just as they did in 2000.
Extremely disappointed More than 20 states require some form of identification at the polls. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, but struck down Missouris. Mondays decision comes a week before Indianas presidential primary.
Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said he hadnt reviewed the decision, but he was extremely disappointed by it. Falk has said voter ID laws inhibit voting, and a persons right to vote is the most important right. The ACLU brought the case on behalf of Indiana voters.
The case concerned a state law, passed in 2005, that was backed by Republicans as a way to deter voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights groups opposed the law as unconstitutional and called it a thinly veiled effort to discourage elderly, poor and minority voters those most likely to lack proper ID and who tend to vote for Democrats.
There is little history in Indiana of either in-person voter fraud of the sort the law was designed to thwart or voters being inconvenienced by the laws requirements. For the overwhelming majority of voters, an Indiana driver license serves as the identification.
Burden eminently reasonable We cannot conclude that the statute imposes excessively burdensome requirements on any class of voters, Stevens said.
Stevens opinion suggests that the outcome could be different in a state where voters could provide evidence that their rights had been impaired.
But in dissent, Souter said Indianas voter ID law threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting rights of tens of thousands of the states citizens.
Scalia, favoring a broader ruling in defense of voter ID laws, said, The universally applicable requirements of Indianas voter-identification law are eminently reasonable. The burden of acquiring, possessing and showing a free photo identification is simply not severe, because it does not even represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting.
Stevens said the partisan divide in Indiana, as well as elsewhere, was noteworthy. But he said that preventing fraud and inspiring voter confidence were legitimate goals of the law, regardless of who backed or opposed it.
Indiana provides IDs free of charge to the poor and allows voters who lack photo ID to cast a provisional ballot and then show up within 10 days at their county courthouse to produce identification or otherwise attest to their identity.
Stevens said these provisions also help reduce the burden on people who lack driver licenses.
Thank God there is still some sanity in this crazy upside down world.
If true, this is great news. WIll we see this news on MSM any time soon?
Shove it up your butt DOJ.
Outstanding! Just in time for Texas to tell the DOJ to stuff it!
I think John hasn’t been able to install the new servers... this is server lag...?
Looks like its from 2008.
Right. This happened a few years ago, so how does a lower court come up with the “unconstitutional” ruling today? As for the criminal DOJ, when are the states going to tell Holder and the gang to stick in their pipe and smoke it?!
Yes it is and Jean S knows it because she typed it to post this article. A shame the idiot AG Holder doesn’t but he and his boss ignore laws and rulings if they don’t agree with them.
Yes, this is a Supreme Court ruling from 2008, which is why I posted this to extended news with the date of the ruling in the title!
Hillary fought against the ID bit as NY senator.
Yes, it is, which is why I included the date of the U.S. Supreme Court's original ruling about voter I.D. in the title.
How odd that people get so excited about the title that they can’t even finish reading it.. 2008, 2008, 2008, 2008 !!!!!! The States should rush the DOJ’s ruling on Voter ID laws to the SCOTUS for ‘fast track’ review. This will definitely impact the 2012 election. If there is one. I think we should do our elections the same way MEXICANS IN MEXICO DO.. MANDATORY VOTER ID AT THE POLLS!
Why is it such a burden for John Doe, when he shows up to vote, shows some form of identification that he is the John Doe listed on the voter registration role? How is that a burden?
Well if so how can Holder stop the voting law? Does Texas have to go back to court
"Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isa. 5:20)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.