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Wisconsin Supreme Court Will Not Take Up Voter ID Case

April 16, 2012

This is news that will unsettle Republicans, but was not unexpected for the rest of Wisconsin.  There was little chance that the Supreme Court was going wade into this matter until the appeals courts had finished their work.  Jumping over the process is usually not the way judicial matters are handled, and there was no reason to suggest that the court should intervene sooner than the normal course of events allows.

The Appeals Court process typically take nine months to a year to issue decisions.  Since there is not now, nor has there ever been any reason for the voter ID law in Wisconsin means there is no reason to rush this matter.

The state Supreme Court refused Monday to immediately take up a pair of cases that struck down the state’s new voter ID law, a decision that will likely mean citizens won’t have to show ID when they cast ballots in recall elections this spring.

The court’s terse orders send the cases back to two different courts of appeals. The appeals courts had said the Supreme Court should take the cases right away because of their significance. Now, the appeals courts will have to render their own decisions on the cases.

The cases could then go to the Supreme Court, and are widely expected to be decided by that court.

But in the short term, the rulings mean the voter ID law will remain blocked. The court issued its orders just three weeks before the May 8 primary for Democrats to pick a candidate to run against Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election.

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan in March blocked the law for the April 3 presidential primary, saying it likely disenfranchised thousands of voters based on testimony that there are more than 220,000 Wisconsin residents who do not have photo IDs but who are otherwise qualified to vote.

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