Appeals Court Win for Wisconsin Voter ID Law
In a blow to the Obama administration’s effort to block voter identification laws, a state appellate court has ruled that Wisconsin’s voter ID measure is constitutional and therefore can be used as a tool to eliminate election fraud.
The decision, from the 4th District Court of Appeals, reverses a lower court’s injunction banning implementation of the measure during the 2012 presidential election. That means voters could not be forced to show a government-issued ID to cast a ballot in federal, state and local elections in Wisconsin, even though the state had passed legislation requiring it in 2011.
A consortium of leftist groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) legally challenged the measure, essentially asserting that it’s discriminatory. Last spring separate county judges ruled in favor of the leftist groups, with one declaring the voter ID law to be “unconstitutional” because it serves as a condition for voting at the polls.
Reversing that decision this week, the 4th Circuit writes that one of the groups challenging the measure fails to make an effective argument that requiring ID at the polls is “so difficult and inconvenient” that it amounts to a “denial of the right to vote.” Therefore the challenge failed to demonstrate how the voter ID law violates the constitution, according to the unanimous ruling.
The U.S. Supreme Court has actually ruled on this issue (In 2008 it upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, finding that the state’s interest in protecting the integrity of the voting process outweighed the insufficiently proven burdens the law may impose on voters) as have other federal courts yet states continue to waste huge sums defending their voter ID laws, often against the federal government.
That’s because the Obama administration and his liberal allies in Congress assert that voter ID laws discriminate against minorities. In fact, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who chairs the Democratic National Committee, says voter ID laws are a “full-scale-assault” on minority voters designed to “rig” elections for Republicans.
In an effort to combat election fraud, more than two dozen states have laws requiring voters to show at least some type of identification to vote. Several—including Texas and Pennsylvania—enacted their voter ID measures in the last few years and the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) has vowed to block them or at least scrutinize them. In fact, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez confirmed in 2011 that DOJ lawyers are probing voter ID measures to ensure that they’re not racially discriminatory.
Never mind that the nation’s High Court ruled years ago in favor of voter ID laws as an effective way for sates to protect the integrity of the voting process. “There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters,” the Supreme Court wrote in its 2008 decision.
Even the famously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of voter ID laws. In a decision involving Arizona’s measure, the federal appellate court found that the “photo identification requirement is not an invidious restriction” and does not violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. A renowned Latino rights group claimed the law, approved by voters in 2004 to stop illegal immigrants from voting, discriminates against Hispanics because it creates a barrier for minorities that’s tantamount to a poll tax.