Supreme Court Lets Wisconsin Voter ID Law Stand

Richard Wolf, USA Today, March 23, 2015

The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major challenge to Wisconsin’s voter ID law, delivering a victory to Republicans who favor tougher election laws.

The decision is a setback for civil rights groups that contend the law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of residents who lack proper ID–particularly racial minorities, seniors, students and people with disabilities.

It turns both sides’ sights on Texas, where a similar statute is pending before a federal appeals court. Eventually, the justices are likely to resolve the festering issue.

For now, it appears a majority of high court justices approve of photo-ID laws such as Wisconsin’s, which does not involve allegations of intentional racial discrimination. None of the high court’s more liberal justices voiced dissent with the decision not to hear the case.

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The Supreme Court blocked the law from taking effect in November to avoid confusion among voters. Before an election featuring judicial and local races slated for April 7, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion Monday to block the photo ID requirement, and the state agreed to do so.

Thereafter, the justices’ refusal to hear objections to the law means that Wisconsin will become the eighth state with a strict photo identification law that allows no exceptions to a government-issued ID. The others are Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

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