Wisconsin is just one of a handful of states that have attempted to adopt strict voter ID requirements in the past decade, a controversial practice which some advocates claim suppress turnout especially among minorities and the urban lower-class. On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the ACLU’s challenge to the Badger State’s proposed photo-ID law, and sets the stage for the new voting requirement to go into effect after the state’s next round of elections on April 7.
The Republican-backed law has been on a see-saw of legal rulings since it was first passed in 2011 by the Wisconsin state legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker. First, the law was injuncted by a federal circuit judge in March 2012, after the ACLU first brought a suit against the state, claiming the law was unconstitutional and violated the Voting Rights Act.
Over two years later, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled that decision and deemed the law to be in compliance with the Constitution and federal statutes. Less than a month after the Appeals court decision the ACLU challenged the law again, this time in front of the Supreme Court, which subsequently slapped another temporary injunction on the program with less than a month til the mid-term elections.
Now, almost four years after the law was signed, the highest court in the land has finally given Wisconsin’s photo ID requirements it’s blessing.
Acceptable ID’s include a driver’s license, passport, military or student ID, all fairly rudimentary documentation. But, what seems like common sense reform and therefore a non-controversial solution to a potential problem like voter fraud, can be made contentious in a land of political polarization like ours. We’ll see if future legal challenges to similarly proposed laws in other states enjoy the same fate as Wisconsin’s.
[Reuters via Yahoo News] [Photo courtesy AP]