May 30, 2013

Wisconsin appellate court upholds voter ID law, reversing the decision of a Dane County judge.

"We express no opinion as to whether such an argument might have merit if supported by fact finding regarding the burdens imposed," Judge Brian Blanchard wrote. "However, in this facial challenge in which the League does not rely on any fact finding or evidentiary material, the implied argument falls short."
The court also ruled that plaintiffs had not shown that the requirement presents an "additional qualification" for voting -- which they had argued violated Article III of the state's constitution -- and that the Legislature had not exceeded its authority by passing the law, saying it has "implicit but broad constitutional authority to establish a voting registration system."
ADDED: Here's what I said about the state constitutional law argument at the time of the trial level decision (boldface added):
[This argument] is nothing like the arguments against voter ID laws based on the U.S. Constitution that you may be familiar with. It's about the "Suffrage" section of the state constitution that declares a big group of residents to be qualified electors, then gives the legislature the power to pare away from that group (in 2 specific categories, convicted felons and incompetent persons). To agree with the judge, I think you need to see a person without an ID as a type of person who is being excluded from the right to vote (and not within one of those 2 categories, so not within the legislature's power to exclude)....

I don't think a person without an ID is being disqualified from voting the way, say, convicted felons are disqualified.

There's just a step in the process that hasn't been completed. To say not presenting an ID is excluding you from the category of people permitted to vote seems like saying people who don't go to the polls when the polls are open are being excluded. It would be strange to say closing the polls at 8 is creating a new category of disqualified voters — those people who do not arrive before 8.
AND: From today's opinion (boldface added):
We are not persuaded that the photo identification requirement here is, on its face, more like a categorical bar to certain classes of potential voters, held to be a “qualification” under Knowlton, than it is like a number of voting procedures, including registration requirements, which indisputably would pass muster under Knowlton or any other authority the League cites.

The League argues that Knowlton stands for a test “that looks to the law’s effect of disqualifying a qualified elector.”  However, under the League’s proposed test, at least as stated, virtually any requirement placed on voters would be an unconstitutional and impermissible additional “qualification,” again contrary to the League’s concessions stated elsewhere in its briefing.  For example, under the League’s proposed test the requirement that voters must be in line at the polling place by 8:00 p.m. on election day would be unconstitutional because it has the effect of “disqualifying,” in the League’s terms, any person, no matter how qualified and registered to vote, who arrives at 8:01 p.m.  See Wis. Stat. § 6.78 (regulating poll hours).  As the state officials argue, any such argument was foreclosed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court long ago under the authority cited above.  For these same reasons, we disagree that the circuit court in this case correctly articulated any constitutional rule that supports its conclusion, on this record, that the photo identification requirement is a “qualification” that “masquerade[s]” as “an election regulation requirement.” 

61 comments:

Mogget said...

Excellent!

Mr. D said...

Better go find another Dane County judge.

edutcher said...

OK, now scrub all the votes that didn't meet the standard and tell us who won the state for real.

Augie Fartro said...

Ha! Eat shit and die, Capital Times!

Jay said...

Time to start banging drums and bongos!

Scott M said...

Those vaunted Europeans, those same types that our left looks to with longing and a sense of "why can't we just be more like them?" look at our lack of voter ID controls as quaint provincialism.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Not much to disagree with there. I still think it's a political mistake to push for such laws; you energize the other side's base over an issue that's not all that important.

Nonapod said...

Clearly voter ID laws are discriminatory towards dead people, pretend people, illegal aliens, and people who like to vote multiple times.

Brennan said...

Can the state sue the plaintiffs to recoup legal costs from having to defend the law?

I want to see claw back of taxpayer funds devoted to defending court challenges that have no standing.

Loser pays. If the State is paying the legal costs of plaintiffs when they win, why not collect when the plaintiffs lose?

Brennan said...

Clearly voter ID laws are discriminatory towards dead people, pretend people, illegal aliens, and people who like to vote multiple times.

I look forward to the plaintiff as "Unknown Voter #1 who doesn't know if the law discriminated against them".

BarrySanders20 said...

The Supremes likely take this case for further review.

With Shirley as Diana Ross singing You Keep Me Hangin' On for all the lefty chanters.

Or: You Can't Hurry Law (you'll just have to wait . . .)

Or: Stop! In the Name of Law

lemondog said...

This in the works......
U.S. Rep. Pocan: Pocan and Ellison announce right to vote amendment

MADISON, WI—U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) today announced legislation to explicitly guarantee the right to vote in the Constitution. The Pocan-Ellison Right to Vote Amendment would amend the Constitution to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right.

“The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected,” said Pocan. “At a time when there are far too many efforts to disenfranchise Americans, a voting rights amendment would positively affirm our founding principle that our country is at its strongest when everyone participates. As the world’s leading democracy, we must demand of ourselves what we demand of others—a guaranteed right to vote for all.”

Jay said...

For example, under the League’s proposed test the requirement that voters must be in line at the polling place by 8:00 p.m. on election day would be unconstitutional because it has the effect of “disqualifying,” in the League’s terms, any person, no matter how qualified and registered to vote, who arrives at 8:01 p.m.

Hey, voter ID is racist, so stop using logic, wingnutz!!!

edutcher said...

The Romster took every state with a voter ID law.

Now you know why.

Scott M said...

Not much to disagree with there. I still think it's a political mistake to push for such laws; you energize the other side's base over an issue that's not all that important.

That depends on whether or not a credible argument can be made for how bad the fraud has been the last couple of cycles. I suppose you could always wait for doing it post-mid-term in a second term.

AprilApple said...

You have to have an ID with you to travel.

@ Nonapod:

Clearly voter ID laws are discriminatory towards dead people, pretend people, illegal aliens, and people who like to vote multiple times.

Yes.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Don't forget that what matter isn't the amount of fraud tout court-- only the particular types of fraud where voter ID would make a difference. I worry more about fraud on the part of the people running the elections. (Hey, another box of ballots in my trunk!)

Leland said...

The Pocan-Ellison Right to Vote Amendment would amend the Constitution to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right.

Um, 15th Amendment does this, without imposing an age or jurisdiction limitation. If there is an age or jurisdiction limitation, then it would be within the right of Congress to impose Voter ID to determine age and jurisdiction, which is what a State Driver's License or ID Card essentially does for many government matters.

Rob said...

Jeez, the appellate judges (or their clerks) have not only been reading Ann's blog posts, they've been reading her comments on blog posts. That's nice, though a h/t wouldn't have killed them.

AprilApple said...

A certain group of people are told over and over again that they are "disenfranchised"-- when in reality they are not.
These people feel the right to vote multiple times.

It's already happening.

Michael K said...

"I still think it's a political mistake to push for such laws; you energize the other side's base over an issue that's not all that important."

The lady who started True the Vote in Texas (and got every federal agency down on her) did so after seeing 22,000 improper registrations as an election judge.

Texas and Illinois elected John Kennedy over Richard Nixon in 1960 and Lyndon Johnson began his career as "Landslide Lyndon" after FDR threw out a challenge.

Brennan said...

I worry more about fraud on the part of the people running the elections. (Hey, another box of ballots in my trunk!)

Careful there. That's what Catherine Englebrecht observed as an election judge. That compelled her to start True the Vote. Now all the Feds are leaving no stone unturned both personally and professionally.

AJ Lynch said...

We needed this - it is a breath of fresh air.

AprilApple said...

"The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected,”

The democrats protect their power by disenfranchising and dismantling an honest one person /one vote system.

Strelnikov said...

Excellent moment of sanity.

Strelnikov said...

"You have to have an ID with you to travel."

One of the witnesses who testified before congress on this last year had traveled from out of state to complain she was impaired by having to get an ID to vote. At no time did any member of the committee, from either party, ask her how she had gotten there. Probably afraid that would look to cruel.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Lyndon Johnson began his career as "Landslide Lyndon" after FDR threw out a challenge.

You mean Truman-- this was 1948. But it's exactly the sort of thing I had in mind when I said I'm more worried about fraud on the part of the people running the election. Voter ID wouldn't have helped a bit in this case.

Methadras said...

Is Inga gnashing her teeth on one of Garage Mcfat boy's tits yet?

David said...

Judge Blanchard's bio:

Career history
Appellate Judge, District IV Court of Appeals (2010-present); Dane County District Attorney (2001-2010); attorney, private civil law practice, Madison (1997-2000); Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Division, Northern District of Illinois (1990-1997); Law Clerk, Hon. Walter Cummings, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1989-1990); reporter, The Miami Herald newspaper (1980-1986).

Birth date/place
November 7, 1958; State College, Pennsylvania

Education
University of Michigan, B.A. (1980); Northwestern University Law School (1989)

Family
Married; three children


Impressive.

He has to run for re-election in Dane County. So the decision could hurt him politically.

Nice job Judge Blanchard.

MadisonMan said...

I doubt he was born in State College. The hospital in 1958 was in Bellefonte. What else is he lying about!!?

:)

Rich Rostrom said...

The Ellison amendment does not just replicate the 15th Amendment. It bars disfranchisement of felons, the mentally ill, and the mentally disabled. (Are these predominantly Democrat blocs?)

As to voter ID blocking and other fraud enablers (voting-day registration) - they will be pushed until there is unmistakable evidence that they can be used for undetectable fraud.

I recommend that Wisconsin Republicans stage an enormous (but harmless) fraud in next year's primary. Pick an unopposed down-ticket primary for a minor statewide office. Generate 25,000 obviously fake votes, which under the rules the Democrats insist on have to be counted.

Until that happens, the Democrats will continue to lie that fraud doesn't exist.

Brent said...

Here's where the left's and Democrat hypocrisy shines brighter than any lighthouse. The current liberal flavor of the moment - gun control - is resting on one main argument: background checks have over 80% of American public support according to polls. Liberals, even David Letterman, consistently ring up that point, seeking to shame the Senators that voted against the last Background check bill.

Yet those very same shamers and their fellow travelers refuse to recognize that the very same polling companies show consistently over 75% of the American public supports voter ID laws.

Wow. How sad to be a Democrat.lack of integrity anyone?

Brent said...

Here's where the left's and Democrat hypocrisy shines brighter than any lighthouse. The current liberal flavor of the moment - gun control - is resting on one main argument: background checks have over 80% of American public support according to polls. Liberals, even David Letterman, consistently ring up that point, seeking to shame the Senators that voted against the last Background check bill.

Yet those very same shamers and their fellow travelers refuse to recognize that the very same polling companies show consistently over 75% of the American public supports voter ID laws.

Wow. How sad to be a Democrat.lack of integrity anyone?

Mike said...

Garage knew this was coming and that's why he and his altered ego hit the road last week. To all the lefties who called us racists for wanting to clean up the franchise a bit I have two things to say:

1. Pfffft!
2. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

David said...

MadisonMan said...
I doubt he was born in State College. The hospital in 1958 was in Bellefonte. What else is he lying about!!?

:)


I hope the smiley means you were kidding.

Those who have not had the pleasure of visiting should note that Bellefonte is about 10 miles from State College. The Bellefonte Hospital was indeed the only hospital in Centre County until after 1960. It was about 12 beds total, I believe, so it might well be that not all children were born there.

Bellefonte and State College are in the same metropolitan statistical district. Whether Pennsylvania birth records distinguish between the two, I know not.

Anyway, Bellefonte is a nice little town, not one that a person would be ashamed of being from.

Perhaps the Judge will post here to clear this up?

Judge, your reputation is at stake--at least with Madison Man. Oh the scandal!

David said...

My guess is that Judge Blanchard is a democrat--or at least professed to be.

He got elected in Madison.

Pogo said...

This was only about the right to vote fraudulently.

Minnesota enshrined the right to bullshit votes, so I will no longer vote. There's no point.

Mike said...

Garage knew this was coming and that's why he and his altered ego hit the road last week. To all the lefties who called us racists for wanting to clean up the franchise a bit I have two things to say:

1. Pfffft!
2. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

SJ said...

@edutcher,
The Romster took every state with a voter ID law.

Now you know why.


I worked as an election inspector in a Michigan polling place.

There was a form of Voter-ID law in place.

Romney lost.

I Callahan said...

The text of the amendment is below:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

Jesus. Could you imagine the types of machinations that Congress could come up with for section 2 above? WTF is "appropriate legislation"?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

If we call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
Five!
No, four. Just because we call a tail a leg, does not make it one.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, does not protect and does not create affordable care.

And the Voter ID act is not actually about voter ID per say, let alone intimidation or suppression (we have the IRS for that). Correctly named, it is the One Person, One Vote Act.

Only folks against one person, one vote are people who have, or intend to, cheat, or approve when other do it.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I Callahan said...
The text of the amendment is below:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

Jesus. Could you imagine the types of machinations that Congress could come up with for section 2 above? WTF is "appropriate legislation"?


Well gee, lets see . . . based on a clear and simple reading of Section 1, how about (a) proof of age, (b) proof of where one resides.

Shorter: "Can I see some ID please?"

Simple enough, no?

I Callahan said...

Well gee, lets see . . . based on a clear and simple reading of Section 1, how about (a) proof of age, (b) proof of where one resides. Shorter: "Can I see some ID please?"

The problem is that the two Democratic congressmen who are putting this forward are the LAST to want voter ID. So I don't think that is their intention.

MadisonMan said...

Of course I was kidding.

But Bellefonte is an old run-down worn-out town. Every year part of it burns down, it seems. I mean, come on! The high school team is the Red Raiders! How offensive it that!!?

Much better to go to State College and be a Little Lion. March, State High down the field, into the fray. We cannot e'er be champs but we must win today. (etc.) That's totally bogus that they cannot e'er be champs of course. But they've won the Iron Kettle a lot more than Bellefonte in my lifetime.

The Hospital (Willowbank) moved out of Bellefonte in the early 70s, when Mountainview (as it was once called) was built.

Mom liked shopping at the furniture store in Bellefonte in the 60s. Can't recall the name at the moment.

Seeing Red said...

Shall have the fundamental right, what are they, kings?

Emil Blatz said...

I have been practicing law for nearly 20 years now, and one of the most astonishing things I have learned is the degree of "home cooking" which is performed at the trial court level. Decisions like this - where the Judge at the trial level is playing to Dane County and its rather skewed voter base.

I have always considered the prototypical example of this to have been the decision on night lighting at Wrigley Field. The local judge issued an injunction to prevent installation of the permanent lights, knowing it would be overturned on appeal. He was just covering his ass for the next election.

Dane County has a lot of Judges willing to do the same. Which would merely be amusing, but how do you calculate the cost of the delay in implementation of the law? Romney got buried in WI, there was no way that detail was going to change the outcome.

Strelnikov said...

This is the way the Left sees this issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joYTCwNMdq8

Don't get me wrong. I was a GS-H fan for over 30 years.

Peter said...

". I still think it's a political mistake to push for such laws; you energize the other side's base over an issue that's not all that important.

Well, one can see the Left's propaganda mills being readied. Voter ID is Jim Crow redux. Remember Emmitt Till! Gov. Walker is Bull Connor all over again! (But since he's already Hitler, wouldn't that be a demotion?)

As to whether it's "all that important," well, it is important in close electons. But only in close elections.

Although there's also the comfort factor. Presently, when one sees a busload of new voters entering the polling place for same-day registration with little to show but addressed envelopes and perhaps a utility bill, one can't help but wonder if one's seeing an election theft in progress.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I Callahan,

The "Congress shall have the power to enforce this provision by appropriate legislation" business is pretty standard Constitutional amendment boilerplate language. See, e.g., the last clause of the 14th Amendment.

Leland said...

The problem is that the two Democratic congressmen who are putting this forward are the LAST to want voter ID. So I don't think that is their intention.

I would agree, but their Amendment only Amends the current Amendment which is much clearer:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


There's no qualifiers to the right. Age can be discriminated, and some may have problems with that, but then the proposed Amendment makes it clear that Age can be discriminated against. And Senior Citizens, note is says of "legal voting age", which means Congress can set the law from 14-50 years of age.

If you think getting a Voter ID is difficult at 90 years of age, try being legally forbidden to vote. Go ahead, tell me that would never happen.

viator said...

You have to present an ID to cash a check, buy beer, board an airplane, register a vehicle, open a bank account, cross a border, obtain a drivers license, get a passport, withdraw money from a bank, pick up a prescription from a doctor, rent an apartment, rent a car, buy tobacco, get a fishing license, get a hunting license, get a job, purchase a fire arm, apply for a building permit, open a bank account, open an investment account, buy an OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, collect your jackpot from a casino, get your lottery winnings above $600 - but you don't need one to vote.

Larry J said...

Not on voter ID but mentioned above:

then gives the legislature the power to pare away from that group (in 2 specific categories, convicted felons and incompetent persons).

The "incompetent persons" clause can be open to abuse. Too many so-called mental health professionals are quick to associate conservatism with mental illness. They would've fit right in with their counterparts in the old Soviet Union to confined dissidents to mental hospitals.

Leland said...

viator, one more: I had to provide a photo ID to pick up my sick kids from school. My own children couldn't come with me until I proved to the school I was their parent. Yet, you don't need a photo ID to vote.

cubanbob said...

An ammedment might not be a bad idea if properly done with the following provisions:

1- only citizens who do not have their civil rights restrined by law ( convicted criminals who have not completed their sentences, certified menataly deranged).
2-Not currently on or have been in the previous five years been on needs based taxpayer assistance.
3-is an income tax or property tax payer in the jurisdiction they vote in but in only one jurisdiction or if expatriate pay US income tax or capital gains taxes.
4-are not currently delinquent over one year in undisputed taxes or government loans.
5- must be able to read English.
6-can prove identity at place of voting.
7-removal of voting rights for natural life for anyone convicted of comiting voting or voter fraud.

If that were to be incorporated in to Elllison's amendment I'm sure the republicans would vote for it and if it passed the Congress at least every republican controlled state would pass it as well.

MadisonMan said...

I had to provide a photo ID to pick up my sick kids from school. My own children couldn't come with me until I proved to the school I was their parent. Yet, you don't need a photo ID to vote.

This is more an argument against the insane rules of Schools than for photo ID to vote IMO.

Methadras said...

viator said...

You have to present an ID to cash a check, buy beer, board an airplane, register a vehicle, open a bank account, cross a border, obtain a drivers license, get a passport, withdraw money from a bank, pick up a prescription from a doctor, rent an apartment, rent a car, buy tobacco, get a fishing license, get a hunting license, get a job, purchase a fire arm, apply for a building permit, open a bank account, open an investment account, buy an OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, collect your jackpot from a casino, get your lottery winnings above $600 - but you don't need one to vote.


Because it's RACIST!!!

Methadras said...

viator said...

You have to present an ID to cash a check, buy beer, board an airplane, register a vehicle, open a bank account, cross a border, obtain a drivers license, get a passport, withdraw money from a bank, pick up a prescription from a doctor, rent an apartment, rent a car, buy tobacco, get a fishing license, get a hunting license, get a job, purchase a fire arm, apply for a building permit, open a bank account, open an investment account, buy an OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, collect your jackpot from a casino, get your lottery winnings above $600 - but you don't need one to vote.


Because it's RACIST!!!

wildswan said...

Obama passed a regulation that you have to have government photo ID to get medical care if you are using government insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid.

David said...

"There's no qualifiers to the right. Age can be discriminated, and some may have problems with that, but then the proposed Amendment makes it clear that Age can be discriminated against. And Senior Citizens, note is says of "legal voting age", which means Congress can set the law from 14-50 years of age."

Equal protection clause.

gregq said...

"Not much to disagree with there. I still think it's a political mistake to push for such laws; you energize the other side's base over an issue that's not all that important."

So, stopping some voter fraud "isn't important"? Good to know.

Oxbay said...

The reason Democrats go whole hog preventing Voter ID is because they want to preserve their license to steal elections.