By H. Nelson Goodson
October 9, 2014
Washington, D.C. - On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin from implementing its voter ID law for the November election. On Monday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared Wisconsin' s voter ID law constitutional. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed an emergency stay request for the U.S. Supreme court to block the implementation of the voter ID law in the case Frank v. Walker.
Three U.S. Supreme justices dissented, Samuel Anthony Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justices in favor to block Wisconsin's voter ID were John Roberts, Stephen Beyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor.
Dale Ho, the ACLU director of the Voting Rights Project said on Wednesday, "Permitting this law to go into effect so close to the election is fueling voter confusion and election chaos in Wisconsin, particularly for the many voters who have already cast their ballots. Voters deserve a fair shake, and this last-minute disruption changes the rules of the game in an election that is already underway, and risks locking out thousands of voters. The stakes are extremely high."
Ho on Thursday stated, "Today's order puts the brakes on the last-minute disruption and voter chaos created by this law going into effect so close to the election. It will help safeguard the vote for thousands of Wisconsinites as this case makes its way through the courts."
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) is looking how to implement the U.S. Supreme Court order to stay the state's voter ID law. Thousands of Wisconsin voters had submitted absentee ballots in early voting before Monday and then were required to submit a copy of their state ID to validate those votes after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state to require an ID to vote. The GAB had threaten to invalidate those votes from Wisconsin voters who had failed to submit a copy of their ID's by a certain date.
Today's stay of the voter ID is a setback for Governor Scott Walker (R), the GOP controlled state legislature and for J.B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin Attorney General who struggled to implement the voter ID law. Van Hollen plans to continue to implement the voter ID law before November and to defy the U.S. Supreme Court order.
The case involved members of the State of Wisconsin LULAC Council, State Director Arturo Martinez, Yolanda Santos Adams and Jaime Alvarado who gave testimony. LULAC of Wisconsin's counsel at Advancement Project (Washington, D.C.) and Co-Counsel at Arnold & Porter, LLP and attorney Luis Garza from UMOS.