UPDATE: Voter ID likely off the table for Wisconsin recall

UPDATE: Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is now asking the state Supreme Court to reinstate Act 23 (aka AB 7) in time for it to apply in November. Along with the state Department of Justice, he will file a "Petition to Bypass Court of Appeals" and a "Motion for Consolidation" in both cases. League of Women Voters lawyer Lester Pines called the move a "kind of a hail Mary pass by the Attorney General," and seemed confident that the Supreme Court would reject the requests. He pointed out that this is the same court that refused to immediately take up the cases earlier this year. Still, the voting rights supporters who originally brought cases are concerned and will fight the Attorney General’s requests. Meanwhile, two federal challenges to the law are currently pending, with hearings scheduled in October.

7/19/2012: Judge David Flanagan made permanent his earlier injunction in the case brought by the Milwaukee NAACP and Voces de la Frontera, joining a permanent injunction issued by Judge Richard Niess in the League of Women Voters case. Now both courts would have to lift their blocking orders in order for Act 23 (aka AB 7) to be reinstated. With appeals pending, and no further rulings expected until after November, it is virtually guaranteed that the ID requirement will not apply in the general election.

You heard the good news from Connecticut and Louisiana. Now it’s Wisconsin’s turn.

Voter ID is likely off the table for the recall election!

Last May, Wisconsin Governor and ALEC Alum Scott Walker signed Act 23 (aka AB 7), a voter ID law that also counts ALEC affiliated legislators among its sponsors. It has been challenged in two cases: one brought before Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess by the League of Women Voters, and the other brought before Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan by the Milwaukee NAACP and Voces de la Frontera.

Back on April 16, the state Supreme Court refused to immediately take up the pair of cases, sending them back to regular order in the lower appeals courts.

NAACP and Voces got their ruling on April 25, where a temporary injunction will stand at least until late June and the conclusion of post-trial briefing before Judge Flanagan. The LWV ruling came on April 26, where Judge Niess’s permanent injunction remains in force pending appeal.

Though the battle is far from over, since no further rulings are likely prior to June 5, voter ID mostly likely won’t be required when voters go to the polls for the general recall election.

These are the cases furthest along, but other challenges are being mounted, including from the Advancement Project and ACLU. On April 23, the ACLU plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction and an expert report.

PFAW Foundation