Supreme Court lets Wisconsin voter ID law stand

Supreme Court lets Wisconsin voter ID law stand

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied certiorari [order list] in Frank v. Walker [docket; cert. petition, PDF], allowing Wisconsin’s voter identification law to stand. Wisconsin’s Act 23 [text, PDF], which requires residents to present photo ID to vote, was struck down by a federal district court, but reinstated [JURIST reports] by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] in September. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appealed [press release; JURIST report] to the Supreme Court in January. The law will not go into effect for the April election, as absentee ballots have already been sent out, but it will be in effect for future elections.

Debate over voter ID laws [JURIST backgrounder] has sparked continuing controversy in the US. In November a federal appeals court rejected [JURIST report] a Kansas rule that required prospective voters to show proof-of-citizenship documents before registering to vote. In October the US Supreme Court allowed [JURIST report] Texas to enforce a strict 2011 voter ID law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Also in October the Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] struck down [JURIST report] that state’s voter ID law finding it unconstitutional. The same month, the US Supreme Court temporarily blocked the enforcement of the Wisconsin voter ID law at the emergency request of the ACLU, due to the then-upcoming November election. The Wisconsin voter ID law began its run through the courts in July 2012 when a judge for Wisconsin’s Dane County Circuit Court ruled [JURIST report] that the voter ID law was unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction against the law’s enforcement.