Sunday, August 2, 2015

Supreme Court wants more lower court study on Voter ID

The state Supreme Court has punted the controversial Voter ID case back to the state's Commonwealth Court for additional review, according to an order released this afternoon.

Supreme Court wants more lower court study on Voter ID

0 comments

The state Supreme Court has punted the controversial Voter ID case back to the state's Commonwealth Court for additional review, according to an order released this afternoon.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, in an Aug. 15 ruling rejecting a request for a preliminary injunction to keep the state's new Voter ID law from being used during the Nov. 6 general election, repeatedly mentioned a new form of identification being developed by the Pennsylvania Department of State for voters who were having trouble obtaining other types of state-approved legislation that will be needed to cast a ballot.

The Department of State started offering that new type of voter ID on Aug. 27.  Ron Ruman, a spokesman for the Department of State, said Monday the state has issued about about 9,000 new identification cards for voting purposes since the law was passed in March.

The Supreme Court, which heard an appeal of Simpson's ruling last Thursday, sent the case back to Commonwealth Court "to make a present assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available." The Supreme Court wants that done by Oct. 2.

Justices Debra McCloskey Todd and Seamus McCaffery filed a pair of joint dissents in the case, saying the Supreme Court should act now on the request for a preliminary injunction.  Todd noted that the presidential election is 49 days away.

"The eyes of the nation are upon us, and this Court has chosen to punt rather than to act," Todd wrote. "I will have no part of it."

McCaffery pointed out that the state has offered no proof of the in-person voter fraud the Voter ID law is designed to prevent.  He predicts that Simpson's review will again find "many thousands" of people without the proper ID to vote.

"I cannot in good conscience participate in a decision that so clearly has the effect of allowing politics to trump the solemn oath that I swore to uphold our Constitution," McCaffery wrote. "That Constitution has made the right to vote a right verging on the sacred, and that right should never be trampled by partisan politics."

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter