Friday, August 10, 2007

Carter Warns SCOTUS Of Chaos In Voter ID Challenge

In a brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States opposing Democrats' challenge of Indiana's Voter ID law, which has been upheld by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney General Steve Carter warned the justices that chaos could ensue in next year's presidential race if the case is take up this term. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Sylvia Smith writes, quoting Carter:

Despite the hue and cry about the supposed burdens of this law, and despite all of the politicians, political-party apparatus and political-interest groups in the case, no plaintiff could identify a single actual voter who could not or would not vote because of the voter ID law,” Carter said in the brief filed Monday with the Supreme Court. “This fact succinctly demonstrates why this case is unworthy of the court’s attention: It proves the law is benign.”

Besides that, Carter wrote, “granting review of the issue now would likely prompt a raft of last-minute voter-identification challenges that would disrupt the 10 2008 presidential primaries.”

The court will either agree to hear the case – ultimately choosing between the Indiana Democratic Party’s view and the state law – or refuse to consider it, which would be a victory for backers of the law. The justices have not yet said whether they will accept or reject the case.

Carter told the justices that if they are tempted to consider the case, they ought to wait until after the 2008 elections, when it would “not precipitate emergency, election-eve challenges” and when there would be a record of voter ID law enforcement to take into account.

He pointed out that by the end of February 2008, “well before this case would be decided,” 24 states and the District of Columbia will already have held presidential primaries.

“Fourteen of those states require some form of identification for all voters,” and agreeing to hear the case but not deciding the outcome before those people vote “would create new uncertainty as to the validity of all voter identification requirements, far more uncertainty than exists now,” Carter argued.

Under federal law, states must require identification from first-time voters who registered to vote by mail and did not provide verification of their identification with their mail-in voter registration.

Two dozen states, including Indiana, have broader voter ID requirements. Voters in seven states must show a government-issued photo ID; the 17 other states accept other forms of identification such as utility bills.

But even in the states with the strictest voter ID laws, voters who can’t produce an ID are allowed to vote. Most allow a provisional ballot; the voter must appear at a county office within a few days after the election and prove his or her identity.

Privately, I have to wonder if Secretary of State Todd Rokita and other supporters of the Voter ID law wouldn't like to see the Supreme Court take up the case for no other reason than they are certain of victory there with the make-up of today's court. Chief Justice John Roberts is reported to have played a key role in the Bush campaign's challenge of the Florida recount decision, a decision which ultimately sealed President Bush's election as president.

17 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Foxes guarding the chicken-house, eh?

Anonymous said...

Carter's argument is a little disingenuous. Fourteen states have "some form" of voter ID law. Right.

None has one more restrictive than Indiana. Not one.

His logistical argument makes some sense, as much as I hate to admit it. I thought, hoowever, that cert was granted/denied based on merits, not any particular calendar.

Yeah, Roberts was there in Fla. in 2000. So was i, as an observer. Shenanigans like that, you'll likely never see again. Voter Intent. Indeed.

Todd was likely too busy travelling, to make a "friend of the petition filing. God I can't wait until Todd runs for something again. Frequent Flier statements will abound! He's t-o-a-s-t and it couldn't happen to a smarmier a--hole than Todd.

Donna said...

"Carter told the justices that if they are tempted to consider the case, they ought to wait until after the 2008 elections, when it would “not precipitate emergency, election-eve challenges” and when there would be a record of voter ID law enforcement to take into account."

Hmmmm. Reminds me of this song:

Royally Oily
by Colleen Kattau

Well there once was an election by unpopular selection of an imbecilic lying father's son
Cause he was next in line to rise up from the slime and take the thrown by coup d'etat in Washington
....
and we were winning as dissenters when we called our representers
but they fixed the game and lied about the score.

(source: http://www.colleenkattau.com/freetracks/Colleen%20Kattau%20-%20Royally%20Oiligarchy.mp3)

Anonymous said...

So what are you saying, Gary, even the U.S. Supreme Court now decides cases based on political considerations? Isn't it bad enough that the decisions of the lower courts were, with the exception of Judge Rovner (bless her heart), strictly along party lines? Or that the Michigan Supreme Court also broke down along party lines in upholding that state's ID law? We already know something about the degree to which the Dept. of Justice has been politicized under Bush. Now I guess the same must be said about the federal judiciary, including the court of last resort? God help us.

Anonymous said...

Earth to 8:16: George Bush did not win in 2000. He was annointed by the Supremes. And that court has gotten two votes more-far-right since then. Have you been living under a rock? Recent decisions on abortion rights, educational equity and lender rights, should tell us a great deal about their bent.

Trust me, those of us who read SCOTUS decisions for a hobby, know that Bush v Gore 2000, will go down in history as one of the worst-decided cases ever. Sandra Day O'Connor is rumored to be saying just that in her memoirs, now being written. She regrets her decision, it is alleged.

Never forget, Chief Rehnquist thought himself so regal that he had his title changed: from Chief Justice (PERIOD) to "Chief Justice of the United States." And he designed that unflattering robe and beanie he wore. Good Lord it's clear there were no gay men within five miels of THAT fashion faux pas.

AG Carter is further right than any of the current members of SCOTUS.

Rokita is a wedge whacking zealot.

You do the math.

Anonymous said...

So what are you saying, Gary, even the U.S. Supreme Court now decides cases based on political considerations?

The court has not used the Constitution for decades. Select members have ruled using _their_ personal belief on what the Constitution means.

Mark said...

What is the big deal for having an ID to vote???? I am not for sure I understand why you should not have one??? You need one to buy a car, get a mortgage...open a bank account...travel....drive....write and cash a check......buy alcohol and cigs.......and pretty much anything else you have to do. It is illegal not to have an ID anyway......I just don't get why the democrats are so upset about this......

Anonymous said...

10:49, it's illegal NOT to have an ID?

Where do you people GET this stuff?

The argument, for me, is not an ID. It's the type of ID. Indiana's law is the most-restrictive in the nation. What the hell is the far right scared of?

Anonymous said...

I think it's more a question of what the far-left is scared of. They're the ones who filed the lawsuit against the state's voter-ID law. They're the ones who filed the appeal to SCOTUS when the Appeals court's decision didn't go their way.

Anonymous said...

This argument has played itself out in courts, on blogs, and at bars all over the state, but, 12:25, you're wrong, on this count:

Indiana's law is the most-restrictive in the country. Abusively so.

The "far left" isn't scared of the court's opinion. They're likely scared of Todd's runaway wedge whacking, which seems to have become commonplace for the Republican Party these days.

To restate:

There was no problem. This was an overkill solution searching for a problem. There were no cases of documented unprosecuted voter fraud in Indiana, anywhere, any time. Rokita looked hard for some.

Ample laws exist to handle the cases of voter fraud. Several have been prosecuted in recent years.

In true Republican-Libertarian form, why push government further down our throats, if we don't need to?

It was overkill to satisfy Rokita's base. No more, no less.
Just like Woody's stupid license palte on our dime. Pander to the base, instead of governing.

If Rokita perceived a huge problem, why didn't he study ways to solve it? Ask the 92 county clerks how they'd handle it? Ask national experts?

When he did submit his argument to national experts, he was rebuked soundly.

Jason said...

Well if there was no problem before there isn't one now. Heaven forbid someone do something to put a dent in the Crown Hill vote. It seems like people are arguing along political grounds instead of arguing the case itself. They couldn't find anybody who wouldn't be able to vote. Nobody. Not one person. Not a single person. Not a man, Not a woman. No one. It's a frivolous lawsuit. You can say it was frivolous legislation, but when's the last time either party even acknowledged that frivolous legislation even existed?

Anonymous said...

There were no cases of documented unprosecuted voter fraud in Indiana, anywhere, any time. Rokita looked hard for some.

There are really only four ways in which they could find fraud:

#1: Someone admits to it.
#2: Someone who goes to vote can't because someone else already voted and signed as that person.
#3: You compare voting logs and death notices.
#4: You compare voting logs from precinct to precinct.

For the first one, as long as no one says anything, you can't prove that. With #2, I think people voting as others likely know the person registered is either dead or won't ever show. This goes with #1 and #3.

Now with #3 and #4, I think these records are public notices. As such, I find it hard to believe that they can't find one case of fraud. My guess is that they only looked at a few areas, as pulling records from all over the state, entering names into a database, etc. is likely too much time and money.

Even with that being said, the simple fact that the Democrats can't find one example of a person who couldn't vote is also telling that this "problem" likely isn't much of one. All they barked about was all these folks who wouldn't be able to vote, yet when it came time to produce said folks, no one was available I guess. Democrats will claim that just because they can't find a case doesn't mean one doesn't exist. Well, using the same logic, just because you can't find one case of voter fraud doesn't mean it is non-existant.

Anonymous said...

Back up, 9:10...you really don't want your logic used on the passage of all laws in Indiana.

If there were no problem, and there wasn't, ahy saddle us with a divisive and obtrusive new law?

Isn't less government the Republican way?

Try to focus on just that.

And admit that your Toady Todd is toast. His own mouth, ambition and passport did that to him. This ridiculous law was a precursor to his wild ambition, fueled by pandering to the far right.

It's bad legislation. The Dem lawsuit was flawed, too....but so be it.

It wasn't broken. It didn't ened fixed. The Crown Hill vote stuff is urban legend. Your four reasons are bogus, too...fraud is proven by documented evidence, period.

There was none.

ProCynic said...

Anon 5:30,

There was and is a vote fraud problem.

Have you never heard of "East Chicago?" How about "East St. Louis?" Milwaukee? Washington state?

Anonymous said...

Rokita told everyone before he was elected that he was in favor of Photo ID laws. Polling was done that found somewhere around 70%-80% of the people liked/wanted it too. Call him names and wish bad things for his future if you want (although it makes you sound hateful and bitter, 5:30), but he didn't hide what he wanted to do, was elected (and re-elected) by a large margin and then did what he said he was going to do. Which also happened to be popular with a large number of Hoosiers.

If we don't like the law in its current form, let's get the legislature to look at it again next session and improve it. That's where we should be spending our energy instead of this endless back and forth debate, name calling, or this very expensive lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Voter ID made everything harder on the Democrats....remember their frivilous law suit?

They used a Democrat as an example who worked at the BMV and lied, saying she did not have ID, then admitted under oath that she had a driver's license.

Wilson lies!

Democrats are fraud, hypocricy and lies.

P. S. I note that most AI threads start with a comment from banned blogger Wilson (D). Why isn't he trespassing through the tulips instead of trespassing on this outstanding blog of truth?

Anonymous said...

I worked the polls in Center Twp for a few years....saw the Dems bring in buses before voter ID of elderly & bums told how to vote.

I remember Julia illegally walking into the chute as well as Tony Duncan.

I bet those who violated the law most, object to voter ID most.