Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Voter ID Law

The decision comes as no surprise. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Indiana's Voter ID law in a 4-1 decision, League of Women Voters v. Rokita, written by Justice Brent Dickson, rebuking a Court of Appeals decision that declared it invalid last year. The Court found that the law's photo identification requirement for in-person voters to be regulatory in nature as opposed to an additional substantive qualification to vote that would violate the Constitution's requirement for uniformity and reasonableness.

The Court also rejected the plaintiffs' claim that the law violated the state's privileges and immunities clause. "Given the scope of the undertaking embraced in the Voter ID Law's efforts in enhancing the integrity of the electoral process and its attempt to tailor its opera-tion to a significant variety of circumstances, we conclude that the possible absence of precise congruity in application to all voters represents a legitimate exercise of legislative discretion warranting our defe-rence," Justice Dickson wrote. The Court held out some small glimmer of hope for opponents of the law for a future case where the plaintiffs could actually demonstrate that someone was denied the right to vote under the Voter ID law, a particulartized as-applied claim, as opposed to the facially unconstitutional claim presented by the plaintiffs in this case. Justice Ted Boehm wrote the lone dissenting opinion. He would have remanded the case to the trial court and given them the opportunity to prove that the law as-applied unreasonably burdened some voters.

Today's decision is a vindication of sorts for Gov. Mitch Daniels, who was criticized for describing last year's Court of Appeals decision as "preposterous" and an "act of judicial arrogance." You can see my arguments for why the Court of Appeals got it wrong in this case by clicking here.

17 comments:

Doug said...

I'd disagree that the decision rebuked the Court of Appeals or that it vindicates Gov. Daniels characterization of the Court of Appeals decision as "preposterous."

The opinion barely mentions the Court of Appeals decision at all.

Advance Indiana said...

Silence, Doug, sometimes speaks volumes.

Advance Indiana said...

I would add that two of the four justices who sided with the majority are Democrats. All of the opposition to the law has come from Democrats. The lone dissenter is a Democrat.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

This might sound simple-minded, but I always thought if you didn't have your act together enough to be able to procure an ID, then you probably don't have any business voting.

Downtown Indy said...

Since people will now need valid id to buy their booze, maybe that will motivate them to do so, and all this wrangling over voter id will fade away.

Advance Indiana said...

Don't count on it. Vop Osili, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State made the outrageous claim that at least 40,000 voters had been disenfranchised by the Voter ID requirement. These people just make this stuff up. You would think after five years they could at least show up in court with a live body claiming to have been disenfranchised by the law. The Democrats know that for years in certain precincts they won votes through voter impersonation. This law makes that practice nearly impossible so they scream and scream and scream over not being able to commit outright voter fraud. I still think Rokita needed to clean up the absentee voting process, however, where I suspect even much greater voter fraud occurs as evidenced by recent criminal cases.

artfuggins said...

HFT, it sounds as if you would have supported the poll tax also. I wonder what the next voter suppression plan of Mitch Daniels and the Republican party will be.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Art,

That is such crap. You are required to produce your ID often several times a day. Trying to compare this to the voter suppression tactics Democrats used against black voters in the South is more than a bit disingenous.

Having said that, I do wish the law was less restrictive on what form of ID and offer a affidavit alternative. That's where the Ds should have fought the battle - not clinging to the notion that people should be able to vote just by signing their name.

Indy4U2C said...

This case is yet another example of Democrats filing frivilous litigation and wasting the court's time and taxpayer money to defend against the frivilous litigation.

I quote U. S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in refering to the Dems in her previous decision on the matter of this frivilous litigation: This argument resembles the “wet Kleenex” prank of yore in which as entertainment, a soggy wet tissue mass is thrown
against the dorm room wall to see if it will stick. In the context of this much more serious
matter, we fear Plaintiffs are engaged in a similar exercise – throwing facts against the
courthouse wall simply to see what sticks.

Advance Indiana said...

The irony here is that we require more documentation from Indiana voters to vote than we required Barack Obama to produce to become president of the United States. We simply required Barack Obama to sign a piece of paper saying he was eligible to serve without further proof. The end result is an imposter in the White House. Go figure.

Michael said...

The lone dissenter is on his way out, too....

so you can pretty much call that a unanimous opinion.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Art,
Why did you go and do that? You got me to thinking!

A poll tax might not be a bad idea. Why should people who don't vote have to pay for an election and all the staff and equipment it takes to pull one off?

Make the people who care about voting pay! The price of admission could be something nominal...like a buck!

I'd pay a buck to vote.

Indy4U2C said...

HFFT: Art is Wilson Allen's pseudonym. Pay no attention to the leftist.

Downtown Indy said...

I don't know how we get from 'id required' to 'voter suppression.'

I guess that means driver licenses are 'driver suppresion?'

Advance Indiana said...

The number of people participating in elections in Indiana has actually increased since the Voter ID law took effect. Go figure on the Democrats' specious claims of voter suppression. Motor voter registration has been a real problem as well. BMV workers under the Bayh-O'Bannon administrations illegally registered illegal aliens to vote. Immigration lawyers in this state frequently run across such people in their work.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I would think that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold Indiana's, and doubt that the League of Indiana Voters will continue this law suit. Nice try, ladies. I need to rejoin.

Advance Indiana said...

The Supreme Court has already upheld the law in Crawford v. Rokita, marycatherine, although the facts presented in that case didn't focus on the differing rules for absentee voting.