Monday, April 17, 2006

Poll Tax upheld in Indiana in scathing decision. PDF. Hasen cited p. 25.
Am reading it now.

A few notes: Most, but not all, of the plaintiffs are dismissed on standing grounds, in a manner that tends to overlook the freedom of association interests at issue.
Lots of noise about standing, mostly as a way to warm up his hostility either to the plaintiffs, their claims, or their lawyers.
(Ok, later, he claims the associational claims of the Democratic plaintiffs weren't breifed, and thus have been waived. That comment is in the merits section but might also apply to standing.)

Now to the merits: The opinion is, in my opinion, clearly in error, where it bungles the standard of review, citing Timmons and Burdick v Takushi. That presents an appealable issue.
No, wait, now he's she's (Sarah Evans Barker) citing Anderson v Celebrezze and mentioning Norman v Reed.
A court considering a challenge to a state election law must weigh
“the character and magnitude of the asserted injury to the rights
protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments that the plaintiff
seeks to vindicate” against “the precise interests put forward by the
State as justifications for the burden imposed by its rule,” taking into
consideration “the extent to which those interests make it necessary
to burden the plaintiff's rights.

sundry errata: posses for possess, hat for that.

She goes on to find that voter ID is not a severe burden, and uses a deferential standard - I don't claim to be clear on what standard she uses, just that it isn't the strict scrutiny plaintiffs wanted (and the constitutions require.)

Her analysis of the standard under the state constitution is even more cursory - she says it need only not be grossly unreasonable and practically impossible, citing some ancient cases. These cases are the current state of the art on Indiana's free and equal elections clause; the clause doesn't get litigated much.
She says it's not a poll tax, pointing out some people can get free IDs, and ignoring that the birth certificate or passport they need to that costs money.
Some of her arguments make sense when the plaintiffs try to push things into iffy territory. Others don't.
Because I am tied up days at a new job and have other more pressing legal projects, I probably won't jump into this case - I hadn't done so yet.
If I had a lawyer handy who wanted to take the case, I'd be willing to raise my search and seizure issues, which were not raised here, and that could be filed in state court and give a second bite at the apple.
(My argument boils down to if you want to see my voter's license, I want to see your warrant, supported by at least reasonable suspicion, preferably probable cause.)
What I will probably do is go to vote in the primary (not sure which party, but it's also the school board election where my friend Barry Campbell is running), get turned away, no, rather, be given a provisional ballot, which will then not be counted.

In somewhat related news, in Georgia, ex-gov barnes has filed a state court, state constitution, lawsuit against voter ID there, using the second-bite-at-the-apple stratey I just suggested above.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?