Tuesday, July 19, 2016

significant development in frank v walker II, wisconsin voter ID case. on remand, district judge allows affidavit as alternative to ID. developing.


Ok, i've now given this a first read.  It seems a reasonable and nuanced opinion. As an anti-voter ID absolutist, it's not all the relief I would like. This is a judge who has already been reversed in this case twice. I think she (or he?) does a good job of operating within the parameters of the remand.

The opinion declines to dismiss any plaintiffs, grants class certification, orders a reasonable impediment affidavit modeled after South Carolina's, walks through some anecdotes about dealing with the bmv, discusses the Anderson test, discusses the relative burdens of injunctive relief, and grants the injunction. The case says that a voter who has ID but doesn't ant to show it does have standing, which is my position but is not widely accepted.

Hasen has written that these "softening" measures don't fully undo the harm that voter ID does, and he's right. But this kind of relief is what's available from the courts right now, and is in line with the kind of cases that plaintiffs' counsel, such as the ACLU, has been bringing. If the statute is an undue burden on little old ladies, the amish, the homeless, that burden can be lightened by providing an affidavit ("declaration"). The lightened burden can then pass Anderson balancing, at least against the kind of claims that are being brought. I continue to think that the 24th Amendment is an absolute bar to much of what Wisconsin is trying to do, but the state supreme court already granted some relief there, and plaintiffs aren't pushing the 24th A. issue hard at this stage.

 I see no reason either the 7th circuit or Supreme Court should have any problem with upholding this on appeal.  Hasen disagrees,and will no doubt explain why in due time. update: he's updated.

Plaintiffs should then, having prevailed, be able to collect a substantial amount of legal fees, if not 100%, since they did not get all the relief they sought.

I do not see that this will likely affect either Indiana's practices, which already have some special case affidavits, although not the same as here, or my current dispute about Indiana's voter ID.

This week I signed a limited representation agreement with Indiana's ACLU. As far as I know all they are going to do is send a letter to the county. My situation is that I refuse to show ID, and what they are supposed to do is offer me a provisional ballot, but instead at the primary they threw me out of the building, and I've filed complaints at the county state and federal level, but don't expect much to come of it, unless I can find counsel to bring a lawsuit, which the ACLU is not offering to do.

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