Two Wisconsin Courts of Appeals asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wednesday to take up two separate lawsuits against the voter ID law approved last year for a final ruling on whether the law should be enforced.
One of the lawsuits was filed jointly by immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, while the other lawsuit was filed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. Although recent injunctions in Circuit Courts have halted enforcement of the photo ID requirement in the April 3 elections, the groups still claim the law disenfranchises voters in the state.
The decision to ask the Supreme Court to take up the cases falls less than a week before the April 3 elections, which include the Republican presidential primary along with a number of local elections.
According to a statement released by Voces de la Frontera and NAACP, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appealed the two injunctions filed by two Dane County Circuit Court judges. Since the two courts certified the challenges, the appeals could be sent to the Supreme Court for review.
The Supreme Court will now either deny or agree to take up the case, which will require a majority of four of the seven Supreme Court justices to agree on.
Dana Brueck, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which will be arguing for the implementation of the law in the case, said they were pleased with the certification from the courts.
“Today’s certifications are a good step toward getting this matter of great importance and urgency resolved,” Brueck said. “The Supreme Court still has time to enter an order ensuring the voter ID law will be followed at the April 3 election, but it needs to move quickly.”
Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said in a statement the board has already taken “extensive steps” to comply with the circuit court judges’ decisions.
The GAB, which is tasked with overseeing elections in the state, remains wary about further changes in such close proximity to the election date, according to the statement.
“While we understand the need to have this issue settled, as election administrators we believe it would be unfair to the voters and local election officials to have the photo ID requirements changed again so close to the election,” Kennedy said in the statement.
Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesperson Cullen Werwie said in an email to The Badger Herald the law ensures the integrity of the elections. He said the Walker administration is confident the state will prevail in its plan to bring back enforcement of the photo ID provision.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin said in a statement they were confident the injunction issued on the law by Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess will be upheld by the Supreme Court.
A separate statement released by the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera said they were “fully prepared” to defend the injunction placed by Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge David Flanagan.