Wisconsin’s highest court reiterated its stance on the legal controversy surrounding a previous voter ID ruling last week by refusing to address the unconstitutionality of the bill before the appellate court does.
With one month before the state’s non-partisan primaries, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court denied Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s request to consider the voter ID bill without a challenge in the appeals courts for the third time.
Van Hollen, whose Nov. 7 suggestion also included joining the two voter ID cases before the Supreme Court, said such an amendment to the process would allow for a resolution to be reached before the next election. The last time the Supreme Court denied his request, Van Hollen tried to get the law in effect for the November elections.
“We are continuing to aggressively defend what represents the will of the people of Wisconsin and do so on a basis that enables a resolution before the next set of elections,” Van Hollen said in a November statement.
However, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Executive Director Andrea Kaminski said her group wants “the full review” of the bill, including challenges in the appeals court.
According to Kaminski, by denying Van Hollen’s request, the high court also signaled support for a complete review process.
Kaminski added her organization, along other voter advocacy groups and most Democrats, are opposed to a voter ID requirement, as they see no necessity for such a law and say it disenfranchises voters.
A new law that does not disenfranchise voters might see more support from her group, she said.
“We would not support [a new law] unless all voters have the same opportunity to get an ID that’s acceptable,” Kaminski said.
University of Wisconsin political science professor David Canon agreed with Kaminski, adding the law places a burden on those without IDs, such as elderly individuals born outside of hospitals and without a birth certificate.
Two different Dane County circuit court judges struck down the voter ID requirement last year.
According to Canon, by letting the case be argued in the appeals courts first, the Supreme Court is likely to agree with these circuit court rulings.