SCOTUS upholds Wisconsin voter ID law

The Supreme Court has upheld the legality of Wisconsins voter ID law, giving a victory to proponents of free and fair elections. The court refused to hear an appeal by the ACLU, clearing the way for the law to be implemented at the next election.


Voter identification laws have been put in place in a number of Republican-governed states over the objection of many Democrats. Republicans in Wisconsin and other states say such rules are needed to prevent voter fraud. Democrats say the laws are intended to suppress the turnout of minorities and other groups that tend to voter for Democrats.

In October, the court temporarily blocked the Wisconsin law. It did not explain its reasoning at the time, but it was most likely because the statute was being implemented so close to the November election, which could have caused confusion and disruption.

The ACLU had pointed out in October that absentee ballots had been sent out before the November election without notifying voters of the identification requirements.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld the constitutionality of such voter ID laws.

Wisconsin's is one of several similar voter ID rules that have become a political and racial flashpoint across the United States.

A federal judge blocked the state's voter ID law in March 2012 soon after it took effect and entered a permanent injunction in April, finding the measure would deter or prevent a substantial number of voters who lack photo identification from casting ballots, and place an unnecessary burden on the poor and minorities.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the decision and subsequently ruled in October that the law was constitutional. Wisconsin's Supreme Court upheld the voter ID law in a separate ruling.

It's hard to see why this is such a controversial issue. The notion that paying for a state ID is a "burden" in this case is ludicrous. A free ID card is available:

    A free ID card is available under Wisconsin law to anyone who:

        will be at least 18 years of age on the date of the next election and;
        requests an ID card for the purpose of voting.

A free ID card is a burden? Nice try, ACLU.

Most states that require voter ID either give out the ID cards for free or at a substantial discount. There may be a tiny number of people who might find it a burden to get out of the house and visit a secretary of state's office to obtain an ID, but claims of massive numbers of disenfranchsed voters is absurd.

The left is running out of viable arguments against voter ID laws. And the Supreme Court continues to uphold them.