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7th Cir. Blocks Ct. Injunction That Would Have Allowed Voting With No ID

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 19, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Seventh Circuit threw up roadblocks to halt an injunction that had been issued by Judge Lynn Adelman of Milwaukee that would have allowed persons in Wisconsin to cast their ballots despite having no photo ID. The circuit found that the lower court was "too lenient in loosening a state voter ID law that had already been declared discriminatory," according to the New York Times.

Hold on There a Moment

In its opinion, the Seventh Circuit attempted to rein in enthusiasm in place of creating policy. The circuit referenced a prior opinion in which it concluded that there was an entitlement to have one's vote cast if that person expended a reasonable effort to obtain a photo ID, but failed to procure one.

The issue for the circuit was that Judge Lynn Adelman probably took that concession a bit too far. Adelman did not identify or distinguish those voters who'd made the effort from those who did not. Instead, the judge issued an injunction that would allow any voter to use the affidavit to abuse the system and cast a vote -- reasonable effort or no.

Following the Latest Developments

As was mentioned above, voter ID laws have been on the public consciousness for some time now. Federal courts of appeals have recently found that voter ID law that restricted voting in North Carolina and Texas were discriminatory and unconstitutional. The tenor of the controversies has reached a particularly vibrant pitch because of the rancor of the presidential race this year -- and because a substantial portion of the electorate feels that there is much to lose.

As it stands right now, North Carolina plans to appeal either en banc or to SCOTUS.

Speaking of Appeals

Almost before the decision had time enough to be printed, the Voting Rights plaintiffs filed this petition for en banc review. In the petition, the plaintiffs reiterate yet again the emergency nature of the facts and that injunctive relief is required in order to address the "irreparable harm" to the plaintiffs.

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