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Indiana Voter ID Law Struck Down:

The Indiana voter identification law that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board was held unconstitutional by the Indiana Court of Appeals today. Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court held the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution, the Indiana court held it violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution. The opinion is here. More from the NYT and the Election Law blog.

J. Aldridge:
The state supreme court held limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples does not violate the State Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause, but requiring photo-id does?
9.17.2009 8:35pm
Oren:
If you read the opinion, it was because the photo-id requirement is not uniform.
9.17.2009 9:19pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Looks like the Indiana Supreme Court is more likely to affirm the trial judge.
9.17.2009 9:20pm
J. Aldridge:
If you read the opinion, it was because the photo-id requirement is not uniform.

LOL Isn't that was was said of excluding opposite sex couples?
9.17.2009 9:52pm
J. Aldridge:
^^^^ was was = what was
9.17.2009 9:56pm
Psalm91 (mail):
Looking forward to Hans Bader/Von Spakovsky's contribution to this discussion, particularly now that the great villain ACORN (averaging $3M in federal funds per year) has been vanquished.
9.17.2009 10:30pm
Oren:
JA, no. This would be more like a law that says SSM can be performed in some city halls but not in others.
9.17.2009 10:38pm
J. Aldridge:
Strange v. Board, etc., 173 Ind. 640:
As we have shown, there may be classifications, and rights may be conferred upon some classes and not upon others. A familiar example is the conferring upon corporations and upon individuals, the right of eminent domain, and all that is required is that the privileges or rights conferred or liabilities imposed shall be the same to all who fall within the same class or are similarly situated, and that is an express recognition of the clause of our own Constitution (Section 23).
9.17.2009 10:55pm
Steve:
I expect that the same folks who became instant experts on the Iowa constitution in order to weigh in on that state's same-sex marriage decision will turn out to have taken a crash course in Indiana state law as well. Nice to see they've kept busy.
9.17.2009 11:13pm
Dave N (mail):
I am guessing (but honestly don't know) that amending the Indiana Constitution is more difficult than amending California Constitution and easier than amending the U.S. Constitution.

So, I am guessing that might the next step for photo-ID proponents.
9.18.2009 1:21am
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Dave: Amending the Indiana constitution for voter ID is highly unlikely. The electorate responded to the voter ID rules by tossing out GOP control of the house. The senate is still GOP, so there's a bit of a standoff. I would not be shocked if the house goes back to the GOP in 2010 in reaction to Obama,but it's easier to fix the statute than to amend the constitution.
Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court held the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution
That's an oversimplification. The court denied a facial challenge raising certain claims with a certain record.
It left open the possibility of as-applied challenges and other claims and other records. Compare McConnell v FEC and WRTL I and II. My pending as-applied challenge raises new claims, such as the 24th A claim,that have not yet been decided by SCOTUS.
Personally I think the appellate court got it backwards; plaintiffs should have won on their article II section 2 claim; the section 23 claim seems much weaker.
9.18.2009 2:23am
vic:
for a non lawyer
it just goes to confirm my opinion, formed over time, in sporadic limited direct or indirect encounters with the local judiciary, that they are batty. Devoid of intellegence and common sense.

As the legislative and executive branchs are at most times equally inept.

God save the republic.

Cry my beloved adopted country!
9.18.2009 7:40am
A.S.:
If this ruling stands after the Indiana Supreme Court reviews it, they don't have to change the Indiana Constitution to make the law valid, they just need to change the law to (a) remove the privilege for voters at state care facilities that are also polling places and (b) add a requirement for absentee voters to provide identification, such as through an affidavit.
9.18.2009 10:49am
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
AS: Right, but that won't happen unless the GOP retakes the Indiana house. And by then there may be other decisions striking the statute on other constitutional grounds.
9.18.2009 12:50pm
sk (mail):
"If you read the opinion, it was because the photo-id requirement is not uniform."

If uniformity were required, wouldn't absentee voter itself be unconstitutional? After all, one form of voting allows people to vote from their homes, the other requires travel to a particular place. Different standards for different forms of voting?

And if we require everyone to physically be present to vote, wouldn't that impose an unfair burden on people who live further from the voting place than others?

etc, etc. ad infinitum.

sk
9.18.2009 1:42pm
J. Aldridge:
If uniformity were required, wouldn't absentee voter itself be unconstitutional?

Good point. I don't think the Indiana constitution uses the word "uniform" for voter qualifications? It used to be that voting rights and civil rights meant two different things.
9.18.2009 2:33pm
vmark1:
This one I've never understood. Why wouldn't we as citizens WANT people who are voting to vote once, and those who are voting legally entitled to do so? Is there a reason that this is a bad idea? What is the argument against this? Who would want this any other way? How does this stifle someones rights? The use of verifying ones ID seems like common sense and how in the world did this even come up for debate?
9.19.2009 9:10am
orions_hammer (www):
vmark1, some ID opponents fear the slippery slope by which ID requirements could be misused to prevent ordinary people from voting, e.g. by requiring a special "gilt-edged" ID card only issued to the Mayor's personal friends (cf poll tax, or New York's near-mythical concealed carry permit). Of course, other ID opponents just want to make sure that stupid voters, felons, or illegal aliens get to vote as many times as possible.
9.19.2009 1:39pm
J. Aldridge:
Why wouldn't we as citizens WANT people who are voting to vote once, and those who are voting legally entitled to do so? Is there a reason that this is a bad idea?

There is no real reason except special interest groups are worried over excluding many Democrat voters who are not elgiable to vote.

Imagine the horror of Tammany Hall if voting ID was around when they were illegally naturalizing every foreigner who walked in the door so they could vote Democrat!
9.19.2009 3:14pm

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