Attorney general will appeal judge's decision on voter ID lawWisconsin News
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says it’s proper for voters to prove who they are. He says the law “makes accommodations to reduce any potential burden” for those without IDs.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Wednesday afternoon that he’ll appeal a judge’s ruling that temporarily halted Wisconsin’s controversial voter ID law.
Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan said Tuesday that groups for Hispanics and African-Americans are likely to win their lawsuit which seeks to strike down the voting law. The judge put the law on hold until a trial on the lawsuit can be held April 16.
Flanagan said the plaintiffs have a case in claiming that the law hurts the voting rights of the poor, elderly and minorities because it’s harder for them to get acceptable IDs.
But Van Hollen says it’s proper for voters to prove who they are. For those without IDs, he said, the law “makes accommodations to reduce any potential burden” in obtaining them.
For now, at least, the judge’s order removes the requirement that voters show photo IDs and sign poll books in Wisconsin’s presidential primary on April 3.
The state GOP says the entire case is tainted because Judge Flanagan signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker last November. Walker signed the voter ID mandate into law earlier last year.
The judge’s ruling had some very harsh words for the law. He called it “the single most restrictive voter eligibility law in the country,” and he agreed with the plaintiffs in saying it would hurt the poor, elderly and minorities who have a harder time than others in getting legitimate IDs.
The judge called the law “extremely broad and largely needless.” The State Justice Department plans to appeal Flanagan’s decision
The state GOP said it would ask the Judicial Commission to find out why Flanagan did not withdraw from the case after signing the Walker recall petition. GOP spokesman Ben Sparks says it puts the entire court case into question.
Election attorney Michael Maistelman told the Journal Sentinel Flanagan’s signing of the petition should not affect the case itself, because Walker is being sued in his official capacity as governor, and not as a possible political candidate in a recall election.
Meanwhile, another Madison judge – Richard Niess – will hold a hearing Friday on the League of Women Voters’ claim that the voter ID law is unconstitutional.
On Monday, Niess rejected the state’s effort to throw out that lawsuit.