Thursday, October 9th – The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a Wisconsin voter ID law in response to the American Civil Liberties Union who submitted an emergency request after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law constitutional.
There are several implications of the voter ID law being blocked, but first and foremost, it signifies that no one must show a valid voter ID in order to vote on November 4th. This means that hundreds of thousands of minorities, elderly, poor, and student voters will not have to jump through hoops to demonstrate their right to vote.
I welcome this Supreme Court ruling and the strong message it sends to all who think they can manipulate our voting laws just because they disagree with what we have to say. Those who trample on our civil liberties with impunity in pursuit of political supremacy forget that this nation was built on the principle that we all are ‘created equal.’ These unjust laws have nothing to do with stopping the manufactured threat of voter fraud and everything to do with making it harder for more eligible voters to register and vote.”
-Congresswoman Gwen Moore
However, this is not the end of the road for the voter ID law. The law is blocked, not ruled unconstitutional, and will be revisited by the Supreme Court after the November elections. When the U.S. Supreme Court issues emergency rulings, it is rare for the court to report why they made the decision, so there has been no explanation of why they blocked the ruling by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
There are several possible reasons for the decision. Normally, an emergency ruling comes after a Court of Appeals has erred, which could be possible in this case. Another reason that the court made this decision is because many voters have already submitted absentee votes without the voter ID requirement, and now would be asked to provide an ID before their votes would count. Finally, it is possible that the court believed there was not enough time for Wisconsin officials as well as the general population to prepare for the law before the elections on November 4th.
In any case, no one will be required to show a voter ID to demonstrate their democratic right to vote. See you at the polls.