By the Full Metal Patriot
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.Expected to be hardest hit — dead voters and illegal immigrants…who tend to vote for Democrats.
In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana's strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to prevent fraud.
It was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. But the voter ID ruling lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.
The law "is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting 'the integrity and reliability of the electoral process,'" Justice John Paul Stevens said in an opinion that was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy. Stevens was a dissenter in Bush v. Gore in 2000.[…]
More than 20 states require some form of identification at the polls. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, but struck down Missouri's. Monday's decision comes a week before Indiana's presidential primary.
The decision also could spur efforts to pass similar laws in other states.
Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said he hadn't reviewed the decision, but he was "extremely disappointed" by it. Falk has said voter ID laws inhibit voting, and a person's right to vote "is the most important right." The ACLU brought the case on behalf of Indiana voters.
The case concerned a state law, passed in 2005, that was backed by Republicans as a way to deter voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights groups opposed the law as unconstitutional and called it a thinly veiled effort to discourage elderly, poor and minority voters — those most likely to lack proper ID and who tend to vote for Democrats.
I'm glad to see the SCOTUS ruled in favor of common sense (note: yes, this was a 2008 ruling — bear with me). Most things in our society require a person to produce photo ID to prove one's identity. We should require no less for our most important civic duty.
Someone might want to update Attorney General Eric Holder to stop demonizing states that pass and uphold laws to reduce voter fraud.
You know it's election season when the political left starts attacking voter identification laws as racist measures that have nothing to do with ballot integrity. Last week the Obama administration and civil rights leaders once again were sounding this theme.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience in Austin, Texas, that photo ID requirements hurt minorities. "Are we willing to allow this era -- our era -- to be remembered as the age when our nation's proud tradition of expanding the franchise ended?" said Mr. Holder. "Call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes," he added. "Urge policy makers at every level to re-evaluate our election systems and to reform them in ways that encourage, not limit, participation."
Ben Jealous of the NAACP, which has been pressuring the Obama administration to oppose voter ID laws, told National Public Radio on Saturday that these requirements are akin to Reconstruction-era poll taxes. "You look historically, you look presently, and what you see is that when our democracy expands, somebody turns around and tries to contract it," said Mr. Jealous. "You saw it after the Civil War. You see it now after the election of the first black president."
The reality is that voter ID laws preceded Barack Obama's election, and in places like Georgia and Indiana, minority turnout increased after the laws were passed. A 2007 study by the Heritage Foundation concluded that "in general, respondents in photo identification and non-photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to respondents from states that only required voters to state their name." The findings applied to white, black and Latino voters alike.
My point is, the SCOTUS has already examined this issue and found Voter ID laws to be completely constitutional and legal. Eric Holder is beclowning himself by throwing down the race card yet again.
Cross-posted at Full Metal Patriot