Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Now In Hands Of State’s Partisan High Court

Source: Dan Froomkin / The Huffington Post

The legal team fighting Pennsylvania’s restrictive new voter identification law asked the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday to at least postpone until after November the measure that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters, many of them minorities.

“There’s too little time, there’s too many people affected and there’s no place in the statute that guarantees that qualified electors can get the ID they need to vote,” said David P. Gersch, representing the American Civil Liberties Union and other public interest groups.

The three Democratic justices noted the nonexistence of the voter fraud the law is ostensibly designed to prevent, and repeatedly asked lawyers representing the state’s Republican-led legislature and Republican governor, “What’s the rush?”

But even if the nation’s top courts were once a place where partisan differences were overcome, these days they are more likely to be one more place for partisan battles. On Thursday, the three Republican Supreme Court justices gave little indication that they would overrule a district court decision last month that let the law stand. In case of a tie, the lower court ruling would remain in effect.

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