Want to Vote? Identify Yourself
The Supreme Court has just upheld Indiana’s law requiring voters to have photo identification. The case is Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (thanks SCOTUS blog for the coverage). This area of the law is quite complicated. I suggest reading the SCOTUS coverage and Rick Hasen’s commentary. Prof. Hasen wrote an amicus supporting the challengers of the law. His introduction to the detailed post demonstrates his ability to see the result and analyze rather than rant about the decision:
Today’s much anticipated decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board is a significant win for those who support stricter voter identification laws, even if they support such laws for partisan purposes. It will encourage further litigation, because it relegates challenges to laws imposing onerous burdens on a small group of voters to “as applied” challenges, but those challenges will be difficult to win. The lack of a majority opinion, moreover, injects some uncertainty into the appropriate standard for reviewing other challenges to onerous election laws. The Court’s specific split in this case will blunt charges that this is a politicized 5-4 decision — and it is significant that the Court, once again, has failed to cite to its opinion in Bush v. Gore. More on each of these points below.
So read the full post. It details some implications of the decision and the oddities of the 6-3 split in this case.
Image: A New York polling place, showing booths on the left, published in 1912
Author: E. Benjamin Andrews