ACLU Loses, Common Sense Wins, in Voter ID Case
By a vote of 6-3, the US Supreme Court has upheld the Indiana Voter ID Law, which required voters there to establish who they are and that they are legal residents of Indiana before they vote. Similar laws have been passed in several other states. The ACLU has been fighting such laws in many jurisdictions, because the ACLU believes in open borders for illegal aliens, who can get drivers licenses and even register to vote, absent such laws.
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The facts but not the legal conclusions for this article come from an article by Greg Stohr on Bloomberg.com on 28 April, 2008.
Today (28 April) the Supreme Court ruled that Indiana’s law requiring voters to show photo IDs in order to vote, is constitutional. There is a serious factual error in the original story, however.
Justice Stevens, who normally votes with the “liberal” side of the Court, voted to uphold the law and wrote the main opinion. The Bloomberg article says that his personal decision avoided “a 5-4 split… along ideological lines” as in Bush v. Gore concerning the 2000 election. Actually, the vote on the Court in Bush v. Gore was 7-2 that the Florida Supreme Court had violated the First Amendment in that election.
Many members of the mainstream media, in order to favor the Gore position, said that it was “a 5-4 decision” to make it look both closed and more ideological. That error is, unfortunately, repeated by Bloomberg.
In the lead Opinion, Justice Stevens writes that the possibility of voter fraud is “very real” and that states have ” a valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.” Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy joined in Stevens’ Opinion. Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito agreed with the result, but would have granted states even more leeway in acting against voter fraud.
Justices Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer filed two Dissents, one by Souter and the other by Breyer. They argued that the Indiana law “imposes an unreasonable and irrelevant burden.” This is the ACLU argument made in this and several other cases. This argument is now dead.
The real interest of the ACLU seems to be maintaining drivers’ licenses, and the right to vote (through the Motor-Voter Law) for illegal aliens in the US. The Indiana law, and similar laws in Georgia and elsewhere, will cut down on the number of illegal aliens who vote, and who drive.
Justice Scalia in his Concurrence chided Justice Stevens for his main Opinion, for leaving the door open for more litigation against state voter ID laws, based on facts rather than the basic theory that states are responsible for state election laws.
Source for original story on the Net: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a6YsoNXb356s&refer=home