Judge Permanently Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID Law

On Tuesday a Dane County judge permanently barred enforcement of the voter ID requirements of Wisconsin’s voter law, holding that it imposes too great a burden on voters in Wisconsin than the state constitution allows.

According to Circuit Judge David Flanagan, Wisconsin Act 23 “tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card.” That requirement, Flanagan ruled, imposes a “substantial burden” upon a significant portion of the state’s residents who are registered to vote, as well as those who non-registered but eligible to vote because of the cost and difficult of obtaining documents needed to apply for a state DMV photo ID.

That means there is a “substantial impairment” to the right to vote guaranteed by the Wisconsin constitution.

“I think that the judge recognized the severe flaw in Wisconsin’s photo ID law in that it imposes an unreasonable burden on a very large number of people,” said Richard Saks, lawyer for the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera, which sued the state to stop the law.

Representatives from Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) office said an appeal was likely.

Related Stories:

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Unconstitutional

Everything You Need To Know About Voter ID Requirements In Your State

ACLU Sues Over Wisconsin Voter ID Law

Photo from League Of Women Voters of California via flickr.


Sue T.
Susan T5 years ago

I am dumbfounded by this! Living in a state in the USA I have to show ID to use my check card, buy alcohol, cigarettes, get on a plane, show the cops when/if I get stopped for any traffic violation....to get my OD I had to show proof (way back in da day) of who I was just like when I got my passport.
What is the BIG deal about having to prove you are who you say you are to VOTE!!!????
EVERYONE SHOULD have to do this. end of story

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

David said-"Kevin: Great post on the Castle doctrine. We do agree on some things. Thanks"

Lol, David, yeah I guess your right about that. As I sit here I have three loaded guns in my desk drawer (as my daddy once said, "an unloaded gun is a club") No I am a firm believer on the right of gun ownership and self-defense and it has saved my life on at least two occasions.

As a progressive and a liberal I find that many of my friends do not understand my beliefs on this issue. But guns are merely tools and can be used for either good or evil depending on whose hands they are in. Mine protect me and my family.

Freeand E.
Freeand E.5 years ago

@ Dr C: "That document has indeed been reviewed here, and leaves little opportunity for rational rebuttal."

I found a copy of the Commonwealth's pretrial brief today: http://pilcop.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Brief-in-Opposition-to-Petitioners-App-for-Prlim-Injunction-copy.pdf

If I may take the liberty of summing up their argument: "Ok, we admit it, you got us. It turns out, as you alleged, that it really is extremely burdensome and even impossible for some voters to obtain the 'free' IDs we are offering. So here's what we are going to do. We are going to make up a brand-new form of photo ID card, never before seen in PA, that voters will not have to produce a birth certificate to obtain. The card is not actually available yet, but it will be starting in August. We haven't told any voters about this new card yet, but we will and then they will have plenty of time to get to the DMV and get one before November. So, now that we've provided a solution for the constitutional violation we created, problem solved."

I would be embarrassed to make this argument to a Judge.

nancy d.
nancy B5 years ago

Finally!!!!! What a wonderful judge!!!!

Dr Clue
Dr Clue5 years ago

@Freeand E. [You should read the pretrial brief they filed yesterday. It spells out the facts and legal theory rather convincingly: http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/PIbrief.pdf]

That document has indeed been reviewed here, and leaves little opportunity for rational rebuttal. The Pennsylvanian government has already stipulated that there is no voter fraud to act as a rational basis for the law and will not even attempt to use voter fraud as a basis of defense.

Across the nation these laws appeared in boiler plate fashion, and while coincidence in life is rare, coincidence in politics is even less so.

The ALEC organization with dubious backers act much like "cliffs notes" for politicians sharing a common agenda, providing pre-written legislation and promotional campaigns for passing laws not in the interests of "by the people for the people" has been linked to these voter ID laws.

Sorta puts a big hole in their marketing slogan "Protecting, Expanding Free Society And Individual Liberty."

David C.
David C5 years ago

@Freeand E

The brief you refer to is compelling to any reasonable citizen. Not sure I feel your implied optimism. This is America. Politics rules, not justice and reason. PA judges are elected. They need to satisfy their contributors.

Arild Warud
Arild G5 years ago

Good news for now.

Freeand E.
Freeand E.5 years ago

@ Dr C: "Currently in Pennsylvania the ACLU is challenging the voter ID (suppression) law"

You should read the pretrial brief they filed yesterday. It spells out the facts and legal theory rather convincingly:


Dr Clue
Dr Clue5 years ago

Currently in Pennsylvania the ACLU is challenging the voter ID (suppression) law in that state and unlike voter ID proponents who have a hard time showing any justification for the law, the ACLU had no problem in finding legitimate voters who will be bared from the polls.

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

@ Sally D. you link says; “We're unable to locate the page you requested.” interesting you use a useless link to make your point.

“The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet”

Yes, and that same Government research was US Defense Department. Uh oh! look out Fright Reich the Internet was created by BIG GOVERNMENT!!!!! THE INTERNET IS SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT RUN!!!!

Well all you Socialist program haters, guess you better cancel your Internet accounts, quit using cell phones etc. Or perhaps you should all just stfu about Socialism which you obviously are incapable of understanding. Because whether YOU like it or not, much of the perks YOU enjoy in America are made available to you through Socialist programs. And other Socialist programs when (if not already) you retire such as; “ S O C I A L S E C U R I T Y and M E D I C A E!!!!!! If you detest Socialism so much, quit benefiting in all that it has to offer in this country. You all whine about those who receive “welfare handouts”, while at the same time you enjoy the fruits of the labors of the many.

You’re all just a bunch of spoiled brats who don’t know what they want; they only know that they want.