Monday, March 5, 2012

Voter ID Lawsuit To Proceed, Judge Rules

This is the lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin alleging that the Voter ID law establishes conditions and barriers to voting not spelled out in the state's pesky Constitution.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess ruled the suit should proceed because:

...the League is in the best position to argue on behalf of voters who are "too physically infirm, mentally ill, impoverished, itinerant, elderly or simply neglectful to comply" but are still qualified voters under the state constitution.

"This is the same cohort of citizens that shows up in the circuit courts in increasing numbers, day in and day out, without lawyers, in foreclosure proceedings, collection actions and family matters," Niess wrote. 
"Who will advocate for them on these constitutional issues that affect their fundamental, inherent and constitutional right to vote, if not the plaintiffs, or entities like the plaintiffs?"
I'm pleased to say that months ago, I told you so:
The League of Women Voters is the perfect plaintiff, as its goal is the furtherance of voting rights and process, not its obstruction.
Niess also rejected arguments by the state that other state officials and not Gov. Walker be the defendant:
Walker, Niess wrote, is a proper defendant because under recent state law he has ultimate authority over rule-making by state agencies, including GAB.

"Gov. Walker has a virtual monopoly on implementing these administrative rules and regulations," Niess wrote.
Call that an unintended consequence of Walker's absorption of administrative rule-making, awarded him by a compliant Legislature in the opening days of the GOP's takeover of state government last year.

From last May, here:
Unless the Wisconsin GOP really believes its majority and control are permanent, they will regret giving the state's Governor so much authority. Somewhere, a payback countdown clock has been wound.


Anonymous said...

I also wondered, why would you ever give all that power to the guy at the top? Do you think you will be at the top forever?

Gareth said...

That dictatorial rule-making authority will come in handy in the upcoming house cleaning in Wisconsin. It will be interesting to see if it's taken away by the legislature once the mess has been cleaned up.

Governors tend to like to hold on to all their powers, such as the stupid line-item veto that permits the Governor to change numbers and individual words in a bill.