Parties asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block the new voter ID law argue in briefs filed today that an earlier decision applied the wrong legal standard and failed to consider voting a fundamental right.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and other challengers to the law requiring photo identification at the polls are appealing the decision of a Commonwealth Court judge earlier this month that the requirement should go forward for the Nov. 6 general election.
They had argued that many voters lack acceptable identification and that some of those people would be unable to acquire the documents in time. But Judge Robert Simpson ruled that obtaining and presenting identification is not an unconstitutional burden.
The high court has scheduled oral arguments in the case for Sept. 13 in Philadelphia.
The voter ID proposal passed the Legislature with the support of Republicans who said it would protect the integrity of elections. Democrats and advocates for minorities and the poor argued the law would prevent vulnerable -- but eligible -- voters from casting their ballots.
In the briefs filed today, the groups challenging the law assert that Commonwealth Court incorrectly required them to show the law if not stopped would cause "inevitable" -- rather than "immediate" -- harm. They also argue that the lower court applied the wrong legal standard in its assessment of what burdens may be put on the right to vote.
Karen Langley: email@example.com