A state judge removed five plaintiffs from the legal challenge of Pennsylvania's voter identification law Friday but allowed the overall lawsuit to go on.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson agreed with Corbett administration lawyers the five aggrieved voters -- including lead plaintiff Vivian Applewhite of Philadelphia -- should no longer be allowed to challenge the law since they have obtained acceptable IDs since filing their challenge of the law a year ago. He spared two other challengers.
The five have "valid IDs for voting; thus, an actual controversy no longer exists as to these Petitioners," he wrote in an opinion filed Friday. "Further, while I agree with Petitioners that the issues raised here are important, the remaining Petitioners will have an opportunity to fully litigate these issues."
Gov. Tom Corbett signed a GOP bill in March 2012 requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls. The seven voters filed suit with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union the same month, arguing it would lead them to be disenfranchised. The courts waived the ID requirement for the November 2012 election and the May 21 primary in advance of further argument this summer.