October 2, 2012


From a few minutes ago at the P-G:
A judge has blocked the state from discounting ballots cast next month by voters who lack the photo identification required under the new voter ID law.

Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court wrote in an order released this morning that the injunction would have the effect of extending the transition period of the law -- when voters were asked for identification but could vote without it -- through the November election. His order allows election workers to ask voters next month to show identification.
I have to admit I am not really sure exactly what this means.  (SEE UPDATE BELOW)

Here's the AP to help me out:
A judge postponed Pennsylvania's controversial voter identification requirement on Tuesday, ordering the state not to enforce it in this year's presidential election but allowing it to go into full effect next year.
Let me go see if I can find the ruling.

UPDATE:  Here it is.

Another UPDATE:  From the ruling:
Permanent Injunction

Petitioners’ preserve their facial challenge to Act 18 because the statute contains no right to a non-burdensome means of obtaining the required identification. Pet’rs’ Post-Hearing Br. at 5, n.5. Thus, I will begin planning for trial on a permanent injunction.

In this regard, my understanding of the Supreme Court’s per curiam order is that I was to address certain discrete aspects of the case on remand, not that the burden of proof shifted to the Commonwealth. The parties have strongly divergent views on this point. If my understanding is incorrect, the Court’s guidance will be needed.

Relatedly, the Supreme Court’s reference to “no voter disenfranchisement … for purposes of the upcoming election,” Applewhite, ___ Pa. at ___, ___ A.3d at ___, slip op. at 7, has sparked debate between the parties. I understand the phrase to be focused on the preliminary injunction for purposes of the upcoming election. I do not understand the phrase to define the test for a facial validity challenge in the context of a permanent injunction.
My guess (and this is just a guess as I am not nor have I ever been nor have I ever even entertained the possibility of becoming an attorney) that this is something of a punt-back.  It's not a permanent injunction to the law as Judge Simpson states he was only asked to address aspects of the case "for the purposes of the upcoming election."

And he's beginning to plan for a trial on a permanent injunction.

But for now, it's...injoined?  Injuncted?  Is there an attorney reading this right now?  Can you help a blogger out?  What's the proper verb for this?

YET ANOTHER UPDATE:  The P-G article above has changed.

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