The State Supreme Court will not immediately hear an appeal of two lawsuits that overturned Wisconsin's voter ID law, making it all but certain that the law will remain shelved for the November election.
The unanimous order issued Thursday by the Supreme Court rejected a request from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to expedite these cases. Van Hollen wanted the Supreme Court to bypass two Appeals Courts and reinstate the law ahead of the November election.
Attorney Richard Saks represents the NAACP, one of the groups that successfully blocked the law in circuit court. He called Friday's orders ruling a victory. "I would say short-term, these two orders from the Supreme Court essentially mean that this disenfranchising photo ID law almost certainly will not be in effect for the November elections."
The court did leave the door open for another appeal in the near future. Its order Thursday denied the appeal now because appeals briefs had yet to be filed in the NAACP case. Saks says those could be filed by mid-October and the court could theoretically reinstate the law by Halloween, but he doubts it. "I think it's very unlikely that the Supreme Court is going to take this case up and try to decide it just five or six days before the November elections."
Van Hollen conceded as much, issuing a statement Thursday saying the ruling meant the voter ID law would on hold for the upcoming November elections. The Attorney General promised to continue to fight the case and ultimately have the law upheld.
Wisconsin is one of several states where Republican legislatures and Governors moved to pass voter ID laws in recent years. A court in Texas recently struck down that state's voter ID law and a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling cast that state's law in doubt.