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State Supreme Court Affirms Act 10, Voter ID Rules, Domestic Partner Registry

Legal Challenges Sought To Stop New Laws

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Thursday morning to uphold three controversial state laws: Act 10, new voter identification requirements and the state’s domestic partnership registry.

The first ruling stopped the last legal challenge to Act 10, the law that stripped public employee unions of most of their collective bargaining rights.

The second said a new law requiring voters to have a photo ID is does not violate Wisconsin’s constitution. An injunction upon that rule, however, will remain in place until a federal appeals court makes a ruling on another case challenging that law’s federal constitutionality.

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The third ruling determined the domestic partner registry didn’t violate the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The court ruled the registry created in 2009 does not violate the state’s gay marriage ban because it does not create a legal status that is similar to marriage, and provides only limited benefits.

The fate of the domestic partner registry hinges on whether the federal courts uphold or strike down the state’s ban on gay marriage. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in that case on Aug. 26.

To read the Supreme Court’s rulings, visit its website.

Stay tuned to WPR and WPR.org for continuing coverage.