AG Not Giving Up on Voter ID for Nov.


Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he might again ask the State Supreme Court to reinstate the state’s voter ID law, this time just days before the November election.

In two orders issued Thursday, a unanimous Court turned down a request from Van Hollen’s office that Justices immediately reinstate the voter ID law ahead of the election. The court said only that it would not grant the appeals now because briefs in one of those cases have yet to be filed. In theory, those briefs could be filed by the end of October, and the court could rule to reinstate the voter ID law less than a week before Election Day.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he might ask the court to do just that if he gets the chance. “We can’t completely control what the appellate courts are going to do, so we’re not certain of the timing. We’re going to look at all our options. It’s still my intention to move this case along as rapidly along as I can, or these cases. It’s our job to try to uphold the laws passed by the state of Wisconsin. And to do so with all due diligence and we’re going to continue to do so.”

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For now, Van Hollen says he is disappointed. This is the second time this year the Department of Justice has asked the court for an expedited appeal of this case and the second time the court has said no. “The fact that they didn’t take it up the first time surprises me, disappointed me. Surprises me, disappoints me even now more so because of the fact that they had so much more information to work with.”

A lawyer for the NAACP, one of the plaintiffs in this case, said Thursday that he thought it unlikely that the court would change course and reinstate voter ID less than a week before the election. Former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske said she thought the reason the court issued its orders publicly was to let people know the law would remain on hold this November.