U.S. Supreme Court blocks Wisconsin from implementing voter ID law

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(CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court for now has blocked Wisconsin from implementing its voter identification law.

After a federal appeals court upheld the law earlier this week, a coalition of private groups had asked the high court to intervene on an emergency basis, complaining the newly-implemented procedures could cause confusion, causing many voters to either not bother to cast a ballot or be mistakenly turned away at the polls.

The order issued Thursday evening was opposed by Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

"It is particularly troubling that absentee ballots have been sent out without any notation that proof of photo identification must be submitted," said Alito.

The state had argued the law reduces voter fraud and promotes accurate record-keeping, saying that producing a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, would not unduly inconvenience most citizens.

Wisconsin officials have not announced their next steps to comply with the high court's one-page order.

The issue could affect the gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who backs voter ID, and his Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

The Wisconsin cases are Frank v. Walker (14A376) and (14A352).

Meantime in Texas, a judge struck down that state's voter ID law, saying it would disenfranchise minority voters and therefore could not be implemented.

"We are extremely pleased with today's ruling, a ruling that was compelled by the facts of this case. Following a two-week trial that included testimony from nearly 40 witnesses, Texas failed to identify a single instance of in-person voter fraud -- the purported justification for Texas's photo ID law," said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the nation's leading civil rights law firm and a separate entity from the NAACP. "The Court today effectively ruled that racial discrimination simply cannot spread to the ballot box."

The office of state Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement it would appeal "and urge the Fifth Circuit (federal court) to resolve this matter quickly to avoid voter confusion in the upcoming election. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws are constitutional so we are confident the Texas law will be upheld on appeal."

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lauded both the Wisconsin and Texas decisions.

"This Department will never yield in its commitment to protecting that most sacred of Americans' rights -- the right to vote," he said in a statement.

Governor Scott Walker's spokesperson Laurel Patrick issued this statement on the Supreme Court ruling:

"Voter ID is a common sense reform that makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat.  While we understand the need for awareness about the law, we think it is important voter ID is implemented, so voters can have confidence in the electoral process, and we are confident the law will ultimately be upheld."

Joe Zepecki, Communications Director for the Mary Burke campaign issued this statement:

"We look forward to continuing to inform Wisconsin voters about the clear choice in this year's Governors race and ensuring that every eligible voter who wants to cast a ballot has the opportunity to do so. Regardless of your politics, we can all agree that the greater the level of participation in elections, the better it is for our state."

Congresswoman Gwen Moore issued this statement:

“I welcome this Supreme Court ruling and the strong message it sends to all who think they can manipulate our voting laws just because they disagree with what we have to say. Those who trample on our civil liberties with impunity in pursuit of political supremacy forget that this nation was built on the principle that we all are ‘created equal.’ These unjust laws have nothing to do with stopping the manufactured threat of voter fraud and everything to do with making it harder for more eligible voters to register and vote. Equal participation in our democracy is vital to our civilized way of life. Politicians and elected officials who are passing these discriminatory laws are focused on defeating their opponents, not voter fraud. This decision by the Supreme Court is one that should be celebrated by everyone, regardless of political affiliation. This is truly a victory for the good people of Wisconsin and our shared democratic ideals.”

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued this statement:

"I believe the voter ID law is constitutional, and nothing in the Court's order suggests otherwise.  Instead, the Court may have been concerned that even with the extraordinary efforts of the clerks, absentee ballots that were distributed before the 7th Circuit declared the law valid might not be counted. We will be exploring alternatives to address the Court's concern and have voter ID on election day."

One Wisconsin Now has issued this statement on the ruling:

“Gov. Scott Walker’s scheme to rig his election was just blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court. One Wisconsin maintained in its filings with state and federal courts that the state of Wisconsin could not administer photo ID constitutionally. The only fraud in Wisconsin’s elections continues to be partisan politicians like Gov. Walker, who attempt to manipulate the voting laws for political gain.”

LULAC of Wisconsin State Director Dr. Arturo Martinez issued this statement:

“This is a huge victory as over 300,000 registered voters, and countless others who were planning to register for this election. Because of this order from the Supreme Court, they will be allowed to enter the poll booth and participate in our democracy.”

Darryl Morin, LULAC National VP-Midwest, of Wisconsin issued this statement:

“For over 85 years, LULAC has fought to ensure that every voice is heard. From the early days of Jim Crow laws, to poll taxes to school segregation and more, LULAC has been there to ensure equal access to the polls, to education, to economic opportunity and more. This is a proud day for LULAC. It is a great day for our democracy!”

Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO issued this statement:

“The U.S. Supreme Court is correct in ruling that the ill-advised, voter suppressing photo ID law not be implemented weeks before Election Day.  Any other decision would have immediately disenfranchised voters in direct conflict with our constitution.  While Scott Walker wanted to confuse voters and rig the electorate in his favor, the Supreme Court has sided with the people.”

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO issued this statement:

“This is a victory for democracy and a defeat for Scott Walker’s shady brand of politics.  Gov. Walker’s policies show a pattern of disrespect for citizen rights.  Whether it is worker rights, voting rights or women’s rights – Scott Walker is on the wrong side of history.  Today’s ruling reaffirms that Walker’s out-of-touch, anti-democracy, anti-worker agenda is wrong for Wisconsin.”

Susan Happ, candidate for Attorney General issued this statement:

“The US Supreme Court’s decision to allow the November 4 election to proceed without requiring voter identification is a victory for common sense, and for the Constitutional right to vote. Trying to implement the law at the last minute was a recipe for chaos and confusion, and would have prevented many eligible Wisconsin voters from casting a ballot. I’m pleased by the decision, and hope the courts ultimately declare this measure unconstitutional.”

Congresswoman Gwen Moore and former Secretary of State Vel Williams are holding a press conference Friday morning, October 10th on the Supreme Court's ruling. That press conference will be held at the DMV Milwaukee Northwest Service Center at 60th and Teutonia.

READ IT: Supreme Court Decision on Voter ID Law

CLICK HERE for further coverage on the voter ID law via FOX6Now.com.


  • john

    and rob , help us out agian. why do the poor vote democrat…… because they want all the handouts they can get thats why

    • Janice

      But I’m chastised for Why I am a Republican but not super wealthy – “your party doesn’t care about you or the issues that concern personally comcern you” but nothing about why the Democratic Party (voter I.D. law having been appealed and blocked, is one example) uses PC and the Liberal Movement in this Country for their own (somewhat fraudulent tactical) gain.

  • JC

    One side says voter fraud they other side says discrimination, it only makes sense to show an ID to vote you have to have one for almost everything else. Common sense isn’t common anymore

    • P. Williams (@Wi53072)

      Terry, you can’t possibly believe this? If it is true what you say, then you make a great case for having a voter ID law! Ok now start the name calling. It is what you liberals do when confronted with logic. Name call.

    • Tim

      So lamb I assume you also object to having to show an ID when entering the DMV, taking a loan out at the bank, buying alcohol, and numerous other instances in life where you can’t get anything done unless you show proof of who you are??? The only ones here who are looking to cheat is the Democratic party so please take off your rose colored glasses!!!

    • Liberty

      Last major election there were more cars from out of state than Wisconsin in the parking lot. You just want the dead to have a chance to vote again. So nice of you.

  • Drew Lawrence

    You mean there’s a better chance of finding a boogey man under your bed than actually getting charged. Large bags of presigned voter registrations found in a dumpster nothing to see here. People live tweeting their progress on a bus from MI to vote in the recall, buses dropping off people in bears jackets with mail addressed to occupant, poll observers pointing out people who have already voted coming through again and the GAB could care less. But
    I’m sure you also probably believe 32 people live in Lena Taylor’s house.

    • Tim

      Or maybe lamb its because the irrelevant news media refuses to report these instances and it is never read or heard about. Why do you think news ratings and newspaper subscriptions are falling a a tremendous rate and other news outlets that report things that no one else wants to report are seeing their ratings sky rocket???

  • JimBob

    Umm, not to rain on all the liberal parades here, but I am poor (60% of the FPL if you really wanna know), I vote republican, and I have a drivers license.

    • Janice

      As I’m sure, you are not the only one, and a hard working American as well- it’s that your color is different.

      – Janice, NY

  • P. Williams (@Wi53072)

    Yep. Now the labor unions can bus in people from Illinois to vote too. Pretty progressive Rob. Wait til some of the insanity put forth buy the progressive liberals affect you. Simply, you need an id for most everything you do in this country and even those poor folk have them to drive cars or buy cigarettes or liquor. Why is it too much to ask that you are who you say you are when requesting an ballot? Seems to me anyone against this common sense measure to protect the voting privilege has something to gain by not having to prove who you are.

  • Bill

    Why shouldn’t we show ID, also it should be noted in a data base to make sure every one is on the up and up. But I guess that would be the right thing so why would that happen, more BS votes I guess.

      • Adam

        I agree, vote on voter ID laws. Polls in virtually every state shows that a large majority of people, including large majorities of African-Americans who supposedly are disenfranchised by such laws, support having to show a photo ID to vote.

      • ifirgit

        We have voted on this….years ago. They lost their final challenge this past week. That is why the emergency appeal to the Supreme Court. The voters in this state want voter identification.

      • Janice

        It goes to the Supreme Court, this is to for a law- not to vote for a political Candidate or a Proposed Amendment to The Constitution.

  • Adam

    Voter fraud doesn’t happen? I guess that woman from Ohio who bragged about voting multiple times in 2012 wasn’t a case of voter fraud. If voter fraud doesn’t happen, as so many liberals claim, then why are they so scared of voter ID laws? Claiming discrimination is really becoming an annoying tool of the left; one that shows they are completely devoid of any real solutions. To say it disenfranchises the poor is also dishonest as the large majority of voter ID laws will provide a free photo ID for voting purposes to those who truly cannot afford one. To also argue that it is discriminating against poor people because they lack means of transportation to a DMV location is also crazy in my opinion because if that was the only problem then I am sure the state could afford a free bus ticket to be used to go obtain a photo ID. Every voter ID law ensures that the poor have access to a photo ID. The Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law though as it is modeled after the voter ID law in Indiana, which the Supreme Court has already ruled constitutional. The liberals may win in the short term, and prevent this law from taking effect this year, but by 2016 the law will be implemented, making it harder for the unions in Illinois to ship people north to vote in Wisconsin before going home to vote in Illinois.

  • Julie

    So without voter ID checks, Habib from the Middle East can participate in our elections. Achmed can participate. Jose’ from Mexico City Mexico can also participate. Just another sign that this country has gone to hell. But then again, who am I to say. My opinion does not matter. That has been proven many times in years past.

  • Taxpayer

    What a disappointment! You stupid liberals are full of it. You can’t do anything without an ID and you fools all know that! All your poor people voting all had an ID to get their welfare and other free handouts you pass out so willingly.

  • P. Williams (@Wi53072)

    Yep, that is right Suzanne. When liberals get confronted with logic they turn into English teachers and scold people for mis-spelling words like they are some pillar of virtue. Too bad English teachers in MPS don’t do a better job of teaching all the future democrats how to construct an intelligible sentence! Ok start name calling. It is what liberals do when they aren’t blaming Bush for all of Bam’s f/ups!

  • Mike

    How exactly can you provide evidence of something that you’re not MONITORING??? If you can’t card people buying liquor, how could you site examples of underage purchases?? That’s the most idiotic point one can make about the subject. The bigger point is why anyone would want a system that could be abused by either side. Unless, of course, one side knows who traditionally abuses it and it’s in their favor

  • Adam

    That’s right. You disagree with someone so your whole argument is based on censorship and telling people to shut up. I suppose you also had no problem during the 2000 elections when people from the Gore campaign went around handing out cartons of cigarettes to bribe people to vote. What is so truly wrong with simply having to show a photo ID to vote? We need ID’s to drive, to cash checks, to buy alcohol, to work a job. Rather than telling you to shut up, I am asking what reason opponents of photo ID laws have for the opportunity given to them to prove that voter fraud doesn’t happen by showing an ID when they go vote.

  • Mike

    OK Rick, I’ll bite. How could you report an abuse that you absolutely refuse to monitor?? Give me one single way real voter fraud could be detected if you don’t check ID? Of course you haven’t heard about it, no one is allowed to check. Sophmoric argument

    • ifirgit

      That is a joke….NOBODY is afraid of being sent to jail because it is not monitored. Yes, once it is monitored it will, potentially,be a fear. However, it is not at this time. Given the actual two cases of voter fraud that I personally know of, there was no fear on the part of the individuals. They own property here in this state, as well as property in another state where they reside more than six months. They had nothing to worry about because they knew the state did not check. Things will change when voters have to show identification.

  • Legal WI resident

    Shocking. Mary Burke falls in the polls and the absurdly corrupt Supreme Court whip this out. An ID is needed for absolutely EVERYTHING. Seriously, think about that. For EVERYTHING! And yet,

  • Legal WI resident

    And all you liberals are just fine and dandy with this cheat to win tactic. If you are for this ruling, you are just as dirty as the politicians that implemented this. Simply put, voter ID is a way to combat voter fraud. Sickening that this administration can get away with absolutely anything and people still bow at President Obolas feet.

  • Legal WI resident

    You’re right. Everyone can vote. Especially illegal immigrants. Isn’t it wonderful being a liberal?!

  • Stephen

    “Gov. Scott Walker’s opponents’ scheme to rig his election defeat was just enhanced by the U.S. Supreme Court. One Wisconsin and Acorn maintained in its filings with state and federal courts that non-citizens of the state of Wisconsin could not be prevented from committing vote fraud, constitutionally. The fraud in Wisconsin’s elections will continue to benefit political hacks like President Obama, who attempt to manipulate the voting laws for political gain.”

  • Mike

    Rick, the main argument is that there is no evidence of fraud, which is circular because they’re not looking for fraud. You can make the point that the state has to provide free ID, but you can’t make the point that it isn’t common sense when we require ID for almost everything. It’s 2014. People need ID.

  • Mike

    Illegals too, people that don’t pay taxes, they too can vote! Woo hoo! You guys need ids for welfare, food stamps, cigarettes, booze, etc… But when it comes to getting a free ID to vote….. It is not an option?

  • Felicia

    I worked the polls last presidential election and I saw a discovery of fraud with my own eyes. Someone voted under another woman’s name. When the actual woman came to vote, there was already a signature in her spot. Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen because I saw it. (Milwaukee polling place – northside in the city.)

  • WI Family of 6

    Those liberals that keep throw voter fraud around need to investigate their own party. You stand for nothing but the total destruction of democracy and don’t even know it. So pathetic. Keep drinking that socialist kool aid. I stand by Scott Walker. Liberals don’t like him because he believes that everyone should pay their fair share. God forbid a liberal actually has to pay for something.

  • ifirgit

    Voter fraud does occur. There have been instances of dead people voting….and I know a person, who lives in another state more than six months of the year, who came back and voted….no more than a week after returning to the state. Number one you have to be in the state for 30 days before you can vote and you have to be a resident for more than six months. The only reason this person came back to the state when they did, was to vote against Walker in his recall election. That is voter fraud. The only reason people don’t want to prove id is because they will be caught. Nowadays you have to have an id to go to the doctor and in order to get any kind of benefits you have to prove id….why are you so afraid of showing your identification.

  • ifirgit

    Excuse me, but this answer just doesn’t cut it. Even the elderly needed to have identification to apply for Social Security…to visit the doctor….and now to go to the hospital.

  • ifirgit

    Personally, I know of two individuals that committed fraud in the recall election. If I know of two, I am sure there were many others. And, I can guarantee that it was fraud.

    • Adam

      There was an African-American man who used to work at the VA hospital in Milwaukee who was recently convicted of voter fraud.

  • ifirgit

    Everyone’s voice can be heard even with the id law in place…when they show the same id that they used to cash their check, to visit the doctor, to apply for Social Security or to apply for welfare. Your response is disenfranchising….me!

  • Andylit

    A minor setback, nothing more. Within 4 years voter ID will be the law of the land. The SCOTUS has supported more of these than thy have rejected. This ruling is based purely on a technical issue and odes NOT impact the law in future elections.

  • ukidsrdrivingmenuts

    I believe everyone should have to show their identity but I.d. cards are too easily forged. Real citizens of this nation should be required to have a permanent mark placed on their hand or forhead in order to vote … or even to buy or sell….

  • Kenny

    I am confused. Can somebody please explain to me how showing an identification card disenfranchises anybody? And the racism allegations? Am I to understand that only minorities are required to show an identification card to vote. Please help me understand so that I can develop a valid viewpoint.

  • let's march

    Time to march on the ACLU office. 207 E Buffalo. If they want to play these games let’s all go democrats style and march. 3:00 corner of Water and Buffalo.

  • Scott Schoemann

    The real issue is as Judge Alito stated, the absentee Ballots. Fix it. Stop mailing them out to everyone MONTHS ahead of time. And ONLY mail them to Serving Military and their immediate family that live with them. The infirm can arrange for someone to pick them up and drop them off the WEEK of the election… It is tie to stop this vote Early (and often) scheme of the liberals, and make it available ONLY to those who NEED it so it too is not abused. This is the only reason WHY the ID law was STAYED (NOT OVERTURNED AS LIBERAL SIX CLAIMS)


    The Democrats will defeat themselves with their lefty agenda that has proven time and time again a failure. National debt at all time high. Entitlements through the roof. Retired hard working people can’t even pay their home taxes becuase rising costs associated with this admin. Disgusting that everyone on the dole needs an ID for their freebees but not to vote. Disgusted with the Democrat lefties that have destroyed this country. Disgusted with Obola and his minions.

  • Felicia

    I worked the polls last presidential election and I saw a discovery of fraud with my own eyes. Someone voted under another woman’s name. When the actual woman came to vote, there was already a signature in her spot. Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen because I saw it. (Milwaukee polling place – northside in the city.) (I think my statement was reported -for obvious reasons- so I have reposted.)

  • diane

    I have concern for truly homeless anyone…but some choose that lifestyle…people with alcohol problems…who dont want help.who cant go to shelters..because..there are sobriety rules…

  • George Langheinrich

    Outrageous ! There is one reason and one reason only to stop voter ID.
    An ID is REQUIRED to enter a tanning booth, get a library card, buy a bottle of liquor at Pick &Save, get on an airplane and to get welfare benefits.
    I promise I will not even consider voting for any demoncrats in this upcoming election !

    • Cliff Reeser

      And anything that impedes your right to bear arms should be eliminated as well correct? So I guess now liberals have no case for background checks and showing ID when buying a gun.

    • ifirgit

      Please tell me how a voter id law “stops, discourages or interferes” with their right to vote? Please tell me how any person who lives in this country could possibly exist without an identification? Even the elderly had to prove identification to file for Social Security benefits…..everyone now has to prove id to go to the doctor or to the hospital. I doubt that there is anyone living legally in this country who has not needed to prove who they are at some time or another.

    • Cliff Reeser

      I think voting and owning guns are more closely related that you care to think. Both are rights protected by the constitution. So then would you agree that we should screen people to make sure they are free of mental health issues before they vote, I mean we don’t want crazy people voting right?

  • Karon

    Disappointed again that no id is needed to prove who you are to vote. It was made easier to get, free. Yes it’s a right to vote but with rights comes responsibility. PERSONAL responsibility. How can so many haul themselves to the salon, bar, store, tattoo parlor, parties, parks, anywhere else? but not to the DMV?? Race has nothing to do with it. Do you need the DMV to come to your house and id & photograph you? If it’s such an issue why not make all medicare, medicaid snap, wic, ANY type of gov aid a photo id card? 2 birds 1 stone. No excuses. & if you make to much or are to young for the programs stop @ the DMV on your way to or from somewhere else.

  • Liberty

    There were a dozen people talking about the plates on the cars in line. You are the typical liberal, if you say it didn’t happen it didn’t. You are like someone I work with when I asked him if the Democrats had Hitler running would he vote for him? He said of course, they must have their resounds. Wow are you brain dead.

  • Cynthia Wolf

    Key comment from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued this statement:

    “I believe the voter ID law is constitutional, and nothing in the Court’s order suggests otherwise. Instead, the Court may have been concerned that even with the extraordinary efforts of the clerks, absentee ballots that were distributed before the 7th Circuit declared the law valid might not be counted. We will be exploring alternatives to address the Court’s concern and have voter ID on election day.”

  • Doug Belt

    We voted for voter ID now the SCOUS we can’t vote for what we want. Time to vote for a new government. Let’s suspend all elections pending the outcome of this debacle.

  • Eric Horn

    Seems to me that we need a Supreme Court Reform… Preferably Hard Labor busting rocks in a Federal Prison.

  • Eric Horn

    Also, something to cure up corrupt Elected Officials in Congress: What people (States) need to start doing is to create a system for state wide voting on certain issues. Then, forcing their Governors to start issuing arrest warrants for elected Senators and Representatives once they return to the state from Congressional duties. Then try those elected officials according to the votes of the public. Then you would see these elected officials doing the work for the people rather than for the global agenda. As a National Guard Veteran, I would be willing to back the state up against the Federal Government when it comes to something like that. Federal Government has become too corrupt and needs to be drastically reformed.

  • Loren

    Don’t need an ID to vote?…then we don’t need one to buy guns, cash checks, board a plane, buy guns, etc.

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