October 20, 2011

Why Walker never should have fired Lester Pines

Photo ID complaint: League of Women Voters v. Walker (.pdf; 10 pgs.)

Flashback: Michael Gableman announces his paranoias to the LWV.


gnarlytrombone said...

So, revisiting Ed Fallone's post it comes down to whether ID is a "substantive qualification." And by the standards of yer average SUV driving fatass it's not.

Clutch said...

Substantive /= common, does it?

Seems to me that for the legal, enfranchised voters who lack it, ID is a substantive barrier.

illusory tenant said...

This complaint is more straightforward, arguing the Wisconsin constitution only authorizes the legislature to exclude from voting felons and incompetents, that those are the only classes of individuals the legislature may exclude, and therefore the legislature may not create a new class of excluded participants based in lacking photo ID.

illusory tenant said...

'Laws may be enacted excluding from the right of suffrage persons convicted of a felony, unless restored to civil rights [or persons] adjudged by a court to be incompetent or partially incompetent.'

Roland Melnick said...

So we have a new class of people known as "Those With No ID"? Isn't it just a bit preposterous to liken said people to felons and those adjudicated incompetent?

To make this argument, don't you need actually produce a member of this aggrieved class? Even if you do find someone without ID, all that needs to be done is get their butt(s) down to DOT to get one. It would take less time than showcasing that person on talk shows, forums and press conferences as the face of ID-lessness.

How does the current system exclude felons and the incompetent from registering to vote?

Why is this new Photo ID law unconstitutional while ID requirements for registering to vote are not?

illusory tenant said...

This argument doesn't depend on how easy (or not) it is to obtain photo ID, but rather who the constitution authorizes the legislature to exclude from the right of suffrage. Registration is a separate process and the constitution does provide for laws to be enacted providing for registration but the constitution distinguishes between registration and suffrage. It may sound preposterous to liken people without photo ID to felons -- and it is preposterous in different circumstances -- but in the context of this legal argument it isn't preposterous in the slightest.

Roland Melnick said...

Thanks for the reply, IT. My point is that I don't believe it is taking away anyone's right to vote.

Why is there a distinction between registering to vote and having to show ID?

In our current system, if I can't produce the necessary documents for registration then my right to vote is taken away. How is that different from someone who can't produce an ID? Why is it OK to place the registration requirement on voting, but showing ID is unreasonable?

I don't think that the ease of obtaining an ID should be so quickly dismissed as a factor in this. It's part and parcel to demonstrating whether any aggrieved parties actually exist. If they don't, no ones rights are being taken from them. Even under the current Voter ID law, one can still cast a provisional ballot.

illusory tenant said...

I hear ya but this is purely what's known as a structural argument: it's simply that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to require photo ID at the polls.

The distinction between registering to vote -- which can be done months in advance -- and actually voting on the day of the elections is in the constitution. Art. III Sec. 1 says who is a qualified elector, and Art. III Sec. 2 "provides the exclusive basis for which laws may be created to implement the constitutional requirements for voting."

Laws providing for registration and laws providing for the exclusion of certain classes of persons from voting are in separate sub-provisions of the constitution. Page 9 of the complaint sums 'er all up.

Roland Melnick said...

I understand there is a difference in how the law defines registration and the act of voting at the polls.

I'm merely making the point that if someone can take the steps necessary to register, taking the steps necessary to obtain and ID and bring it to the polls is far from an onerous task.

"Structural argument"...is that lawyerspeak for a "technicality?" ;)

illusory tenant said...

"Loophole" ... no, meaning having to do with the limited powers the constitution gives to the legislature to place restrictions on voting, a "structure of the government" argument. The ease with which it is to get photo ID -- and I tend to agree with you, that it's very easy -- has more to do with the arguments that might be made in federal court, but photo ID opponents don't have much of a leg to stand on there.