Monday, March 12, 2012

Voter ID Law Tossed by Dane County Judge Richard Niess

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess declared the Republican voter ID law unconstitutional and enjoined its implementation in the April election in a decision issued today.

Judge Niess attempts to preempt the predictable claim from the right that he is acting as an activist judge:
Finally, on this point, we cannot ignore the proper role of the courts in constitutional litigation. Because the Wisconsin Constitution is the people’s bulwark against government overreach, courts must reject every opportunity to contort its language into implicitly providing what it explicitly does not: license to enact laws that, for any citizen, cancel or substantially burden a constitutionally-guaranteed sacred right, such as the right to vote. Otherwise we stray into judicial activism at its most insidious. Our Constitution is a line in the sand drawn by the sovereign authority in this state – the people of Wisconsin – that the legislature, governor, and the courts may not cross, particularly under the all-too-convenient guise of strained construction and attenuated inference.
 Go to the Wheeler Report to access a copy of the decision.

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