The latest hearing in the pitched battle over Pennsylvania’s voter ID law closed in Commonwealth Court yesterday and now Judge Robert Simpson has plenty to mull over, including the true definition of “disenfranchisement.”
Simpson has until October 2 to make a ruling, but has indicated that he’ll make his decision much earlier, mostly because he anticipates that his ruling will be appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court anyway.
In July, Simpson denied civil rights attorneys an injunction on the law. The higher court found flaws in that ruling, saying that he made a “predictive judgement” that placed faith in what the state said it will do to help people get ID. Simpson was ordered to make a new ruling through examination of the law as currently applied as opposed to what the state prophesied. The Supreme Court also gave Simpson direct instructions to grant an injunction if the law’s provision offering free ID to registered voters nonetheless leads to disenfranchisement—which those justices have already found to be the case.
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