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The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday denied Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s motion to bypass the court of appeals and consolidate the two voter ID cases into one case. Third time apparently was not the charm, as the supreme court had already denied a request by the court of appeals and a previous request from the state to take the case.
When the court originally denied the state’s motion to bypass the court of appeals, its order gave a reason – briefing had not been completed, which is generally a requirement before the supreme court will grant a bypass. After briefing had been completed, the state filed another motion, but the supreme court again denied it, this time without any explanation.
While it takes a vote of 4 justices to take a case on bypass – as opposed to 3 justices to hear a case in the “ordinary” course of an appeal after a decision by the court of appeals – justices do not always publicly record a dissent from a decision to deny bypass. Therefore, the lack of dissent on the court’s most recent order does not necessarily mean that the decision was unanimous, contrary to some reports in the media.
With briefing complete in the court of appeals, we can expect a ruling in the next several months.