Type of Case: Voter ID

Court: E.D. Wisconsin District Court; Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Supreme Court

Case Number: 11-CV-1128; 12-CV-185; 14-AP2058

Filed On: December 13, 2011; February 23, 2012

Current Status: Seventh Circuit upheld Voter ID

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court called “the risk of voter fraud real” and capable of changing “the outcome of a close election,” citing to Wisconsin as one of many states with recent examples of voter impersonation fraud.  In order to combat those risks, Governor Walker signed 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, which imposed photo identification requirements on nearly all voters.

Liberal groups quickly filed suit, challenging Act 23 in four separate court cases – two federal and two state.

Judge Adelman consolidated the two federal cases, and after holding a week-long trial, he entered an injunction against voter ID on April 29, 2014, finding the law unconstitutional and in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  The State appealed to the Seventh Circuit, and WILL attempted to file an amicus brief on behalf of Margaret Farrow, Deborah Haywood, George Mitchell, Michael Sandvick, Aaron Rodriguez, and Robert Spindell, but the Seventh Circuit decided, without explanation, to not accept the brief.

However, the same day it held oral arguments, the Seventh Circuit lifted the injunction pending a ruling on the merits, putting voter ID back in place.  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan immediately reinstated the injunction, preventing Wisconsin from implementing voter ID for the Fall 2014 election.

The Seventh Circuit eventually ruled that the law is constitutional, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.  Voter ID is now the law of Wisconsin.

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