Pa. judge instructs commonwealth to respond to supplemental injunction request in Voter ID case

By Jon Campisi | Oct 25, 2012

The state judge handling the Voter ID case has ordered the commonwealth to show cause

The state judge handling the Voter ID case has ordered the commonwealth to show cause

why a supplemental injunction barring the continued advertising of since-halted photo identification regulations should not be granted.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s Oct. 24 order comes five days after the ACLU of Pennsylvania and other civil rights attorneys representing voters challenging the controversial measure filed a petition seeking to have the state prevented from continuing to put out ads that say photo IDs will be needed to vote come Nov. 6.

Simpson previously issued an injunction preventing the Voter ID law from being enforced during the upcoming general election, but the plaintiffs in the case claim that the state is still confusing voters into believing they will need to show a photo ID to vote next month.

The advertisements have come in the form of television commercials, billboards and mailers sent to homes.

The ACLU of PA and other plaintiffs’ attorneys filed their latest petition on Oct. 19, which seeks a supplemental injunction.

In his order, Simpson gave the commonwealth until Oct. 30 to file an answer to the petitioners’ request.

The ACLU of PA filed suit against the state back in May on behalf of voters who alleged they would be disenfranchised if the Voter ID law was allowed to move forward.

Simpson initially refused to issue an injunction, determining that the law was facially constitutional.

That ruling was appealed to the state Supreme Court, which vacated Simpson’s ruling, and sent the matter back to the lower court for additional review.

Simpson ultimately determined that the law could move forward, but only after the general election is over.

The jurist determined that some voters wouldn’t be able to obtain the necessary photo identification needed in order to cast a ballot on Nov. 6 because of the uncertainty with regard to how long it would take to get the ID.

He therefore issued a temporary injunction preventing the law from taking effect until after November’s contest.

The case is expected to resurface after the election.

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