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JUDGE ISSUES PERMANENT INJUNCTION BARRING IMPLEMENTATION OF PHOTO ID LAW

July 18, 2012

On July 17, 2012, Judge Flanagan issued a permanent injunction in the NAACP/Voces photo ID litigation. The decision is a solid victory on virtually every single important issue in the case. Judge Flanagan found that the organizational plaintiffs had standing to pursue this case. Judge Flanagan also found that the detailed burdens encountered by the individual plaintiffs and affiants were significant and unreasonable. Most important, the Judge again found that Act 23 is the most restrictive and stringent photo ID law in the nation. In terms of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Crawford, the Judge held that it did not govern the outcome in our case because: 1) this case was based on the explicit guarantees of the Wisconsin Constitution; 2) Wisconsin Act 23 is far more rigid than the Indiana law which had fail safes for indigent voters; and 3) unlike the Indiana case in Crawford, a substantial and credible factual record was created by the plaintiffs, demonstrating the severity and scope of the burdens on hundreds of thousands of voters. Judge Flanagan also found plaintiffs’ expert witness, Professor Ken Mayer, to be highly credible and reliable in showing to the court that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters lack Act 23-acceptable photo ID and that the photo ID requirement is not tailored to cure any significant problems in the electoral process that may cause vote fraud or electoral irregularities.

Attorney Richard Saks served as lead counsel on the case and was assisted by Attorneys Michele Sumara and Jeff Sweetland.

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