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VOTER ID CASE UPDATE: JUDGE FLANAGAN DENIES ATTORNEY GENERAL’S MOTION TO STAY PERMANENT INJUNCTION

September 17, 2012

On September 14, 2012 Judge Flanagan issued an Order denying Attorney General Van Hollen’s Motion for a Stay of the Permanent Injunction issued on July 17. While Judge Flanagan’s denial of the request for a stay does not impair or otherwise affect the Attorney General’s Motion to Bypass the Court of Appeals and obtain a Stay from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the language in Judge Flanagan’s Order provides clear caution for the Supreme Court with respect to the disruptive impact a stay of the injunction would now have on the electoral process for the November elections, stating that "the inescapable reality is that the need for stability, predictability and adequate preparation for the electoral process strongly weighs against this court granting a stay and thus changing the voting process at this late hour." Judge Flanagan again cogently explained why he was not bound by the Supreme Court decision upholding the Indiana photo ID law in Crawford, and also refuted Van Hollen’s claim that the injunction would cause harm, holding that we, the plaintiffs, had presented "credible, compelling evidence that Wisconsin Act 23 [photo ID], while intended to protect the integrity of the process, had the effect of impeding, that is, making more difficult and inconvenient, the voting access of more than 300,000 citizens of Wisconsin" while "by contrast, no evidence whatsoever was offered at trial to suggest that there exists any problem of voter impersonation that would be addressed by this requirement."

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