This morning in Commonwealth Court, the next steps could be decided in the legal battle over Pennsylvania’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
The law passed the GOP-controlled legislature last spring, and was promptly signed into law by Gov. Corbett, a Republican. Since then, it’s been the subject of a long – and, at times, nasty – legal fight, with the ACLU and other attorneys for plaintiffs in the case arguing that it will disenfranchise voters, particularly the young, the poor and the elderly. They have also argued that the free ID cards the state was offering through PennDot were laden with bureaucratic landmines, and required voters to produce official documents that many could not obtain.
In early October, with just weeks to the presidential election, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. agreed to temporarily block the law from going into effect – but the injunction only covered the presidential election. Simpson left the law intact, and so it will apply to elections going forward.
The ACLU and other attorneys in the case have sent strong signals that they intend to continue fighting to overturn the law for future elections as well.