U.S. Supreme Court blocks implementation of Wisconsin voter ID law

This is HUGE news for Wisconsin!

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked Wisconsin from implementing a law requiring voters to present photo IDs, overturning a lower court decision that would have put the law in place for the November election.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law constitutional on Monday. The American Civil Liberties Union followed that up the next day with an emergency request to the Supreme Court asking it to block the ruling.

On Thursday night the U.S. Supreme Court did so, issuing a one-page order that vacated the appeals court ruling pending further proceedings. Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the application should have been denied because there was no indication that the 7th Circuit had demonstrably erred.


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21 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court blocks implementation of Wisconsin voter ID law

  1. Christmas/Holidays came early!

    Hugs all around!

    FWIW, Rick Hasen @rickhasen predicted this.

    From my Twitter timeline

    Rachel @badachie

    Hey, @JBVanHollen, what “alternative” to you can’t f*cking do it is there?

    1. Denis,

      Please explain how you’re going to fraudulently register to vote at a U.S.P.S. deliverable address. Thanks in advance.

    2. What, no pithy retorts about the assortment of cases of proven vote fraud/extra voting on the part of Republicans?

      We’ve had no shortage here in Wisconsin lately.

  2. Not having fraudulently registered anywhere in my life, I wouldn’t know how to do it. Nor would I tell you if I did know how to do so. That said, registering to vote fraudulently is not the only path to voting fraudulently, thanks to the Supremes. Since you needn’t prove your identity, you can claim to be anyone who is registered. But of course, you certainly knew that already. And if you didn’t, certainly unscrupulous politicos do.

    1. Denis,

      Don’t worry, no one would let an ignorant deadbeat “register” to vote at their U.S.P.S. DELIVERABLE address.

      If you were a capitalist, you’d understand what “public record,” meant. COLLECTION AGENCIES comb VOTER REGISTRATION rolls looking for debtors. If they see any vague connection between a debtor and a NEW name on the voter registration rolls, they will pound that address and accompanying phone number until they get their money or they are POSITIVE the new person at that address doesn’t owe anybody, anywhere, any money. ANYONE ever connected to that address goes into their database. They assume you’re related or you owe them money too. They contact all those other people trying to get to you.

      From the Wisconsin site:

      Bring these with you to register:
      If you have been issued a WI driver license or WI DOT-issued ID that is current and valid, you must
      provide the number and expiration date. If your WI driver license is revoked, suspended or expired; or your WI DOT-issued ID is expired, provide the number and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have not been issued a WI driver
      license or WI DOT-issued ID, you must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have none of these documents, you will be able to indicate that fact.


      You must provide a Proof of Residence Document when registering to vote in Wisconsin. A Proof of Residence Document is a document that proves where you live in Wisconsin.

      All documents below must contain customer’s name and current Wisconsin address.

      Printed electronic copies are acceptable for the following items:
      Paycheck, stub or earning statement with your employer’s name and address issued within the last 90 days.
      A utility bill for water, gas, electricity or land-line telephone service issued within the last 90 days. Includes cable and internet services.
      Mobile phone bills issued in the last 90 days.
      An account statement from a bank/financial institution or brokerage house issued within the last 90 days. Includes savings, checking, money market and brokerage accounts.
      The following documents must be originals (no electronic copies):
      Deed/title, mortgage, rental/lease agreement for Wisconsin property (lease must include landlord’s name and phone number).
      Current valid homeowner’s, renter’s or motor vehicle insurance policy dated within one year of application.
      Government-issued correspondence or product issued from a federal, state, county or city agency (original or certified copy issued within the last year). Not acceptable are the Quest and Forward card.
      Valid Wisconsin hunting or fishing license.
      Department of Corrections documentation: Letters from probation/parole agents on letterhead issued within the last 90 days.
      Certified school record or transcript identifying the person by name and current address and issued within the last 90 days (and for most recent school period).
      College enrollment documentation or Form 2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) with a current Wisconsin address.
      A photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university, college or technical college that contains the following:
      Date of issuance
      Photo and address of student
      Expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance
      Employee photo ID card issued by current employer.
      Homeless shelter documentation.
      Wisconsin driver license or ID card (can be expired) with current Wisconsin residence address printed on product.
      Parent or guardian may present their Wisconsin driver license or ID. Address on record must match with the child’s current address on record for people under age 26.


      In addition to the collection agencies, Republicans engage in what’s known as “voter caging.”

      “…Voter caging typically refers to the practice of sending mail to addresses on the voter rolls, compiling a list of the mail that is returned undelivered, and using that list to purge or challenge voters’ registrations and votes on the grounds that the voters on the roll do not legally reside at their registered addresses.[2]

      Usually, a political party will send out non-forwardable, first class mail to voters or particular voters they want to target (often assumed to be a demographic that belongs to the opposing party). They compile a list of voters for whom mail has been returned as undeliverable. This list is called a caging list. In some cases such mail can be returned at a rate of 1 in every 15 letters sent out; this was shown in Ohio in 2008 when the Board of Elections had 600,000 letters of voter confirmation returned as undeliverable.[3] The party uses caging lists created by themselves or by the Board of Elections to challenge the registration status of voters and potentially purge them from the voting rolls under state laws which allow voters whose registrations are suspect to be challenged. When the voter turns out to vote, he or she may be challenged and required to cast a provisional ballot. If investigation of the provisional ballot demonstrates that the voter has just moved or there is an error in his/her address and the voter is legally registered then the vote should be counted, and vice versa….”


      Do you now understand what “deliverable” means?

      Among many ways to see how voter ID helps the oligarchs, it’s a way to SOCIALIZE the costs of their voter suppression onto the taxpayers. Thanks to globally dense followers such as yourself, they get away with it.

      If only you would get back to basics, “(Federal) Taxes For Revenue Are Obsolete”


      the GOP could return to its roots, “capitalism runs on sales.” The real “job creators,” are consumers with money to spend.

    2. You wouldn’t know how to do it, but then you explain how to do it. Proof that your only reason to comment here is to drive intelligent comments off the recent comment list. Time to pull your free speech privileges. Zach, cleanup on troll island please.

      1. Progressives often prefer to stay inside the safe bubble, so I give credit to Zach for allowing dissenting points of view. It appears that you are looking for constant validation non, so your attempts to silence me make sense from that perspective. A favorite story of mine is that a friend was banned from a lefty website. His sin was questioning the lefts commitment to free speech.

        1. What was your “friend’s” name/handle and from what “lefty” site do you claim s/he was banned?

          Is this “friend” on welfare from the Bradley Foundation?

          Did your friend defend Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction?

          The internet is NOT protected speech, because like teevee and radio, it’s carried over TAXPAYER supported airwaves regulated by the FCC.

          1. He went by Nemo and was banned from Burlington Blue or whatever the site was run by Kay from Burlington.

          2. John, what Denis stated is correct. I was banished (Banished I tells ya!) for kay’s Blue Racine a few years ago for questioning the left’s commitment to free speech. I have never been on the payroll of the Bradley Foundation nor have I defended Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction though I was appalled that Sports Illustrated writer Peter King hailed it as the “Greatest Super Bowl of all time.” I would point out to Mr King that, First, the Packers were not playing, and second, the Packers were not playing. Nuf said.

            I do concur with you about blogs being non-protected speech, but banishing a commenter for pointing out a flaw in the logic or premise of a post displays the weakness of that post and, more critically, the poster. If a commenter is being abusive, nasty, or otherwise impeding the furthering of a line of thought then a “time out” is more than called for, but just the weakest blogs banish a commenter just when the argument is getting good. That being said, I would like to thank Zach for keeping this blog interesting and allowing well spoken dissent (hey Denis!).

        2. Denis, as I’m sure you’re aware, free speech is not absolute. While I tolerate dissenting opinions, I’ve had to ban some individuals from posting here because they didn’t want to have a dialogue; they simply wanted to hurl insults.

          I get that politics evokes strong feelings in folks (me being one of them), so my tolerance level is a little higher than most, but it does have limits.

          Also, I’d disagree with your assertion that progressives often prefer to stay inside the safe bubble, as if that’s something exclusive to progressives. I’ve been banned from commenting on the Facebook pages of a number of Republican candidates/elected officials, and those bans were earned simply because I dared question those Republicans. I didn’t hurl insults; I simply questioned their beliefs, and so it’s not just progressives who prefer to stay inside the safe bubble.

          1. I understand fully Zach. This site is controlled by others (you?) and can do with it as they (you?) please. That said, I hope you allow me to continue commenting, even though you are far more likely to agree with non that you likely would with me. I do enjoy dialogue and I can be a bit competitive, but if you look at my history on this site you would no doubt conclude that I treat others here far better that I tend to be treated. But if you only want to hear one side of an argument, then banning me would be the right move. I don’t know you but you don’t seem to be that kind of guy.

            1. Denis, I’ve had no reason thus far to even consider banning you, and that’s a step I only resort to in extreme situations.

              I’m all for a lively (even heated) discussion, so long as we all – lefties and righties – try our best to keep things reasonably civil.

        3. I called attention to your completely contradictory statement and you proceeded to ignore my point of information. You are obviously not here to debate, nor to inform, nor to present any facts. But playing the po-po-po-poor victim of perfectly valid criticism of your contradictory comment, seems to come perfectly naturally to you.

          Your dissenting point of view is called out as garbage and you don’t defend what you’ve just said, you hop sideways and toss another new piece of crap on your comment pile, while tossing in a worthless psychological evaluation of my character to boot. I’m looking for constant validation? Do you have a license to project?

  3. I hate to admit it but Denis may be on to something. The SCOTUS has left the door wide open for a few unscrupulous and well heeled Walker supporters to vote multiple times from their various residences around Wisconsin, as they are apparently want to do. If three of them vote four times each that’s an extra nine votes that could swing the election Walker’s way in a tight race. God almighty, what has the SCOTUS done to us?

    1. Don’t worry SC. Statistically the cheating will be about equal and therefore cancel.
      In the event that an election outcome is 50.1% to 49.9% again, the courts will just decide it. That’s what we all want isn’t it?

  4. Madison — Just 14 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin’s voter ID law for next month’s election, five appeals court judges issued a blistering opinion calling the threat of voter impersonation fraud “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government.”

    “Some of the ‘evidence’ of voter-impersonation fraud is downright goofy, if not paranoid, such as the nonexistent buses that according to the ‘True the Vote’ movement transport foreigners and reservation Indians to polling places,” appeals Judge Richard Posner wrote in an opinion joined by four colleagues.

    A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in recent weeks issued a pair of orders that put Wisconsin’s stalled voter ID law back in place. But the U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday voted 6-3 to block the law for the Nov. 4 election.

    Separately, Posner wrote Friday he had asked for the full 10-member appeals court to review the panel’s decision. The court split 5-5 on doing that, but Posner and his colleagues wrote a lengthy dissent saying Wisconsin’s voter ID law should be invalidated.


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