LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to decide whether laws that require voters to take government-issued photo identification to the polls place an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, the Washington Post reports.
The justices, whose new term begins on Monday, will hear the case in January and decide it by early summer, in time to settle for the 2008 election an issue that is generating fiercely partisan litigation and conflicting rulings around the country.
Federal judges have upheld photo ID laws in Indiana and Georgia, but the Missouri Supreme Court struck down that state’s law last year. More than 20 states have passed laws requiring some form of identification at the polls, beyond the simple signature that has traditionally been required.
All of the laws have been enacted since the disputed Florida vote in the 2000 presidential election, and all have been pushed by Republican legislators who maintain that the laws are necessary to deter voter fraud. The laws have been resisted and challenged by Democrats who argue that they exaggerate the dangers and incidence of voter fraud while impermissibly sacrificing voter access. The case the court accepted was brought by Democrats from Indiana.