WI Voter ID Could Set Historic Precedent

Tuesday, 5 November 2013 | ioby

A federal trial over Wisconsin’s voter ID law is garnering national attention and could set a historic precedent for equal rights.

Frank v. Walker is the first federal lawsuit against a state voter ID law since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in June. The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the plaintiffs, is also one of the first groups to challenge under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which was not affected by the Supreme Court ruling and prohibits voting procedures that discriminate based on race.

New voting requirements—including a Wisconsin-issued photo ID—were passed in 2011 but the ID provision has since been blocked from implementation by a state court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has twice declined to take up the state’s appeal.

In Our Backyard spoke to National Law Center on Homelessness Policy Director Jeremy Rosen about why the Wisconsin case may set the tone for similar lawsuits across the country.

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