Constitutional right to vote trumps GOP disenfranchisement

Voter suppression law thrown out

Lena C. Taylor

Senator Lena C. Taylor (DMilwaukee) applauded the historic decision rendered in Wisconsin’s Circuit Court system yesterday to permanently block the Voter Suppression (Voter ID) law from being enforced. Judge Richard Niess acted in a case field by the League of Women Voters that alleged the law violated the right to vote guaranteed in the Wisconsin constitution.

“It’s a historic day in Wisconsin as one of the most disenfranchising Jim Crow-style laws has been overturned by the courts. Since the days of Ezekiel Gillespie winning the right to vote, people in Wisconsin have lead the way in protecting sufferage for all people,” Senator Taylor commented. “The courts rightly overturned one of the most heinous and strict Voter Suppression laws of the nation.”

Judge Niess wrote in his opinion, “Act 23 goes beyond mere regulation of elections. Its photo ID requirements impermissibly eliminate the right of suffrage altogether for certain constitutionally qualified electors.” The courts held that the law would place barriers affecting voting for certain groups of voters including minorities, the elderly, and those generally without identification.

“Just as I and many others proclaimed about this terrible law when it was pending in the Senate, the courts have recognized that the Legislature cannot make a barrier for voting even through the law unless laid out in the Constitution,” Taylor concluded. “Couple yesterday’s actions with the ordering of recalls against four Republican state senators and the GAB rejection of challenges by the Governor and Lt. Governor to their recalls, and you have a day where the rule of law is being enforced. Unfortunately, so much of the legislation and the actions of this majority have been suspect in their legal standing.”

In separate actions yesterday, the Government Accountability Board, certified the recall elections against four Republican state senators and rejected challenges from the Governor and Lt. Governor regarding the recalls against them.