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State Supreme Court won't fast-track voter ID lawsuits


MADISON (WSAU)   The Wisconsin Supreme Court said no for a third time yesterday to side-step the appeals courts, and make a quicker decision on bringing back the state’s photo I-D requirement for voting. None of the justices signed the ruling, and there was no dissent.

Two Madison judges struck down the Republicans’ photo I-D mandate last year, saying it was unconstitutional and it placed an unreasonable burden on the right to vote. Republican Attorney General J-B Van Hollen disagreed. And he appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court, with the hope of reinstating the voter I-D mandate for last June’s Walker recall election. But the justices said he would have to go through the appellate courts first. Van Hollen then asked the Supreme Court to review the case again, trying to restore the photo I-D law for the fall elections. The court again said no in September, calling the request premature.

Van Hollen had publicly accused the appellate courts of dragging their feet on the matter, saying they were “thwarting the will of the people.”

In November Van Hollen asked the Supreme Court to consolidate the cases, saying the court’s earlier concerns had been addressed. But the justices disagreed, and the case remains in two appellate courts. The Second District Court in Waukesha is reviewing a lawsuit won in circuit court by black and Hispanic groups in Milwaukee. The Fourth District Court in Madison is reviewing a suit won by the state’s League of Women Voters.