Judge Hints at Blocking Pa. Voter ID Law

Wednesday, 26 Sep 2012 12:41 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A Pennsylvania judge strongly hinted Tuesday that he would block the state's new voter identification law with barely a month left before the Nov. 6 elections.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson Jr. told attorneys he was giving them a "heads up" that there could be an injunction, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. The judge told  opposing sides in the case to be ready with their arguments on Thursday as to how the injunction should read.
"I think it's a possibility there could be an injunction here," he told them.
Simpson had previously rejected arguments in a challenge to the controversial photo ID law that it places to many burdens on older, younger, and poor voters who may have difficulty obtaining the appropriate documents in order to secure a valid photo ID. But on an appeal from opponents of the law, the state Supreme Court sent the case back to him with instructions to evaluate whether the state was making every effort possible to provide "liberal access" to the new required voter cards.

The Republican-backed voter ID law in Pennsylvania is one of the most controversial in the country. Democrats view it as an obvious attempt by the GOP-dominated state government to suppress voters who would likely back President Barack Obama on election day.
State officials said Tuesday they have been working to educate voters about the law through TV advertisements, mass mailings, and other measures.
But lawyers fighting the measure said they plan to ask Simpson to block the law completely  until a full trial can be held.

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